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The land where Gateway International Raceway now stands was at the bottom of the Mississippi River about two centuries ago. In 1811, a great earthquake centered along the New Madrid fault rang church bells as far away as Philadelphia. It also caused a change in the location of the river turning the land which had once been under water into a swamp.
In 1967, a man named Wayne Meinert built an one-eighth-mile long drag strip called St. Louis Raceway Park on the site. In 1971, the strip was expanded to a quarter-mile in length and renamed St. Louis International Raceway. A 2.6-mile track was added in 1985 and three years later, the name was changed to Gateway International Raceway.
In 1995, the track was bought by Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, Calif. The next year a renovation and expansion project was announced and construction was begun in April 1996. The drag strip was competed in September 1996, and the first major events were held at the new Gateway International Raceway in 1997.
Auto racing has a rich history in the St. Louis area, and the area has produced some of NASCAR's brightest stars. Gateway is equipped to host almost any form of major league motorsports on its egg-shapped oval with two unique sets of turns, a 1.6-mile road course and a quarter-mile drag strip.