WWTR is first race in Round of 10 after NASCAR expands playoffs to 10 teams
January 21, 2020, St. Louis Region – The 2020 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series iHeart 200 at World Wide Technology Raceway underwent an exciting new change today – for the third time. First, the race was moved from June to August to create WWTR’s INDYCAR-NASCAR doubleheader weekend. Second, NASCAR announced new pit stop rules for select races, including WWTR’s 200. Today, NASCAR officials announced the expansion of the Truck Series playoffs, adding two more drivers to the eight-team playoffs, and making the WWTR 200 the first race in the Round of 10.
Three races comprise the Round of 10: WWTR (Aug. 21), Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Ontario (Sept. 6) and Bristol (Sept. 17). Two teams will be eliminated at the conclusion of the Round of 10.
“The NASCAR playoffs always produce incredible drama and we’re excited that our event will play such an important role in the championship chase,” said Chris Blair, Executive Vice President and General Manager of World Wide Technology Raceway. “Our venue is unlike any other on the schedule and the spectacular racing that we always deliver will make quite an impact to kick start the Round of 10.”
The playoff format previously followed an opening Round of 8, another three races in the Round of 6 and the Championship 4. Brad Moran, managing director for the Gander Trucks Series, said that the emergence of more top-level teams and the heightened degree of competition made the decision to increase the playoff field a natural one.
“The way the format was structured in the Gander Truck Series with the Round of 8, Round of 6, Round of 4, we were leaving some excitement on the table,” Moran said. “Maybe three or four years ago, not so much, but certainly the last couple of years with the series strengthening to the position it’s in right now, we really felt putting 10 teams into the playoffs for a Round of 10 is just going to make it that much more exciting and interesting, and will put a lot of emphasis on winning races, which is what we try to do.”
Moran said that competition officials had been weighing a potential expansion by comparing final standings from previous seasons, ultimately arriving at a 10-driver field for the Gander Trucks tour. It also provides some late-season cohesion: Now all three national series will feature a Round of 8 that cuts the playoff fields in half before the championship finales.
“It seemed like the right number,” Moran said. “We only start 32 trucks, we have a great group of owners, and we did not want to water down our playoffs, but the two additional trucks kind of changes the whole layout. It changes the whole ecosystem of the playoffs. People are going to be that much more aggressive to get one of those 10 spots, and it does marry up with the other two series when we get to the Round of 8.”
WWTR’s Aug. 21-22 NASCAR-INDYCAR Doubleheader Weekend now includes:
- Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline for the NTT IndyCar Series
- iHeart 200 for the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.
- ARCA Midwest Series (Super Late Models)
- Indy Lights Series
- Indy Pro 2000 Series
- Vintage Indy Registry/Open Wheel Icons exhibitions
For tickets and information, please call World Wide Technology Raceway at (618) 215-8888 or visit www.wwtraceway.com. Follow WWTR on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.
About World Wide Technology Raceway
World Wide Technology Raceway is the home of INDYCAR, NASCAR and NHRA racing in the St. Louis region. Located just five minutes from downtown St. Louis and covering more than 380 acres, WWTR is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the area. WWTR’s facilities include a 1/4-mile drag strip, 1.25-mile superspeedway, recently-expanded 2.0-mile road course, a state-of-the-art karting facility and a 14-acre, multi-purpose dirt off-road venue. WWTR acquired Gateway National Golf Links, adjacent to the speedway property, in 2019. WWTR was the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Facility of the Year Award from the Race Track Business Conference and the 2017 Spirit of St. Louis Award from the St. Louis Attractions Association. In 2018, owner and CEO Curtis Francois received the Innovator Award from the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission in recognition of his work for restoring World Wide Technology Raceway (known then as Gateway Motorsports Park) to prominence.