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WATKINS GLEN
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NASCAR drivers practice in Watkins Glen 

    WATKINS GLEN—This weekend, motorsports fans will be treated to four days of exciting road-course racing action at The Glen, capped off by Sunday’s “Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen” Sunday, Aug. 14, with a scheduled green flag of 1:19 p.m. ET.
    With a total of 28 Cup races at WGI now in the books, only three active drivers have more than one win here: Tony Stewart leads all with five wins, followed by Jeff Gordon with four and Mark Martin with three. Among the current Cup competitors with one win at The Glen are Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Robby Gordon and Juan Pablo Montoya, last year’s winner.
    Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen is race number 22 of the 36-race NASCAR season, and the second of just two road-course races on the Cup schedule. In June, the Cup circuit visited Infineon Raceway, a 1.99-mile road course in Sonoma, Calif., for a race won by Kurt Busch.
    Comparing the two tracks, Busch, who finished second to Montoya here last year, noted, “You have a lot of speed at Watkins Glen. If you hit the esses just right, nobody is really going to be able to pass you getting into the inner-loop. Then, if you get a great run out of the carousel, you can stretch your lead and develop it through turns 10 and 11 onto the front straightaway. (There is) a lot of speed at Watkins Glen. There’s no real slow corner like there’s a bunch of at Infineon. Once you have a fast car, it just adds to all the corners where you can build up speed and build up that speed.”
    Sunday’s race at The Glen is critical for drivers contending for the 2011 Sprint Cup Series title. As race number six of a 10-race summer stretch known as the “Race to the Chase,” it will help set the field of 12 drivers who will compete for the championship when the Chase begins in mid-September. Until then, every race won and point accrued bolsters a driver’s chances to make the Chase.
    While the Cup race is the culminating event of the upcoming WGI weekend, it is one of just three big races being held at the track. The NASCAR Nationwide Series Zippo 200 race is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 13, at 2 p.m. ET and the Grand-Am Rolex Series Crown Royal 200 will follow on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET. Both races feature a number of NASCAR stars, including the pairing of Joey Logano and Boris Said in the Grand-Am race driving the No. 31 Marsh Racing Corvette, and David Ragan and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. making their Grand-Am debut in the TPN Racing No. 11 Mustang GT. Additionally, Jimmie Johnson will make his first start for JR Motorsports, the Nationwide team owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in Saturday’s NNS race.
    Fans attending any of this weekend’s events at The Glen will be among the first to see the results of a $3 million capital improvement project that began in December 2010, including three new grandstands, numerous campground enhancements and the new “Crown Royal Club” at the top of the esses. The new club replaces the original Glen Club, which burned down in 2007.
    Adam Richman, star of the Travel Channel TV show “Man vs. Food Nation,” will serve as Grand Marshal for the “Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen” and will give the iconic command, “Gentlemen, start your engines!” on Sunday, letting drivers know it’s time to fire the engines.
    For more information on this weekend’s events on and off the track, visit www.TheGlen.com.


 

 



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