October 25, 2013, St. Louis, MO and Madison, IL – The energy for motorsports is at an all-time high in the St. Louis region, and the good folks at the National Association for Stock Car Racing, or better known as NASCAR, have taken notice. Today, Gateway Motorsports Park and NASCAR officials are proud to announce that Gateway Motorsports Park will host a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on June 14, 2014 on the 1.25 mile NASCAR oval track.
“The enthusiasm for professional motorsports in the St. Louis region is greater than anyone could have ever imagined,” said Gateway Motorsports Park Owner and President Curtis Francois. “So when I started looking into the future of this facility and the great people who attend events here year after year, I knew we had something special. And, so did NASCAR.” Francois noted that rarely a day goes by that he’s not asked about the future of NASCAR in St. Louis. Over the past two years, he has been in conversations with various national sanctioning bodies, including NASCAR, to ensure Gateway MSP has the most exciting racing schedule possible.
“We’re looking forward to coming back to Gateway Motorsports Park,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of Racing Operations. “The Midwest generally and St. Louis specifically is a true hotbed of racing. The Wallace family, Kenny Schrader, Carl Edwards and last week’s Talladega winner Jamie McMurray are NASCAR stars that all are synonymous with the area and region.”
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is one of three national divisions of NASCAR including the Sprint Cup Series and the Nationwide Series. NASCAR debuted the popular truck series in 1995 involving full-bodied, powerful American-made trucks. The intensely competitive series has grown in popularity and in 2009 welcomed a new sponsor and name: the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The NASCAR race at Gateway MSP will be the 7th of 22 national truck series races on the calendar for 2014.
The NASCAR “lifestyle” has become a national phenomenon over the last 20 years, with at-track attendance for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series averaging 30,000 fans at each event held at nearly 20 tracks across the country. The 10-month season is one of the longest of all major sports events.
The NASCAR drivers are some of the most competitive athletes of any sport, and this series is largely popular due to the driver and team personalities that fuel much of the excitement of NASCAR.
“Curtis Francois is a racer himself who has a tremendous passion for the sport and his community,” said O’Donnell. “He and his team have worked diligently to improve the facility with the goal of bringing NASCAR back to Gateway. We look forward to working together to make this event shine.”
“This prime-time NASCAR series, which debuts under the lights at Gateway MSP over the Father’s Day weekend, will highlight to the entire nation the incredible support we have in this region for both top-tier professional racing and grassroots motorsports,” says Francois. On Saturday, prior to the NASCAR race, Gateway MSP will also host the 2014 United States Auto Club (USAC) Traxxas Silver Crown Series Gateway 100.
Since the track reopened in March 2012, Francois has invested more than $11.5 million into the track including the construction of a new Gateway Karting facility and a new 14-acre off road course that will opened next spring.
This fall, in addition to new state-of-the-art corporate and private meeting space facilities, Gateway MSP launched the Gateway Challenge program. The Gateway Challenge puts individuals, corporate groups and families behind the wheel of a 2013 Chevrolet Camaro SS with the race- track oriented 1LE option and provides instruction on how to compete as a racer on the ¼-mile drag strip or drive on the world-class road course. Participants who have traveled from as far as England, have already enjoyed the bracket-racing experience including practice runs, qualifying and competitive racing with a winners circle! No experience is necessary to participate.
NASCAR ticket on-sale dates and other event details will be announced in mid-November. Special event packages will be offered during the holiday season.
“Gateway is truly a driver’s track and the support from NASCAR racers and team owners for this event has been tremendous,” said Chris Blair, Gateway’s Senior Vice President of Business Development and Promotions. “You will have an exciting track, a very competitive series, the most enthusiastic fans in the country and the beautiful backdrop of downtown St. Louis coming together to create a magical night of racing. It’s going to be a spectacular show from start to finish.”
The 1.25 mile oval track at Gateway Motorsports Park produces a tremendous challenge for drivers with its long straightaways, tight configuration through turns 1 and 2 and sweeping high banks through turns 3 and 4. The high-speed trucks and cars will be capable of circling the track at over 180 miles per hour.
At Gateway Motorsports Park our mission is to provide our fans, racers and sponsors with a first-class, up close and personal racing experience. This includes unprecedented access to the drag strip, the oval, the road-racing track and a nationally-sanctioned karting track as well as special events such as concert and corporate functions for year-round activity at Gateway Motorsports Park. www.gatewaymsp.com
Located just five minutes from downtown St. Louis and covering 180 acres of prime real-estate, Gateways MSP is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the region, encompassing a ¼ mile NHRA-sectioned drag strip, 1.25 mile NASCAR oval track, 1.6 mile road course, a new Gateway Karting facility and a new 14-acre off road course. Over the next five years, $20 million will be invested with the goal of attracting grass roots and major motorsports events, entertainment acts, and special public, corporate and private events.