More banking and a new inside wall for the 2019 Gateway Dirt Nationals
For the past three years, I’ve ventured into The Dome in Downtown, Saint Louis, Missouri. Inside sits my favorite race track.
In 2019, the super late models, dirt modifieds and dirt midgets will enter the building on the first week of winter. Inside, 15,000 dirt racing fans will be warm and ready to see some side by side dirt racing.
The track is a 1/5-mile oval. Event organizers are limited with how large they can make the track. Kevin Gundaker and his crew have used all the space available in all the years of the event.
But still, all three of the previous years have basically been an entirely different track. For 2019, it’s different once more.
The inside wall is drastically different than 2018 or any years prior. Additionally, progressive banking is in place for the fourth running of the indoor dirt race.
Kevin Gundaker on the 2019 Gateway Dirt layout
“Yes, we do have a progressive banking,” Kevin Gundaker stated of the new track.
“For the first 20 feet, we’re flat on the bottom. Then we progress to the top. We have quite a bit more banking. Hope to create a little bit more highside type hustle.”
“We moved the barriers. We got a complete concrete wall on the inside, moved the barriers in a bit. Maybe to promote a slide job or two.”
“Quite a bit different. I think all the racers are going to find that it’s going to be a little bit more racey than it has been in year’s past.”
Cody Sommer on the 2019 Gateway Dirt Nationals layout
“The differences in the track this year are pretty substantial,” event promoter Cody Sommer stated.
“Everybody’s preached about these [inside wall] tires as something they wanted to see go away. I think we’ve got a good plan with that now, with the infield barriers.”
“Also, the bottom of the track is probably flatter than it’s ever been. And the top is probably banked more than it’s ever been.”
“Really thinking that the layout this year, being different, is gonna present some really great racing. In the past, it’s taken a little bit for the track to come in. I think we’re going to see side-by-side and potentially three-wide racing, really quickly.”
“Excited about the changes,” Sommer conclude of the new track layout.
Gateway Dirt Nationals Setup
The Gateway Dirt Nationals staff put this together in the shortest time thus far.
“Kinda crazy. It is out shortest move-in window of time that we’ve ever had in the four years,” Cody Sommer added.
“We had to really put our heads together and come up with a plan of how we were going to get moved into the building, fast. Lost about 3, almost 4 days of our move-in time as we have in year’s past.”
“We moved our trucks a little but quicker. So, we brought in more loads. We had a better plan while we were bringing those loads of dirt in on where we were putting them. Very specific in certain areas. It just helped the flow out.”
“In year’s past, we maybe hung it up for the night at 8pm. The last several days have went to 10-11pm. You just add a little bit of time but we’ve got the same sized crew.”