Home Editor's Picks Tight IndyCar Points Battle Leads To Intrigue For Saturday’s Race At Gateway

Tight IndyCar Points Battle Leads To Intrigue For Saturday’s Race At Gateway

by Brian Ledford

With three races left in the 2022 season for the NTT IndyCar Series, a pivotal race takes place Saturday at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway with the Bommarito Automotive Group 500.

The 260-lap feature at the 1.25 mile Madison, Illinois oval launches at 5:30 pm.

Photo Credit: Penske Entertainment – Chris Owens

Parity has been a consistent narrative throughout the year. In the series’ fourteen races held, eight different drivers have collected individual checkered flags. Furthermore, there are 11 drivers that are still mathematically eligible to win the series championship, and all will be competing this weekend.

Without a doubt, there’s plenty at stake riding within the open-wheeled field of 26 drivers that will cover 320 miles at an average speed of over 180 mph.

Current points leader Will Power (Team Penske) is in quest of his second career championship and has one win in his pocket this season. Seven podium finishes have helped the Australian veteran amass a six-point edge over Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing) heading into the weekend. If Power, the 2018 winner at Madison, can claim another duke at Gateway, his dream of his first title since 2014 becomes closer within grasp.

Dixon, a five-time IndyCar series champion, has recorded a pair of victories this season, which includes the last race held at Nashville earlier this month.

“We’re still in the hunt with two races to go after St. Louis,” said Dixon. “It’s going to be spicy and pretty exciting.”

Photo Credit – Penske Entertainment: James Black

Dixon’s teammate Marcus Ericsson sits 12 points behind the series’ lead and won the Indianapolis 500 in May. A pole and a victory will help him reclaim the top spot that he held earlier this year.

“It’s going to be a fun weekend and it’s always a good crowd,” he said. “We’re all very focused now and determined to have a good one this weekend.”

The top 5 in the standings includes two-time series champ Josef Newgarden (Team Penske) and defending series kingpin Alex Palou (Chip Ganassi Racing).

Other hopefuls looking for victory include Scott McLaughlin (Team Penske), Pato O’Ward (Arrow McClaren SP), Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport) and Colton Herta (Andretti Autosport).

With the closeness of series points within the Top 10, strong finishes and, conversely, early exits, could potentially result in a standings shake-up by the time Saturday concludes.

Photo Credit – Penske Entertainment: Chris Owens

Other entrants considered crowd favorites this weekend are Jimmie Johnson (Chip Ganassi Racing), the former NASCAR champ that has steadily improved during his sophomore IndyCar campaign, and 47-year-old open-wheeled legend Helio Castroneves (Meyer Shank Racing).

“I hope to have a shot at the podium, if not better,” said Johnson. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been to the track in St. Louis, probably since the late 90s, so it’s great to be getting back to the area and on an oval.”

Live coverage of Bommarito Automotive Group 500 begins at 5 pm Saturday on the USA Network.

CURRENT NTT INDYCAR SERIES POINT STANDINGS TOP 5: Will Power (450), Scott Dixon (-6), Marcus Ericsson (-12), Josef Newgarden (-22), Alex Palou (-33).

Saturday’s event also features a 75-lap race from the Indy Lights division that has 3:20 pm green flag.

Tickets are available at this link.

For more information on the NTT IndyCar Series, go to their official website.

Arch City Media will have a full report from the event posted Sunday.

 

 

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By trade, he is a six-time, regional Emmy Award-winning news videographer/editor for KTVI/KPLR-TV. By hobby, he is an announcer and digital content producer for St. Louis-based Arch Rival Roller Derby. Also a webcast announcer for post-season roller derby tournaments on wftda.tv. Yep, this Illinoisan primarily writes about derby, covering Arch Rival, the St. Chux Derby Chix and the STL GateKeepers men's league. He also writes about St. Louis SLAM Women's Football, St. Louis Lions women's soccer and other sports topics.

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