IndyCar: Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Preview

Can Will Power make it two-in-row?
Can Will Power make it two-in-row?

The fifth and final oval race and the 15th race of the 17-race 2019 IndyCar season is scheduled to take place this Saturday evening at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, formerly known as Gateway Motorsports Park. Will Power held off a fuel saving Alexander Rossi to win the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 on the 1.25-mile Gateway oval in Madison, Illinois. Rossi finished 1.31 sec back and just 1.4 sec. ahead of points leader Scott Dixon

This year’s running of this race, the Bommarito Automotive Group 500, is set to be the third race at the track since the series returned to it following a 14-year hiatus in the 2017 season.

Bommarito Automotive Group 500
presented by Axalta & Valvoline Fast Facts

Race weekend: Friday, Aug. 23 – Saturday, Aug. 24

Track: World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, a 1.25-mile oval in Madison, Illinois

Race distance: 248 laps / 310 miles

Key Media Links: Entry List (PDF) | Trackside Media Guide (PDF)

Firestone tire allotment: Eleven sets for use throughout the weekend

Twitter: @WWTRaceway, @IndyCar, #Bommarito500, #IndyCar

Event website:


2018 race winner: Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet)

2018 pole sitter: Scott Dixon (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda), field set by entrant points after qualifications were canceled by rain.

One-lap qualifying record: Will Power, 23.7206 seconds, 189.709 mph, Aug. 25, 2017

Two-lap qualifying record: Will Power, 47.4579 seconds, 189.642 mph, Aug. 25, 2017

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]NBCSN television broadcasts: Qualifying, 6 p.m. ET Friday, Aug. 23 (live); Race, 8 p.m. ET Saturday, Aug. 24 (live); Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for the NBCSN telecasts this weekend alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Pit reporters are Kevin Lee, Kelli Stavast and Robin Miller.

Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Anders Krohn. Jake Query is the turn announcer with Rob Howden, Nick Yeoman and Michael Young reporting from the pits. All NTT IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 98, XM 209,, and on the INDYCAR Mobile app powered by NTT DATA. Live coverage of NTT IndyCar Series qualifying is available on Sirius 217, XM 209,, and the INDYCAR Mobile app.

NBC Sports Gold livestreaming: All NTT IndyCar Series practice sessions and qualifying will stream live on INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold, NBC Sports' direct-to-consumer livestreaming product.

At-track schedule (all times local):

Friday, Aug. 23

1 – 2 p.m. – NTT IndyCar Series practice #1, NBC Sports Gold (live)

5:15 – 6:15 p.m. – Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (single car/cumulative time of two laps), NBCSN (live)

8:15 – 9:15 p.m. – NTT IndyCar Series final practice, NBC Sports Gold (live)

Saturday, Aug. 24

7:05 p.m. – Driver introductions

7:40 p.m. – Command to start engines

7:45 p.m. – Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta & Valvoline (248 laps/310 miles), NBCSN (live)


“The Firestone Race Tire Engineering team is looking forward to another exciting night under the lights at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. For this year’s race, we’re bringing a right-side tire that features the same race-proven compound and construction as last year’s race, but we are pairing it with a newly-designed left-side tire. This year’s left-side tire has a new, softer compound with the same construction as last year. This new combination will deliver increased grip as the Indy cars race around the 1.25-mile oval."

– Cara Adams, Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Americas Motorsports

Entry List

A total of 22 drivers are set to compete in this 248-lap race around the four-turn, 1.25-mile (2.012-kilometer) World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway in Madison, Illinois, making this race the seventh race of the season to feature a season-low total of 22 drivers.

Here is a list of the 22 drivers who are set to compete in the 2019 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology at Gateway.

Count – Driver – Car, Team, Engine
1 – Josef Newgarden – #2, Team Penske, Chevrolet
2 – Matheus Leist – #4, A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Chevrolet
3 – James Hinchcliffe – #5, Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Honda
4 – Marcus Ericsson – #7, Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Honda
5 – Scott Dixon – #9, Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda
6 – Felix Rosenqvist – #10, Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda
7 – Will Power – #12, Team Penske, Chevrolet
8 – Tony Kanaan – #14, A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Chevrolet
9 – Graham Rahal – #15, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Honda
10 – Sebastien Bourdais – #18, DCR with Vasser-Sullivan, Honda
11 – Santino Ferrucci – #19, Dale Coyne Racing, Honda
12 – Ed Carpenter – #20, Ed Carpenter Racing, Chevrolet
13 – Spencer Pigot – #21, Ed Carpenter Racing, Chevrolet
14 – Simon Pagenaud – #22, Team Penske, Chevrolet
15 – Charlie Kimball – #23, Carlin, Chevrolet
16 – Zach Veach – #26, Andretti Autosport, Honda
17 – Alexander Rossi – #27, Andretti Autosport, Honda
18 – Ryan Hunter-Reay – #28, Andretti Autosport, Honda
19 – Takuma Sato – #30, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Honda
20 – Conor Daly – #59, Carlin, Chevrolet
21 – Colton Herta – #88, Harding Steinbrenner Racing, Honda
22 – Marco Andretti – #98, Andretti Herta Autosport, Honda

