To allow crews time to perform simulated pit stops under race-like conditions, INDYCAR added pit stop practice sessions into the weekend schedule this season. For the first time, though, a prize will be awarded to the crew that performs the fastest pit stop during the session set for 8:15 p.m. ET Saturday at Gateway – just ahead of the 248-lap race on the 1.25-mile oval. The pit stop competition will stream live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com.
"This will showcase the extraordinary work INDYCAR teams do on pit road," said Jay Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations. "It also should be an exciting competition for the fans at Gateway Motorsports Park to watch during the 90 minutes leading up to Bommarito Automotive Group 500."
As with previous pit stop practice sessions, the field will be split into two groups based on pit location. Each car is permitted to complete three "out and in" laps – leaving the pits, going around the track and then re-entering the pit lane without crossing the start/finish line on track. Crews can make a four-tire change each time the car reaches its pit box.
The winning crew, determined by the fastest car time clocked from pit in to pit out and including the four-tire change, will receive a trophy and be recognized in pre-race ceremonies.
The Verizon IndyCar Series returns to Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois – just outside St. Louis – for the first time since 2003 this weekend. Qualifying streams live at 7:30 p.m. ET today on RaceControl.IndyCar.com. The race airs live at 9 p.m. Saturday on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.
Team Penske's Josef Newgarden is the championship leader but has four other drivers in hot pursuit, all within 42 points. The top 15 drivers in the standings are still mathematically alive in the chase for the championship heading into the race weekend.