NASCAR rolls in Watkins Glen
WATKINS GLEN--The Finger Lakes region is getting ready to host the annual NASCAR race at Watkins Glen International. Banners welcoming fans, driver appearance opportunities and merchandise are all part of weekend festivities that center around Watkins Glen but also spread across much of western New York.
The stars of NASCAR are coming from Pocono, the "Tricky Triangle," to take on the historic WGI road course. Kyle Busch registered his sixth win of the season at Pocono, fighting off the constant pressure of Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Daniel Suarez. Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. have largely dominated this season with Harvick matching Busch's six wins and Truex taking four.
"We were second to the No. 4 [Harvick] and we weren't going to catch him, he was going to get the stage win, so we knew that we kind of had to get off strategy from them if we were going to have a shot to beat them," said Busch after winning at Pocono. "That's what we did. They wanted the stage point, we wanted the win. So we pitted, and then were able to get out in front of him when the cycle went through when they came to pit road under yellow, and then we were able to be up front the rest of the day. I think they also had trouble on pit road. I think Adam told me that something got caught up with some damage or whatever. But obviously, they still had plenty of speed because they came up through the field and finished fourth."
With Busch's victory, he tied Tony Stewart for 13th on the all-time Cup Series wins list at 49. Coming into Watkins Glen, Busch has won the Watkins Cup Series race in 2008 and 2013, while Truex was last year's champion. Harvick won at WGI in 2006. Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and AJ Allmendinger are also contenders having also taken the checkered flag in the Finger Lakes.
The Go Bowling at The Glen NASCAR weekend gets underway Thursday, Aug. 2 and runs through Sunday, Aug. 5. Friday will feature the first race of the weekend, the Great Outdoors RV Superstore 100 at The Glen with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East cars. The race starts at 4:45 p.m. Saturday will see the Zippo 200 at The Glen at 3 p.m. with the NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers battling to take the checkered flag. The main event is Sunday, as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series stars will face the road course at 2:30 p.m.
Throughout the weekend there are various practice and qualifying sessions, as well as driver appearances and attractions around the racetrack. The full schedule can be seen at www.theglen.com.
Former Buffalo Bills All-Pro wide receiver Steve Tasker will serve as the honorary pace car driver for the Go Bowling at The Glen, Sunday.
New at the track this year is the Zippo Turn 10 Terrace, a platform built on top of the new track rental garages. This space joins the Esses Party Deck and the permanent platform for the Sahlen's Pit Inn hospitality area. Guests will also see the bicycle-sharing service, Lime, with 75 bikes available to use. Fans can access rides and learn more information about the Lime experience through the Lime app on their smartphone.
General admission tickets for the weekend start at $130 or $120 for Sunday only. There are a number of other ticket packages available as well as camping for an additional cost. See www.theglen.com for more.