Championship facts:

  • Josef Newgarden leads the NTT IndyCar Series championship with three races to go for the second time in his career. He also led the championship with three to go when he won the title in 2017. Newgarden has led the championship after every round this season with the exception of the Indianapolis 500.
  • Newgarden leads Alexander Rossi by 35 points with Indianapolis 500 winner Simon Pagenaud (-40) in third and five-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon (-52) in fourth.
  • There are eight drivers still mathematically eligible for the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series championship: Josef Newgarden, Alexander Rossi, Simon Pagenaud, Scott Dixon, Will Power. Ryan Hunter-Reay, Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato. Any driver who trails the points leader by 159 points or more following the race will be eliminated from contention.
  • Since the first Indy car race at Gateway Motorsports Park in 1997, only Alex Zanardi (1998) and Josef Newgarden (2017) have won the Gateway race and the championship in the same season.

Key championship point statistic: Since 2008, the driver who has led the championship with three races to go has won the championship six times – Scott Dixon in 2008, Dario Franchitti in 2011, Will Power in 2014, Simon Pagenaud in 2016, Josef Newgarden in 2017 and Dixon 2018.

Race notes:

  • There have been seven different winners in 14 NTT IndyCar Series races in 2019: Josef Newgarden (Streets of St. Petersburg, Raceway at Belle Isle Park-1, Texas Motor Speedway and Iowa Speedway), Colton Herta (Circuit of The Americas), Takuma Sato (Barber Motorsports Park), Alexander Rossi (Streets of Long Beach and Road America), Simon Pagenaud (Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Oval and Streets of Toronto), Scott Dixon (Raceway at Belle Isle Park-2 and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course) and Will Power (Pocono Raceway). The record for most different winners in a season is 11 in 2000, 2001 and 2014.
  • There have been seven different NTT P1 Award winners in 2019. Will Power (Streets of St. Petersburg, Circuit of The Americas and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course), Takuma Sato (Barber Motorsports Park and Texas Motor Speedway), Alexander Rossi (Streets of Long Beach, Raceway at Belle Isle Park-1), Felix Rosenqvist (Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course) Simon Pagenaud (Indianapolis Motor Speedway Oval, Streets of Toronto and Iowa Speedway), Josef Newgarden (Raceway at Belle Isle Park-2) and Colton Herta (Road America) have won poles in 2019. The record for most pole winners in a season is 12 set in the 1999 CART season.
  • The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta & Valvoline will be the 10th Indy car race at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. Will Power won the race in 2018. Paul Tracy won the first Indy car race at Gateway in 1997. Power and Josef Newgarden are the only former winners entered in this year's race.
  • Three drivers have won at World Wide Technology Raceway from the pole – Juan Pablo Montoya (2000), Gil de Ferran (2002) and Helio Castroneves (2003).
  • Team Penske has won five times at World Wide Technology Raceway. Penske's winning drivers are Paul Tracy (1997), Gil de Ferran (2002), Helio Castroneves (2003), Josef Newgarden (2017) and Will Power (2018). Chip Ganassi Racing has two wins at Gateway with Alex Zanardi (1998) and Juan Pablo Montoya (2000).
  • Eighteen drivers entered in the event have competed in past Indy car races at World Wide Technology Park. Tony Kanaan has six starts, most among the entered drivers. Nine entered drivers have led laps at the track (Scott Dixon 223, Josef Newgarden 170, Will Power 98, Kanaan 21, Simon Pagenaud 13, Sebastien Bourdais 5, Takuma Sato 4, Alexander Rossi 4 and Zach Veach 2).
  • Four rookies – Marcus Ericsson, Santino Ferrucci, Colton Herta and Felix Rosenqvist – are expected to compete. None of the rookies has made an Indy car start at World Wide Technology Raceway.
  • Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 315th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began on June 2001 at Portland. Kanaan is second all-time in career starts after making his 370th start at Road America on June 23. Mario Andretti holds the record with 407.
  • Scott Dixon has made 255 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the second-longest streak in Indy car racing. Marco Andretti has made 231 consecutive starts, which is the third-longest streak in Indy car racing.
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay seeks to start his 250th Indy car race this weekend, which would make him the 15th driver to reach the milestone. Simon Pagenaud is slated to make his 150th start.
  • Scott Dixon, the longest-tenured driver for Chip Ganassi Racing, is third on the all-time Indy car victory list with 46 wins. Sebastien Bourdais is sixth on the all-time list with 37 wins and Will Power is seventh on the all-time list with 36 wins. Power's win at Pocono broke a tie he had held with Bobby Unser since his win at World Wide Technology Raceway last season.


JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet): "Although we didn't win at Pocono, we were able to gain points and extend the gap between us and (Alexander) Rossi in the championship standings. Now we focus on Gateway. It's a track we feel really comfortable at and a place where I've had success in the PPG Chevy. Ovals can be tricky, but they're really fun to race. And over the last couple of years, (World Wide Technology Raceway) has one of the most excited crowds we see all year, so it's always really cool to be able to go there and put on a show for the fans."

MATHEUS LEIST (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): "Looking forward to coming back to (World Wide Technology Raceway), it's a nice track and I had a lot of fun there last year. It's personally one of the tracks that I like, one of the short ovals that I like, so let's see if we can have a great baseline car and work from there and try to give all our sponsors and ABC Supply a great result."

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): "After the disappointment last weekend, I think everyone on the No. 5 Arrow car is keen to get back to the track. Short-track racing and night racing are two of my favorite things to do in an Indy car, so we are all really looking forward to (World Wide Technology Raceway) this weekend."

MARCUS ERICSSON (No. 7 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): "We had a good test at (World Wide Technology Raceway) a few weeks ago where we were able to run through our test plan and allow me to get a feel of the track. Previously this season, all of the tracks we've been to prior to the event have been very successful weekends. The plan is to continue that trend. I feel like this year we've been very strong on ovals in general, and I got up to speed on the ovals very nicely and having a lot of fun on them. But, we haven't really had a big result out of it – seventh in Texas was good, but I think we have more in us. Hopefully we will get that in Gateway with a good weekend and a good car. Myself and the Arrow SPM team are really looking forward to it and we want to bounce back after a disappointing end result for the whole team at Pocono."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "Just three to go now, right? I've been pretty happy with the past several races. The whole PNC Bank team has done a great job finishing either first or second. It's what you have to do. But we still need more wins. This is the go time part of the NTT IndyCar Series season. This championship is just so tight – you cannot afford to make any mistakes from here on out, or you'll be on the outside looking in – really fast. We've been on the podium here the past two years but haven't been able to get that top step on the podium. This Saturday would be the perfect time to break through. The track and everyone here does such a great job promoting this event, and it really shows. It's a great place to race and we'll see how it goes this weekend."

FELIX ROSENQVIST (No. 10 Monster Energy Honda): "I'm pleased to have been given the go-ahead to race at (World Wide Technology Raceway) this weekend. Yes, I am a bit sore and it was definitely a significant impact, but all in all, I feel perfectly fit and ready to return to racing. I have been very well taken care of these last few days and I've also been stunned by the outpouring of support from my fans around the world. I really, really appreciate it and I hope I can put on a good show for everyone this weekend. I took part in a rookie test at Gateway a few weeks ago, and I think that's the best feeling I've had so far on an oval. I don't expect the crash last weekend to affect that at all. There was nothing I could do to avoid it, so there is no reason to change anything in terms of my approach to this weekend. I will be giving it everything I've got and I actually think it's a positive thing getting back in the saddle again so soon. This is our final oval of the season and I'm committed to trying to make it our best one."

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): "The win at Pocono is what we needed to really turn our season around. The guys on the Verizon Chevy have worked so hard all season and I'm glad they could finally celebrate a win. We feel like this is great momentum headed into this weekend at (World Wide Technology Raceway) where we've also had some success. I've made it no secret that I really enjoy racing at ovals these days, so I'm hoping we can make it two in a row. We are going to keep racing hard for every possible win or championship point we can get. We're focused and ready for more."

TONY KANAAN (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): "Looking forward to it (World Wide Technology Raceway). It's another oval and our two best results this year were at the ovals, so I'm really looking forward to it. It's a place that I enjoy and hopefully we'll do even better this weekend than we did last weekend."

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Mi-Jack Honda): "I feel good about how competitive we should be at St. Louis. I think we had a lot of potential at Iowa; we were pretty strong and I think there is quite a lot that we can carry over from Iowa to St. Louis. We didn't test there and some other teams did which might hurt us a little bit, but I think we should be able to go there and be pretty strong. We will do the best that we can for our sponsors, try to perform well and put a good show on for the fans, and Curtis (Francois) and his staff there that makes it happen. They do a great job."

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 18 SealMaster Honda): "Following a solid result at Pocono, the expectations for (World Wide Technology Raceway) are fairly high. As I've said before, the SealMaster Honda No. 18 has been pretty consistent in qualifying and in the races on ovals. That's a testament to our engineering staff and the crew. We had a great test in 2018 prior to the event so hopefully we can unload with a strong car, and get the kind of result I think we deserve."

