The NASCAR K&N Pro Series is coming to Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois on Friday, August 24, 2018. The inaugural Midwest Melee will be one of only two East-vs.-West combo races scheduled for the 2018 NASCAR season. (The other East-vs.-West combo race will be held at Iowa Speedway).
The K&N Pro Series’ Midwest Melee — to be held on Coors Light Pole Night for the INDYCAR Bommarito Automotive Group 500 — will consist of 150 laps (187.5 miles) with a halftime break. The approximate starting time for the K&N Series race will be 9 p.m. Practice for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series will take place on Thursday, August 23, 2018 from noon to 7 p.m. with free spectator admission.
Race day — Friday, August 24, 2018 — will include practice, qualifying and the 150-lap event.
“Gateway Motorsports Park is excited to host another nationally-televised NASCAR event at our venue and add even more excitement to our St. Louis Speed Fest weekend,” said Chris Blair, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Gateway Motorsports Park. “The addition of an exciting stock car element to the racing activities will make the event weekend even better and will give fans even more incentive to attend both race days of the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 weekend.”
The K&N Pro Series is a development system and stepping stone to Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR XFINTY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. It also serves as a showcase for the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program.
Harrison Burton is the defending champion of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. The 17-year-old son of retired Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standout Jeff Burton joins 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers Joey Logano (2007), Kyle Larson (2012) and William Byron (2015) as K&N Pro Series East champions.
Todd Gilliland, son of former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver David Gilliland, won his second straight NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship and finished runner-up to Burton in the 2017 K&N Pro Series East battle while running both series simultaneously. He made his mark as the youngest champion in NASCAR touring or national series history after winning the K&N Pro Series East crown in 2016.
Darrell Wallace Jr., Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez and Austin Dillon are other current drivers who got their NASCAR start in the K&N Pro Series in the last 10 years. Martin Truex Jr., the 2017 NASCAR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion, and 2015 Cup champion Kevin Harvick also began their NASCAR careers in the series.
Other prominent names expected to compete in 2018 include former NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series champion Ruben Garcia Jr. and NASCAR Next driver Chase Cabre, as well as rising young talents Cole Rouse and Derek Kraus.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series will join the Verizon IndyCar Series, Mazda Road to Indy Pro Mazda and Indy Lights classes during Bommarito Automotive Group 500 weekend. The race weekend also will showcase vintage Indianapolis 500 racers as part of the Vintage Indy Registry.