INDYCAR Previews

Preview – 2017 Bommarito Automotive Group 500

By Dylan Reynolds, The Open Wheel

The INDYCAR season continues this weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park for the Verizon IndyCar Series Bommarito Automotive Group 500 and the Mazda St. Louis Indy Lights Oval Challenge Presented by Cooper Tires. The Open Wheel will be on-site covering the action all weekend so stay tuned to this site and our Twitter page @openwh33l for all of the latest news.

Preview - 2017 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 - 17 gateway test

Photo from Gateway Motorsports Park

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Indy Lights Preview: Mazda St. Louis Indy Lights Oval Challenge Presented by Cooper Tires (Entry List), Race – Saturday, August 27, 2017 7:00PM (ET) – Chad Boat makes his Indy Lights debut this weekend with Belardi Auto Racing and that will be fun to watch. Carlin’s Matheus Leist will be the favorite as he’s won each of the Indy Lights oval races this season at Indianapolis and Iowa. Championship leader Kyle Kaiser can clinch the Indy Lights title this weekend at Gateway and he did win at Phoenix last year in Indy Lights (the series did not race there this year). Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing’s Colton Herta has been fast everywhere this season and he’ll need to keep that going to keep his championship hopes alive. Santi Urrutia has been brilliant lately and drove brilliant races from the back at both Indianapolis and Iowa. If he can qualify up front on Saturday he should be in the fight for the win. My pick to win: Matheus Leist

Verizon IndyCar Series Preview: Bommarito Automotive Group 500, Saturday, August 27, 2017 9:00PM (ET) NBCSN – The big news of the weekend is the return of Sebastien Bourdais as he steps back into his Dale Coyne Racing No. 18 and Esteban Gutierrez comes out. Previous driver experience at Gateway shows only Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, and and Tony Kanaan have raced in the Verizon IndyCar Series at Gateway Motorsports Park with Castroneves winning the last time the series was there in 2003. All three drivers have led at Gateway before. The closest comparisons to Gateway would come by earlier races this season at Phoenix and Iowa. Simon Pagenaud won at Phoenix and Castroneves won at Iowa. Will Power, JR Hildebrand, and Castroneves finished in the Top 4 in each race. Chevrolet is expected to dominate this weekend so look for the Team Penske and Ed Carpenter Racing cars to be at the top of the charts all weekend long and a better than usual showing from AJ Foyt Racing. My pick to win: Helio Castroneves – Castroneves is the only former winner in the field at Gateway, won on a short oval at Iowa earlier this year, has been lighting quick everywhere this season (especially on ovals), and needs a win to bolster his championship hopes. I expect him to do anything possible to go for the win on Saturday night as this is likely his best remaining chance for victory this season.

My picks: Helio Castroneves, Will Power, JR Hildebrand, and Tony Kanaan – You know my thoughts on Castroneves. Power has proven to be as good as it gets on ovals in recent years and is an almost guaranteed Top 5 assuming he stays out of trouble. The same can be said for JR Hildebrand. He was ultra-quick at Phoenix and Iowa and will be at the front all weekend long. Plus, Hildebrand is an excellent value pick at just $16 opening up plenty of room to bring in a top Honda contender. Tony Kanaan finished P6 and P9 at Phoenix and Iowa earlier this year and should be a reliable Top 10 finisher on any oval including Gateway.