SANTINO FERRUCCI (No. 19 Cly-Del Manufacturing Honda): "(World Wide Technology Raceway) is going to be a bit of a similar situation to Pocono Raceway for me, in the sense that I've never raced there, I've just been a spectator. According to my team boss that's a good thing because I don't know any better! We're riding the momentum from a solid top-five finish at Pocono and we just have to keep it up. Keep our head down and have another good race, stay out of trouble and try to get another strong finish."

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 SONAX Chevrolet): "World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway will be my last race behind the wheel in 2019, so I am very motivated to end the season on a high note and get an ECR car back in Victory Lane. I have always enjoyed racing at Gateway and we have had some very fast cars at this track, but we haven't had the best of luck yet. Hopefully, we will have a fast car again and have a chance to fight for a win. I feel like we are coming into this race with positive momentum and I look forward to racing in front of a full house again at Gateway!"

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet): "WWT Raceway at Gateway is a very difficult track as both ends of the oval are so different. It's a tough race and can be hard to pass; hopefully, we can be competitive in qualifying and start near the front. We had a good run last year as we finished sixth. We want to have another strong race this weekend at the last oval of the year!"

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 23 ripKurrent Carlin Chevrolet): "I'm excited about getting back on track at World Wide Techology Raceway at Gateway this weekend, especially after a strong showing by the whole Carlin team at Pocono with a top-10 finish for the No. 23. After meeting the ripKurrent group last year and seeing their passion for the NTT IndyCar Series, it is really exciting to carry their name on the No. 23 ripKurrent Carlin Chevrolet at the Bommarito Automotive Group 500. Racing under the lights is what the NTT IndyCar Series is all about and we will be aiming for a great result for ripKurrent, Carlin and Team Chevy!"

ZACH VEACH (No. 26 Gainbridge Honda): "I can't wait to get back to (World Wide Technology Raceway). Last year we didn't get to qualify, so we started 16th and then we raced our way up to fifth. So, if we can start a little further up the grid this year and gain the same amount of positions, it will be a really great day."

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda): "After last weekend, I am really looking forward to forgetting about Pocono and moving on to (World Wide Technology Raceway). We didn't come out of the last race with a tighter gap to the championship like we had hoped, so it is extremely important to go for the win at Gateway and grab all the points we can to keep fighting for the Astor Cup. We had a strong car at last year's race at Gateway and ended up finishing second. The NAPA boys deserve another win this year and I'm hoping we'll see them in victory lane Saturday night."

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): "This Saturday night at (World Wide Technology Raceway) will mark my 250th career Indy car start which is pretty incredible. I feel extremely fortunate to have had such incredible support over the past 16 years enabling me to compete at the highest level. I've had the honor of representing many great partners along the way, however I am especially grateful to DHL for their unwavering support over the past nine seasons with Andretti Autosport on the No. 28 car. To me, 250 is just another number. Like any other race I compete it in, my only goal is to win. Last season we were running in the top three when we had a fuel pump failure sideline us. Hopefully we can pick up where we left off and challenge for win number 19 this weekend."

TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Honda): "I think we have a good car on ovals this year, generally speaking, and in particular that is true on short ovals. Iowa was promising this year. That was the same tendency last year with the exception of St. Louis where we didn't have the pace. With the 2019 general oval setup, it will hopefully bring us to the next level. St. Louis is a great, unique track. Turns 1 and 2 have a lot more banking but Turns 3 and 4 are flatter. I think that if you can make a very good exit from Turns 3 and 4, there are tons of overtaking opportunities going into Turn 1. I really enjoy it. Hopefully we will have a competitive car and have a great shot at the win."

CONOR DALY (No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet): "Driving at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway is something I've been looking forward to since 2017. The track does an incredible job promoting the event and the crowd is always strong – it's just an all-around great event. I'm hoping I can use some of the experience gained in the past there to have a great finish to my oval racing this season with Carlin and the No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet."

COLTON HERTA (No. 88 Capstone Turbine Honda): "I'm really excited to be racing under the lights again! The World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway is a tough short oval because two ends of the track are drastically different, but I'm up for the challenge. I'm ready to get back in the No. 88 Capstone Turbine Honda, the boys have been working hard and we're hungry for another top result as the season winds down."

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 98 Oberto Circle K / Curb Honda): "I'm looking forward to (World Wide Technology Raceway) and wrapping up oval racing under the lights. This race has filled the stands and put on a show since it came back in 2017. The team and I will be working harder than ever to get a good result for the Oberto Circle K car and start the final few races of the season off strong."

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