(Image Credit: IndyCar)
How fitting that the road to the 2022 NTT INDYCAR Series Championship finale at Laguna Seca has to pass through the gateway to the west for the series last oval race of the season. Will Power is your championship points leader as only 33 points separate him over Alex Palou as five drivers are in mathematical contention for the Astor Cup. It is shaping up to be an exciting weekend of racing, below is everything you need to know for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park
Event History: After the oval was built in 1996, CART came to the track for the first time in 1997 and was ran the day before the Indianapolis 500 as a replacement from the U.S. 500 held at Michigan International Speedway. CART held its last race at the track in 2000 and a year later the Indy Racing League would come to town. Al Unser Jr took that victory. It would be 17 years after 2003 that the series would return to Madison, Illinois and the track has been on the schedule ever since. Josef Newgarden leads all active drivers with three wins at the speedway. Takuma Sato, Will Power, Helio Castroneves, and Scott Dixon have one win each at Gateway.
2021 Event: In last year's event, all eyes were on the championship battle between Alex Palou and Pato O'Ward. Palou entered as the points leader and was forced to start at the rear of the field due to an engine change. Will Power led the field to green, but it was a battle between Alexander Rossi and Newgarden to the end as the later prevailed for his second win of the 2021 season.
Will Power: 450
Scott Dixon: - 6
Marcus Ericcson: -12
Josef Newgarden: -22
Alex Palou: -33
Weather: It is going to be a hot and muggy afternoon for racing with temps in the mid to low 80s. Rain is threatening track conditions but should be a nominal factor
Predictions: With this being an oval race, your betting favorites would have to be between Scott Dixon and Josef Newgarden for the race. Dixion has been quick all year on ovals while Newgarden is the defending two-time winner at the event. While Newgarden takes the win on Saturday there has been no other driver in the series who looks faster than Alexander Rossi in the past couple of weeks. So, look for him to be near the front at the end of 500 kilometers.
You can watch the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 this Saturday at 6:00 P.M. EST on the USA Network. Stay tuned on Sunday for our post-race breakdown and Wednesday for the return of our open-wheel podcast "Early Apex".