Bommarito Automotive Group 500 to feature legends of the sport

MADISON, IL - Race fans will soon be able to see their favorite Indy car drivers up close at the Bommarito Automotive Group 500. But don’t be surprised if you see some familiar faces of the past.

As St. Louis gears up to host Bommarito Automotive Group 500 on August 25 at Gateway Motorsports Park we're getting a look at some of the legends in the sport and why they`re still drawn to the track.

“I have been blessed my entire life, still living the dream, why would I be looking for anything else," says Mario Andretti.

It's that kind of passion that drives many of the best racers of all time like Mario Andretti, Rick Mears, and Sam Schmidt and what leads others into the sport.

“Obviously, it`s become a family affair. My kids have pursued careers. As they say, I have a lot of skin in the game right now, third generation driver," says Andretti.

Andretti's son Michael was a successful driver in his own right and is now a top team owner.

Andretti's grandson continues the legacy in his 12th year on the pro-circuit.

A feat that even the best will say takes more than talent alone.

“It`s one thing to be able to come in and run quick and everything else but to execute all day long for 500 miles your pitstops in and out no mistakes it takes all of that happening right to make it all happen," says Rick Mears.

Rocket Rick Mears is one of only four drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 four times and he still holds the record for the most pole positions in this opened wheeled classic at six.

These days he still has an eye on the competition spotting for Team Penske.

"In the heat of the battle there`s a lot of things going on and a lot of times you`re so focused on things it`s not bad to have somebody in your ear as a little reminder, 'hey remember this pattern we talked about, remember to keep an eye on the flags and what the wind is doing to the car," says Mears.

Little details that can add up to a big difference in a sport where less than a second can determine who wins, that's what keeps racing fans on the edge of their seats and teams raring to hit the oval at Gateway Motorsports Park for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500.

“You know I just love the energy it`s a Saturday night race like a dirt track race last year they were so excited to have us back and I remember racing there back in the early 2000`s and so to get it back there and see that investment in the facility and everything else like that," says Sam Schmidt.

If you want to chance to ride along with Mario Andretti and sit in the fastest seat in sports you can register for that experience at any Bommarito location.

That is just one of the fun events planned for the weekend of the race.

The gates open August 24th and the race is the 25th.

Tickets are on sale now you can learn more by heading to our Fox 2 app.