Photo Credit: arcamidwesttour.com
Each of the 16 races on this season’s Verizon IndyCar Series schedule are all set to return to the series for the 2017 season. Now, the series has added a race to put the provisional total number of races in the 2017 campaign at 17. IndyCar has announced that the series will be returning to Gateway Motorsports Park for the first time since the 2003 season.
The track at Gateway Motorsports Park is a 4-turn 1.25-mile uniquely-shaped oval that is located in Madison, Illinois. Very few of the series’ current drivers have ever raced at Gateway, and only two have been victorious there. Juan Pablo Montoya won the race at Gateway in 2000, and Helio Castroneves won the race at Gateway in 2003. Both drivers are still driving in the series, and both are driving for Team Penske. More likely than not, both drivers will compete at the 2017 IndyCar race at Gateway.
Gateway is not a superspeedway, but it is an oval track. It is now the 6th oval on the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. Other oval tracks on the schedule for 2017 include Phoenix International Raceway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Iowa Speedway, and Pocono Raceway. Gateway joins Phoenix and Iowa as the three non-superspeedway oval tracks on the 2017 schedule.
With still three more races to go in the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season, one can only think that adding Gateway to the 2017 schedule this early on is a sign that IndyCar will be looking to add even more races to their schedule for 2017 as this season closes out and during the offseason after the last of the 16 scheduled races for this season has been run at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California and the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series champion has been crowned.