World Wide Technology Raceway (Gateway) - SpeedTour Weekend
Photos by Chris Green, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.57
WWTR (Gateway) 700 Raceway Blvd Madison, IL 62060
Year Opened: 1985
Sportscars Return to St. Louis
The sound of race cars is not an uncommon sound around World Wide Technology Raceway. The track hosts the likes of IndyCar, NHRA, and NASCAR every year. However, the Trans-Am and SVRA SpeedTour weekend at the track is a new kind of race for the facility, as it features pro racing and sportscars on the track’s infield road course layout. This means a new kind of racing is available to fans in St. Louis that hasn’t been around for many years.
Food & Beverage 3
The concessions options at WWTR are somewhat limited, but thanks to the addition of several food trucks during the event, fans won’t have to worry about going hungry on race day. To make it easier for fans to stay cool under the warm sun, the track also offers a large tent for fans to sit down and enjoy their food.
The racing takes place on the track’s infield road course, which means that fans in the main grandstands will be able to see all the corners from their seats. This is an advantage of racing in an oval setup, as with many traditional road courses you can only see certain sections of the track if you don’t move around.
Another thing that makes this event special is that all tickets offer fans free access to the pits and paddock area of the track, which lets you get an up-close view of the drivers and teams as they work on their cars before heading out to the track. This also allows you a closer look at the track’s infield section, as well as getting you up close to victory lane.
As far as facilities goes, the track has many restrooms available for fans, and seating is open to all.
There isn’t much nearby for the track’s fans to visit. Located across the river from downtown St. Louis, Madison, Illinois is more industrial near the raceway – even restaurants and shopping are several exits away on I-64 in either direction. For hotels, 10 minutes in either direction will get you to some major brands, but nothing exists closer to the track.
The fans showed up to the track’s first SpeedTour weekend, a welcome surprise to perhaps an underserved market for sportscar racing. The fan walk before the Trans-Am feature race on Saturday was packed with fans, and many were able to take in the action from both the main grandstands and the infield sections of the track. The vintage car show was also filled with fans, located on the outside of the main grandstands near turn 1.
To get to WWTR, you simply need to take exit 203 off I-55; this will drop you literally at the track’s gates. From here parking is plentiful for fans, and walking to the infield is also easy thanks to the Turn 4 tunnel and backstretch crossover gate, which is open before the racing starts each day.
Return on Investment 5
Tickets to SpeedTour weekend are incredibly affordable, and fall far below the prices you’ll find for the NASCAR and IndyCar race weekends at WWTR. Couple this with the free parking and the incredible access offered to fans, and you have a very worthy weekend at the track for race fans, without having to break the bank. Also, the added bonus of seeing multiple races and multiple classes on track throughout the day means you get much more racing for your buck than you do during any other race event at this facility.
The track features show cars for fans to get up close to near the white concessions tent. Here, an IndyCar and NASCAR Truck Series show car are set up for photos. Also of interest is the vintage car show in the fan zone.
Finally, fans can get up close and meet drivers for autographs during the free pre-race fan walk on pit road, before the Trans-Am feature race on Saturday.
This race may be the hidden gem for racing fans in St. Louis. WWTR hosts many events throughout the year, but none offer as much access for free with your ticket as does SpeedTour weekend, and with a condensed two-day schedule, you can catch all the racing action you want over a shorter period of time, whereas other events may spread the action out over multiple days.