Sports

NASCAR’s big trucks returning Gateway Motorsports Park

File photo of spectators at Gateway Motorsports.
File photo of spectators at Gateway Motorsports. Tim Vizer

The sights and sounds of NASCAR at its very best will be on display once again on Saturday at Gateway MotorSports Park.

One of the most popular divisions in all of racing — the Camping World Truck Series — returns to the St. Louis area and along with the ARCA Midwest and USAC Silver Crown Series — should provide for one huge day of racing on Saturday at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison.

Defending champion Cole Custer, who move on the final restart earned him the championship of the ‘15 Camping World Truck Series Drivin’ for Lineman 200, headlines the field for the marquee event on Saturday. But Custer will be challenged by several of the series’ top competitors including 2013-14 series champion Matt Crafton and rookie standout Rico Abreu.

Gateway Motorsports Park owner Curtis Francois said preparations for the big day of racing are going well and that the event will have something for fans who enjoy different types of racing.

“We’re extremely excited about not only having the Camping World Truck Series here, because its one of the most popular series in all of racing, but the fact that we’ve got both the ARCA Series and USAC Silver Crown Series, all on the same day, makes it just a big day for all of us here at Gateway,’’ Francois said. “We’ve worked hard to make it an enjoyable day event for everybody.

“We’ve gotten great and positive feedback from the drivers who have competed at Gateway before and we hope the racing fans come out, like they have in the past, to support the best drivers and have fun.’’

Francois said the fact that both the ARCA Midwest Series and USAC Silver Crown Series, which have been added to the card this year, make it a great family value for fans to enjoy.

“Our slogan this year is Three races, one ticket,’’ Francois said. “We feel like this is an excellent opportunity for families to come out and just have a great day at the track. Three races for one ticket and watching drivers at this level, is something we hope people take advantage of. Like I said, it’’s going to be a great day.

Driver introductions for the Camping World Truck Series Drivin’ for Lineman 200 are set for 7 p.m. with the green flag set to drop at 7:30 p.m.

ARCA Midwest and USAC Silver Crown Series

The USAC Vatterott College Silver Crown Showdown will be a 60 lap, 75-mile event and will be the first of three finals at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. The wingless ‘big cars’ of open-wheel racing have a history dating back to 1971 and include former USAC Silver Crown Series champions such as A.J. Foyt (1972), Mario Andretti (1974), Jeff Gordon (1991) and Tony Stewart (1995). Two-time defending series champion Kody Swanson of California will highlight the field.

The 40-lap, 50-mile ARCA Midwest Tour race is set for 6 p.m. Ty Majewski of Seymour, Wis. has won both races on the circuit this season and is in the field along with 17-year-old Natalie Decker of Wisconsin who is a four-time kart racing champion.

The weekend gets underway at 5 p.m. on Friday when the NASCAR garages open to the public. Part at the Plex — at the Gateway Kartplex — will include kart racing, music and entertainment — from 6-10 p.m.

Spectator gates will open at 8 a.m. with the first Camping World Truck Series Drivin’ for Lineman practice session slated for 8:30 a.m.

Special discount for military

GEICO and Gateway Motorsports Park will be offering a 60% discount on tickets to active military personnel as well as armed forces veterans and their families. Each discounted ticket will also include one food voucher which is good for a bottle of water and hot dog which may be redeemed at any concession stand on the day of the race. It also includes one cold pit pass and one discounted coupon for the Gateway Kartplex which can be used anytime throughout the year.

Ticket information

For tickets and information, persons should call Gateway Motorsports Park at (618) 215-8888 or by visiting www.gatewaymsp.com.

Dean Criddle: 618-239-2661, @CriddleDean

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