NASCAR race gets new name
WATKINS GLEN--A new partnership between Watkins Glen International and I LOVE NEW YORK, the state's tourism brand, was announced last week. Together, they will present The Glen's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race--the I LOVE NEW YORK 355--Sunday, Aug. 6. The race is the marquee event of the Aug. 3-6 race weekend at WGI. It is the only NASCAR Series race in New York state, and one of two road course races on the cup series schedule. Previously run as the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen, the "355" denotes the distance of the race--90 laps for 220.5 miles--in kilometers.
"Watkins Glen International has established itself as a top-notch tourism destination for racing enthusiasts and has drawn visitors from across the state and beyond to this region," Cuomo said. "A world-class attraction located in the heart of New York, the Glen's partnership with I LOVE NEW YORK will help attract more visitors to the Empire State than ever before while shining a spotlight on all that the Southern Tier has to offer."
New York and WGI have enjoyed a strong partnership, as the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council awarded The Glen $2.25 million in Round IV to assist with crucial track safety and modernization efforts. Last August, Cuomo announced the return of IndyCar racing to WGI, with additional I LOVE NEW YORK funding committed to the promotion of the IndyCar Grand Prix in 2017 and 2018.
Additionally, the Great New York State Fair and Watkins Glen established a partnership in May that allows two of the state's largest attractions to promote one another and encourage tourism in central New York and the Southern Tier.
Watkins Glen International President Michael Printup said, "We are excited to welcome the I LOVE NEW YORK brand to the Watkins Glen International family as our partner for the NASCAR race weekend. With NASCAR comes an international audience, and this is going to allow us to help put I LOVE NEW YORK to the forefront of broadcasts in Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and more, in addition to all of the dedicated viewers here in North America. All of us are looking forward to a great race weekend coming up in August."
In 2016, New York welcomed a record 239 million visitors who spent nearly $65 billion, generating a total economic impact of more than $100 billion for the third straight year.
State Senator Thomas F. O'Mara said, "Watkins Glen International is a cornerstone of the Southern Tier's regional economy, welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The I LOVE NEW YORK 355 will further promote Watkins Glen and New York State as a world-class tourism and racing destination."