Gateway International Raceway


Gateway International Raceway

Motorsport venue
Name = Gateway International Raceway | Location = Madison, Illinois


Image_caption = Gateway International Raceway Logo
Layout1 = Oval
Length_mi = 1.25
Length_km = 2
Banking = Turns 1 & 2 - 11°
Turns 3 & 4 - 9°
Straights - 3°
Events = NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, National Hot Rod Association
Capacity = 65,000
Address = 700 Raceway Blvd, Madison, IL 62060
Owner = Dover Motorsports

Gateway International Raceway is a race track in Madison, Illinois, USA, just minutes from Downtown St. Louis, Missouri. It hosts a NASCAR Nationwide Series event and a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on a 1.25 mile (2 kilometer) oval, a 1.5 mile infield Road Course used by SCCA and various car clubs, and also has a quarter-mile drag strip that hosts an annual National Hot Rod Association event. The facilities are owned by Dover Motorsports, a group that also owns Memphis Motorsports Park, Dover International Speedway and the Nashville Superspeedway among others.

The first major event held at the facility was a CART series held on Saturday May 24, 1997, the day before the Indy Racing League's Indianapolis 500. Rather than scheduling a race directly opposite the Indy 500 (as they had done in 1996 with the U.S. 500), CART scheduled Gateway the day before to serve as their Memorial Day weekend open-wheel alternative without direct conflict. After a couple years, track management grew increasingly dissatisfied with its apparent use, as seen by some, as a political pawn by CART, and its poor attendance as fans generally chose to travel to the Indy 500 for the weekend instead. For 2000, the race was moved to the fall. In 2001, its was dropped from the CART series schedule, and switched to the Indy Racing League. After mediocre attendance, the event was dropped altogether after 2003.

The 1.25-mile oval is a favorite of many of the drivers who race there due to the unique shape and different degrees of banking in each corner. Turns 1 & 2 have characteristics similar to New Hampshire Motor Speedway while Turns 3 & 4 are similar to Phoenix International Raceway and the track's egg shape mimics the legendary Darlington Raceway. Several NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams test at GIR in preparation for these events.

There is also an 1.6 mile infield road course used by sports car clubs and motorcycle organizations through the warmer months. This roadcourse hosted a round of the AMA Superbike Championship in 1995. Canadian Miguel Duhamel won the superbike class in blistering hot conditions.

In late 2006, Lenny Batycki took over as the vice president and general manager of the track. Unlike most of his predecessors, Batycki brought with him extensive marketing and PR knowledge of motorsports, having been a vice president at the North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, NC and a vice president at Richard Childress Racing for a number of years, working with the late Dale Earnhardt for the last years of the seven-time champion's career. Many in the St. Louis area feel the track is now on an upswing with GIR being run by individuals with actual racing ties and knowledge rather than mainstream businessmen.

In early January 2008, it was announced that the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers would move their sponsorship from the NASCAR Craftsman Truck race to the NASCAR Nationwide Series race. The July 19 Nationwide Series will now be called the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers such as Carl Edwards, David Ragan, David Reutimann, Clint Bowyer, and defending race winner Reed Sorenson are scheduled to race in the event. St. Louis native and fan favorite Kenny Wallace will race his #36 Fitz Motorsports Dodge at Gateway that night as well.

Race history

CART & IRL Results

See main article Emerson Indy 250

Nationwide Series race history

*1997 - Elliott Sadler
*1998 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
*1999 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
*2000 - Kevin Harvick
*2001 - Kevin Harvick
*2002 - Greg Biffle
*2003 - Scott Riggs
*2004 - Martin Truex, Jr.
*2005 - Reed Sorenson
*2006 - Carl Edwards
*2007 - Reed Sorenson
*2008 - Carl Edwards

Craftsman Truck Series race history

*1998 - Rick Carelli
*1999 - Greg Biffle
*2000 - Jack Sprague
*2001 - Ted Musgrave
*2002 - Terry Cook
*2003 - Brendan Gaughan
*2004 - David Starr
*2005 - Ted Musgrave
*2006 - Todd Bodine
*2007 - Johnny Benson
*2008 - Ron Hornaday

Records

* NASCAR Nationwide Series Qualifying: Scott Wimmer, 33.246 sec. (135.355 mph), 2007
* NASCAR Nationwide Series Race: Carl Edwards, 2 hr. 5 min. 54 sec. (119.142 mph), July 29, 2006
* NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Qualifying: Ted Musgrave, 33.294 sec. (135.159 mph), 2005
* NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Race: Jack Sprague, 1 hr. 45 min. 31 sec.

Current Events

* NASCAR Nationwide Series - Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 (Announced Jan. 25 by Kenny Wallace.
* NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series - Camping World 200
* Miss Gateway International 2008, is Carissa Dawn Biele.

Other Events

Metallica's Summer Sanitarium Tour of 2000 made a stop at Gateway on July 3, 2000. Other artist featured at the concert were Korn, Kid Rock, Powerman 5000, System of a Down.

See also

*List of NASCAR race tracks

External links

* [http://www.gatewayraceway.com/ Gateway International Raceway Official Site]
* [http://www.nascar.com/races/tracks/gat/index.html Gateway International Raceway Page] on [http://www.nascar.com NASCAR.com]
* [http://www.trackpedia.com/wiki/Gateway_International_Raceway Trackpedia guide to driving this track]
*High Resolution image from [http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=38.650804,-90.135376&spn=0.013325,0.018110&t=k&hl=en Google Maps]


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