NASCAR Pre-Race Media: World Wide Technology Raceway Track Trends, Race Preview, etc

TRACK: World Wide Technology Raceway (1.25 mile oval) DISTANCE: 240 Laps – STAGE 1: 45 Laps, Stage 2: 95 Laps, FINAL STAGE 100 LAPS, 300 Miles)

This is an inaugural race so there’s really no history here for the Cup Series. The World Wide Technology Raceway’s oval was formed in 1995. The Xfinity Series came here in 1997 and had an annual stop until 2010. The Truck Series still comes to Gateway as they were here from 1998 through 2010 then came back in 2014 and have never left.

The NTT IndyCar Series started coming in 1997 too and stayed through 2003. Then they took a long break from 2004 through 2016 before a comeback in 2017.

Now, Gateway gets a Cup date this weekend.


TRACK COMPARISONS

Gateway is unique due to the shape and varying degrees of banking in each side of the track. Turns 1 and 2 are different than Turns 3 and 4.

The first couple of corners is more like New Hampshire where the opposite end is like Phoenix. The egg shape is like Darlington but with long straights and long corners are like Loudon and Martinsville.

That’s why in order to really figure this race out, you point more to who performs well on 1-mile tracks.


HAMPTON, GEORGIA – MARCH 20: William Byron, driver of the #24 Liberty University Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 20, 2022 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Favorites

William Byron

He won Martinsville and was leading with 2 laps-to-go at Darlington.

Kyle Busch

He’s a past Gateway winner so lets see if past history works here.

Ross Chastain

He was 2nd in Phoenix and dominating in Darlington before his crash. Worth a look.

Sleepers

Joey Logano

He won Darlington so worth a look to see how similar these tracks will be. He was also 2nd in Martinsville. Furthermore, Logano has won 2 of the last 6 inaugural races on tracks dating back to last season.

Ryan Blaney

Worth a look. He was 4th at both Phoenix and Martinsville.

Austin Dillon

He was 3rd in Martinsville, had a top 10 going in Phoenix and 9th in Darlington.

Kurt Busch

He was 5th in Phoenix, 6th in Martinsville and can figure this place out pretty quickly.


Who To Fade?

Kyle Larson

Not sure I like him here. He struggled at Phoenix, Martinsville and was a DNF in Darlington.

Chase Elliott

This short track package hasn’t necessarily been kind to him this season. Elliott, was 11th in Phoenix, 14th in Richmond and 10th at Martinsville. He was also 5th at Darlington.

Alex Bowman

14th in Phoenix, 12th in Martinsville and 29th in Darlington lands him on this list.

Denny Hamlin

His worst races this year are on like tracks.


Of Note

Counting this weekend, 3 of the next 4 races are either the 1st or 2nd time the Cup Series has visited these tracks.


Key Stat

Gateway is a who’s who of winners. In the Xfinity Series’ history, names like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards highlighed a star studded list of race victors. In INDYCAR, you get names like Paul Tracy, Alex Zanardi, Juan Pablo Montoya, Michael Andretti, Al Unser Jr., Gil de Ferran, Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden, Scott Dixon, Will Power and Takuma Sato as winners.

Only the best win here.

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