NASCAR prepares for Watkins Glen
WATKINS GLEN--As NASCAR begins their countdown to the playoff races, contenders will get to experience twists and turns in the Finger Lakes during this Sunday's Go Bowling at The Glen Cup race. The track will open for camper entry, Wednesday, July 31 and the events will conclude Sunday, Aug. 4 after the top series races for 90 laps.
Coming into Watkins Glen, Denny Hamlin and the No. 11 Toyota posted a win at Pocono Raceway, Sunday, July 28. Joe Gibbs Racing drivers finished in all three top spots with Erik Jones taking second and Martin Truex Jr. third.
It was Hamlin's fifth victory at Pocono, third of the season and 34th career win.
"We did everything we could to win the race," said Hamlin. "We made the calls to win the race. It worked out for us. It was a good race for us. It was pretty smooth, nothing crazy happened. We had good restarts when we needed them. When we didn't have a great restart there at the end I was able to make back up that track position that I lost. It all kind of went to plan."
Team owner Joe Gibbs added, "I kind of look at us as a group, how we match up against everybody else, all of our cars as a group. That's kind of how I measure ourselves...I think right now we're in pretty good shape."
Joe Gibbs Racing drivers have now won 11 of the 21 races this season. Will that dominance continue to the road course, or will a new name take the top spot? Gibbs team members Truex Jr. won at Watkins Glen in 2017, Hamlin took first in 2016 and Kyle Busch is a two-time winner from 2013 and 2008.
Chase Elliott is the defending WGI champion, while Joey Logano swept the weekend in 2015.
In season points, Logano is leading Busch by six points with 824. However, the playoff rank has Busch on top with Logano closely behind. Busch and Truex Jr. are tied with four wins apiece this season. Hamlin and Brad Keselowski both have three, Logano two, and Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Elliott and Alex Bowman one each.
On-track action will begin at WGI Friday, Aug. 2. 11 a.m. marks the final practice for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East cars. 12:35 p.m. will have the first practice for the NASCAR Xfinity Series, before a final practice session at 2:05 p.m. The K&N cars then have qualifying at 3:30 p.m. before the race at 4:45 p.m.
Saturday will see the first practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at 10:35 a.m. and qualifying for Xfinity at 11:40 a.m. The final practice for the Cup cars is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. The Xfinity race is at 3:18 p.m. Qualifying for Sunday's cup race will be held at 6:40 p.m., Saturday evening.
Sunday includes special events for fans including many driver appearances throughout the morning, with driver introductions beginning at 2:30 p.m. Racing in the Go Bowling at The Glen will start at 3:18 p.m.
The race will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network. Adult general admission tickets for the weekend are $135, or Sunday only for $125. There are also grandstand seats and limited camping locations available.
For tickets and additional information, call 1-866-461-RACE or visit www.theglen.com.