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Devlin DeFrancesco testing with Andretti Autosport teammates at WWTR today in preparation for the Bommarito 500

ST. LOUIS, August 17, 2023 – Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport driver Devlin DeFrancesco was one of seven racers from three teams testing today at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois, in preparation for the seventh annual Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline NTT INDYCAR SERIES Weekend on August 26-27.

No doubt about it: he’s a fighter. Consider his early life. The Toronto native was born 15 weeks premature and  spent the first four months of his life in an incubator at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital. He was given his last rites many times in case he didn’t survive. Today, he and his family regularly support the hospital.

In racing, DeFrancesco is a graduate of INDY NXT by Firestone. He has won races in North American and European karting, claimed the Spanish F3 title in 2017 and won the Rookie of the Year crown in USF Pro 2000 in 2020.

(JR Compton photo)

DeFrancesco took time during the lunch break to meet with the local media.

“I love this place,” said DeFrancesco. “This place has always been a happy hunting ground for me.

“We’re working on our short oval package. We need to make it stronger, so we’re trying a few different things to achieve that. We tried different things this morning. This oval is very particular. It’s quite different between (Turns) 1 and 2, and 3 and 4. It’s almost like a fast road course. We are working on making the car good in (Turns) 1 and 2, but also not compromising the car in 3 and 4.”

He was asked about the benefits of having all four Andretti teams testing at the same track.

“Some of us may have different offsets because we have different driving styles, but everything is shared between all four of our cars and both Meyer Shank racing cars as well. We’re definitely trying all different avenues and we’ll share it across each other and come back with the best package possible. Instead of two guys trying two different avenues, we can have four guys trying four different avenues. We can speed up our rate of progress and our rate of learning and know what’s good and what’s not so good.

“This is one of the most fun races of the year, in my opinion. It’s great for the fans and the INDYCAR series. I am very much looking forward to coming back to race here in a week’s time.”

 

The cars and stars of the Indianapolis 500 will take to WWTR’s challenging 1.25-mile oval on Sunday, August 27 at 2:30 p.m. Central for the grueling, 260-lap Bommarito Automotive Group 500. The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 is the NTT INDYCAR SERIES’ final oval race of the 2023 season. The USAC Silver Crown Series will kick off the Sunday afternoon of auto racing action with the OUTFRONT 100 at 12:15 p.m.

 

The INDY NXT series takes center stage on Saturday, August 26, with the OUTFRONT Showdown. INDY NXT is a developmental feeder series, one step away from the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. INDYCAR practice and qualifying also will take place on Saturday.

 

The Vintage Indy exhibit will be on track both days with vintage Indy Car exhibition runs on both days. The restored cars, ranging from the 1930s to 1980s, will be on display on the midway both days. Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and 2001 WWTR victor Al Unser Jr. will drive the Vintage Indy pace car during exhibition runs and will greet fans at the midway display.

 

Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato scored the closest Bommarito 500 victory in WWTR history, taking the checkered flag over Ed Carpenter by just .040 seconds in 2019.

 

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden has won four of the seven Bommarito 500s held at WWTR.

 

“I absolutely love racing in St. Louis,” said Newgarden. “World Wide Technology Raceway is a high-commitment track. It’s different from the other short ovals we go to. It’s on the longer end of what would be considered a short oval. But it’s still tight, compact short-oval racing. Just really high-speed commitment and I think that’s what makes me like this place. I love a race track where you’ve got to be committed in the corners. This track requires that. It’s smooth. It’s high grip. You’re able to carry a lot of speed for a long duration in places like Turns 3 and 4. That kind of racing style is something that I love. It’s part of the reason why we’ve had success here.”

 

The cars and stars of the Indianapolis 500 will take to WWTR’s challenging 1.25-mile oval on Sunday, August 27 at 2:30 p.m. Central for the grueling, 260-lap Bommarito Automotive Group 500. The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 is the NTT INDYCAR SERIES’ final oval race of the 2023 season. The USAC Silver Crown Series will kick off the Sunday afternoon of auto racing action with the OUTFRONT 100 at 12:15 p.m.

 

The INDY NXT series takes center stage on Saturday, August 26, with the OUTFRONT Showdown. INDY NXT is a developmental feeder series, one step away from the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. INDYCAR practice and qualifying also will take place on Saturday.

 

The Vintage Indy exhibitors will be on track both days with vintage Indy Car exhibition runs on both days. The restored cars, ranging from the 1930s to 1980s, will be on display on the midway both days. Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and 2001 WWTR victor Al Unser Jr. will drive the Vintage Indy pace car during exhibition runs and will greet fans at the midway display.

 

For INDYCAR tickets and information, please call WWTR at (618) 215-8888 or visit wwtraceway.com. Follow @WWTRaceway on social media.

 

 

BOMMARITO AUTOMOTIVE GROUP 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline

NTT INDYCAR SERIES Weekend fan schedule

 

Saturday, August 26 – INDY NXT, INDYCAR practice and qualifying

7 a.m. – Parking lots open.

7:30 a.m. – Spectator gates open. Paddock and Gateway Garage Experience open.

8 a.m. – Vintage Indy exhibition.

8:55 a.m. – INDY NXT practice.

10 a.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice.

11:45 a.m. – INDY NXT qualifying.

1 p.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES qualifying.

2:35 p.m. – INDY NXT OUTFRONT Showdown race.

4 p.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES Group A highline practice.

4:15 p.m. –  NTT INDYCAR SERIES Group B highline practice.

4:45 p.m. –  NTT INDYCAR SERIES final practice (all cars, 60 minutes).

7:30 p.m. –  Paddock and Gateway Garage Experience closed.

 

Sunday, August 27 – Bommarito Automotive Group 500 INDYCAR race, USAC Silver Crown Series

7 a.m. – Parking lots open.

7:30 a.m. –  Spectator gates open. Paddock and Gateway Garage Experience open.

8 a.m. –  USAC Silver Crown Series practice.

9 a.m. – Vintage Indy exhibition.

10:15 a.m. – USAC Silver Crown Series qualifying.

11 a.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver autograph session.

12 p.m. – USAC Silver Crown Series pre-race ceremonies.

12:15 p.m. – USAC Silver Crown Series OUTFRONT 100 (80 laps, 100 miles, 60 minutes).

1:55 p.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline driver introductions.

2:19 p.m. – Invocation and national anthem.

2:22 p.m. – Command for drivers to cars.

2:35 p.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline (260 laps, 325 miles).

5:30 p.m. – Paddock and Gateway Garage Experience closed.

Schedule subject to change.

 

About World Wide Technology Raceway

World Wide Technology Raceway (WWTR) is the only track in the world to host the premier series of NASCAR, INDYCAR, and NHRA . Located just five minutes from downtown St. Louis and covering more than 700 acres, WWTR is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the area. WWTR’s facilities include a 1/4-mile drag strip, 1.25-mile superspeedway, 2.0-mile road course, the Gateway Kartplex (a state-of-the-art karting facility), and the adjacent Gateway National Golf Links. WWTR and owner Curtis Francois have been recognized with several awards, including: 2021 Comcast Community Champion of the Year; 2021 Jack Buck Award; 2020 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Track Award; 2018 Innovator Award from the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission; 2017 Outstanding Facility of the Year Award from the Race Track Business Conference; and the 2017 Spirit of St. Louis Award from the St. Louis Attractions Association.

Our mission: We are committed to making a difference in our community, while providing first-class entertainment and memories that last a lifetime.

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