Courtesy: Kevin Green, Bill McAnally Racing
Race fans in the St. Louis region will have the opportunity to see many of the young, upcoming stars of NASCAR when the NASCAR K&N Pro Series makes its inaugural visit to Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois for the Gateway Classic 150 presented by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame on Friday, August 24. The inaugural NASCAR K&N Series event will be held the night before the second annual Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Verizon IndyCar Series race on Saturday, August 25.
The 150-lap event at the track in Madison is one of two combination races this season in which teams from the East and West divisions of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series face off in the same event.
Among the young stars competing in NASCAR’s top developmental series are three drivers from Bill McAnally Racing — Derek Kraus, Cole Rouse and Hailie Deegan. All three are locked in a battle for the K&N West championship, attempting to deliver BMR its fourth consecutive title and ninth overall series championship. In addition, Deegan is in contention to become the third consecutive BMR driver to win the rookie title in the series.
Kraus is a 16-year-old from Stratford, Wisconsin who drives the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry. In his first season with BMR last year, he won the K&N West Rookie of the Year title and finished third in the championship standings.
Rouse – a 21-year-old from Fort Smith, Arkansas – wheels the No. 99 NAPA Filters Toyota Camry. He joined BMR this season as he returned to the K&N Pro Series West, where he had competed as a rookie in 2016. In his year away from the series in 2017, Rouse won a championship racing for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the CARS Super Late Model Tour.
Deegan, driver of the No. 19 Mobil 1/NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota Camry, is a 17-year-old from Temecula, California. Prior to transitioning to stock cars, she won multiple championships in off-road racing – where she began her racing career at the age of 8. She is the daughter of X Games freestyle motocross champion, Brian Deegan.
Kraus and Deegan are members of the NASCAR Next program that spotlights NASCAR’s rising stars. NASCAR Next alumni include Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Erik Jones, William Byron, Alex Bowman, Darrell Wallace Jr., Cole Custer, and John Hunter Nemechek.
BMR’s trio of drivers vary in experience at the Gateway venue. Rouse participated in a tire test on the 1.25-mile oval earlier this year, Kraus has competed in a Super Late Model event here, and Deegan will be making her first visit.
All three drivers know a strong performance at Gateway will benefit them in their championship effort as they head into the final leg of the 14-race series schedule. The final four events on the K&N West schedule after Gateway include the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track on Sept. 13; Idaho’s Meridian Speedway on Sept. 29; All American Speedway in Roseville, California on Oct. 13; and Kern County Raceway Park near Bakersfield, California on Oct. 27.
In addition to winning a record eight series championships, BMR has garnered more than 85 victories between the East and West divisions of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series.
BMR’s teams dominated the competition in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West in 2017. Drivers Todd Gilliland, Chris Eggleston, and Derek Kraus finished 1-2-3, respectively, while winning 11 of 14 series events.
INDYCAR truly is an international event. In addition to America’s best drivers, the second annual Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline also draws competitors from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
Tickets for the second annual Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline may be purchased online at www.gatewaymsp.com or by calling the GMP ticket office at (618) 215-8888. Tickets start at just $35. Kids 15 and under are free (general admission) with a paid adult. Support races include Indy Lights and the Pro Mazda Series. New this year is the addition of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West Gateway Classic 150 presented by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame on Friday.
Friday, August 24
8 a.m. — Parking lots open.
9a.m. — Spectator gates open.
9:15 a.m. — INDYCAR garage open; Kartplex open.
9-10 a.m. – Vintage Indy Registry Open Wheel Icons practice.
10:15-11:15 a.m. — NASCAR K&N Pro Series practice.
11:30 a.m.-Noon — Pro Mazda practice.
12:15-1:15 p.m. — Verizon IndyCar Series practice.
1:30-3 p.m. — NASCAR K&N Pro Series final practice.
3:15-4 p.m. — Indy Lights practice.
4 p.m. — Coors Light Pole Night opening ceremonies.
4:15-5:15 p.m. — INDYCAR Bommarito Automotive Group 500 qualifying.
5:30-6 p.m. — NASCAR K&N Pro Series qualifying.
6:15-7 p.m. — Pro Mazda qualifying.
7:15-7:45 p.m. — Indy Lights qualifying.
8-9 p.m. — Final INDYCAR Bommarito Automotive Group 500 practice.
9 p.m. — NASCAR K&N Pro Series driver introductions.
9:15 p.m. — NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West Gateway Classic 150 presented by West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.
Midnight — INDYCAR garage closed; Kartplex closed.
Saturday, August 25
10 a.m. — Parking lots open.
11 a.m. — Spectator gates open; Kartplex open.
Noon-1 p.m. – Vintage Indy Registry Open Wheel Icons.
2 p.m. — Verizon IndyCar Series garage opens.
2:45-3:30 p.m. — Vintage Indy Registry Open Wheel Icons.
3-7 p.m. — Rumble Before the Roar pre-race party.
3-4 p.m. — INDYCAR Bommarito Automotive Group 500 driver autograph session.
3:45 p.m. — Pro Mazda Championship Presented By Cooper Tires race (55 laps).
4:45 p.m. — Indy Lights Presented By Cooper Tires Series race (60 laps).
6 p.m. — INDYCAR Bommarito Automotive Group 500 warm-ups.
7 p.m. — INDYCAR Bommarito Automotive Group 500 pre-race activities.
7:35 p.m. — Command to start engines.
7:40 p.m. — Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline (248 laps, 310 miles, 500k)
9:40 p.m. — Post-race fan invasion and track scavenger hunt.
Schedule is subject to change.
For more information on Gateway Motorsports Park, please call (618) 215-8888. Follow GMP on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.
About Gateway Motorsports Park
Gateway Motorsports Park 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 340 acres, Gateway Motorsports Park is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the area. Gateway Motorsports Park’s facilities include a 1/4-mile drag strip, 1.25-mile superspeedway, 1.6-mile road course, a state-of-the-art karting facility and a 14-acre, multi-purpose dirt off-road venue. Gateway Motorsports Park 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 St. Louis Attractions Association.