IndyCar: Gateway Preview, Predictions, and How to Watch

The Start of the 2021 Bommarito Automotive Group 500
Spread the love

With Gateway looming and just three races left on the schedule, the IndyCar Series championship battle is heating up with seven drivers within 60 points of the points lead.

Scott Dixon once again showed his prowess at street circuits with a win at Nashville’s Music City Grand Prix two weeks back. Speaking on the championship fight after his win, the Kiwi said “You make one little mistake, and you are going to be at the back…”

With over 50 points up for grabs at the remaining three races at Gateway, Portland, and Laguna Seca, the six-time series champ couldn’t be any more correct. Will Power of Team Penske currently holds the points lead, but Dixon is clawing back and only sits six points behind the 2014 champion. Marcus Ericsson sits in third, but Josef Newgarden and Alex Palou loom close behind the reigning Indianapolis 500 winner.

When IndyCar made its stop at Gateway last year, it was a tale of chaos and carnage, but Josef Newgarden made it out alive on his way to a third-place finish in the championship standings. Colton Herta led 101 laps but was forced to retire early due to a mechanical issue. Drivers like Alexander Rossi, Dixon, and Palou were forced out of the race due to the plethora of crashes that occurred going into Turn 1. Saturday’s race on Gateway’s 1.25-mile flat oval also marks the final oval race of the 2022 IndyCar season.

The Track

First added to the CART schedule in 1997 as an alternative to the Indy Racing League’s Indianapolis 500, open-wheel racing took place at Gateway (officially known as World Wide Technology Raceway) from then until 2003. After a hiatus of over a decade, a now reunited IndyCar would return to the track just outside St. Louis in 2017, rebranding as the Bommarito Automotive Group 500.

Taking an egg-like shape that appears similar to Darlington Raceway, Gateway is one of the more unique ovals in the United States. Turns 1 and 2 are the tighter set of turns and are banked slightly higher than Turns 3 and 4 at 11 degrees. These first two turns are modeled after New Hampshire Motor Speedway and were the site of multiple collisions in 2021.

The backstretch measures approximately 1/3 of a mile and runs parallel to Illinois Route 203. Turns 3 and 4 are modeled after Phoenix Raceway, having a wider shape than the first set of turns, and banked slightly lower at nine degrees. Typically, Turns 3 and 4 are less treacherous to the drivers but are important in setting up overtaking opportunities down the frontstretch.

On Saturday, drivers will make this lap 260 times, for a total of 325 miles (500 kilometers).

World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway -

Championship Standings

A win for Scott Dixon means that he is truly in the fight for the championship with just three races left. However, Will Power remains in front by six points.

  1. Will Power, Team Penske – 450 points
  2. Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing – 444 points
  3. Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing – 438 points
  4. Josef Newgarden, Team Penske – 428 points
  5. Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing – 417 points

Race Predictions – Gateway

For the win, I have to go with the man who first raced here over 20 years ago, Scott Dixon. After that, 3-time Gateway winner Josef Newgarden has to be a solid pick. As for the third place, you could say any name and have it be correct. However, my pick to complete the podium is Colton Herta.

  1. Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing
  2. Josef Newgarden, Team Penske
  3. Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport

How to Watch (All Times in EST)

  • Practice 1: Friday, 8/19 – 1:00 p.m. on Peacock
  • Qualifying: Friday, 8/19 – 4:15 p.m. on Peacock
  • Final Practice: Friday, 8/19 – 7:00 p.m. on Peacock
  • Bommarito Automotive Group 500: Saturday, 8/20 – 6:00 p.m on NBC (260 laps, green flag at 6:30)

All IndyCar sessions will be covered live by IndyCar Radio, which can be found on the official IndyCar mobile app or on SiriusXM Channel 160.

For a list of international broadcasters, click here.

Feature Image Credit: Joe Skibinski/Penske Entertainment

Read On: Andretti branches out with SRX Championship, NASCAR debut