Future of Gateway Motorsports Park Looks Bright After Avoiding Disaster
Gateway Motorsports Park, formerly known as Gateway International Raceway, is a racing venue which hosts various racing series events. Once it was good racing venue but over the years, its glory has passed. The venue also was near to be closed but with the new owners, future looks a bit better.
Early days were good but not glorious
The circuit was opened in 1970 but even before there was a venue used for drag racing. Over the years, local racers demanded the track suitable for road racing and Gateway Motorsports Park in the mid-1980s was prepared to host various racing events. However, many years passed before some top racing championship arrived there. Trans-Am Series, as well as Can-Am, held their races at Gateway Motorsports Park, but most popular championship like NASCAR or IndyCar bypassed this venue.
The new owner brought better days for Gateway Motorsports Park
In 1995, racing promoter Chris Pook purchased the venue. He was fairly ambitious and his wish was to bring the two most popular championships at Gateway Motorsports Park. The track was completely demolished and the works at building the new oval have begun immediately. The new venue was ready for the season of 1997 and immediately turned attention.
Egg-shaped racing oval is used for NASCAR Series races
It wasn’t an ordinary racing oval. Gateway Motorsports Park is an egg-shaped 2 km long track, with a banking of 11 degrees in turns 1 and 2 while the banking at turns 3 and 4 has a banking of 9 degrees. On the straights banking is only 3 degrees. Inside the oval is also short race course suitable for the smaller racing events. The stands capacity of gateway Motorsports Park is 78.000.
Video – Lap around the Gateway Motorsports Park
After the circuit was completed in 1997, big guns started to come at Gateway Motorsports Park. First NASCAR Nationwide Series was held the same year, as well CART Champ Car event. In 1998, Camping World Truck Series event also was held there for the first time. Unfortunately, happiness didn’t last for a long.
Low attendance caused troubles but salvation arrived quickly
In 2010, Dover Motorsports Inc. who in a meantime became the owner of the venue, decided to cease their operations at Gateway Motorsports Park after the fans numbers were in constant decline. Dark clouds were above the venue for a while but, luckily, in 2011 former racer and real estate developer Curtis Francois purchased Gateway Motorsports Park and reopened it in 2012.
His aim was to make Gateway the home of the national drag racing, but also to return NASCAR races and he managed to do so. With new investments, the venue was modernized and made more attractive to the fans. The plans for further development are prepared, so in the foreseeable future, the Gateway Motorsports Park will become top outdoor sports facility in the area what is huge success knowing that it was near of disappearing from the map.
Police uses Gateway Motorsports Park for the training
Gateway Motorsports Park is also used for other non-racing activities. For example, Illinois State Police use it for the training in high-speed vehicle operations. Gateway Motorsports Park is also well suited for the concerts what was proved in 2000 when Metallica band stopped there during their US tour.
Getting to the Gateway Motorsports Park is relatively easy. The nearest airport is Lamber-St Louis International, some 20 minutes drive from the venue. The track is located across the Mississippi river if you are coming from Missouri, just outside of the city of St.Louis, so it is easy to find accommodation in the city or its surrounding.
Address: 700 Raceway Boulevard, Madison, IL 62060, United States
Phone: +1 618 215 8888