NASCAR ready for Watkins Glen road course
WATKINS GLEN--After a regularly scheduled two-week break in the season schedule, NASCAR is now ready to take on the twists and turns of the road course at Watkins Glen International. The racing weekend will get underway on Friday, Aug. 6 and continue through Sunday, Aug. 8 with the running of the 90-lap Go Bowling at The Glen.
Included in the racing action are the ARCA Menard's Series, the Camping World Trucks, the Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Cup teams. Watkins Glen will mark the fifth of seven road courses for 2021 in Cup competition and is the 38th time the teams have made it to the track since 1957.
Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, comes to The Glen as the defending champion from 2019 as racing was moved outside of New York state last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Elliott won his first Cup race in 2018 at WGI and now boasts 13 wins in NASCAR's top series. His victories this year were both at other road courses, Road America and Circuit of The Americas.
When asked earlier this year about why he has had so much success at road courses Elliott said, "Yeah, I honestly don't know, man. I wish I did. If I did, I'd tell you - maybe (smiling). But I honestly don't. I have no idea. I just feel like it's good cars. Our team as a whole has been good at road courses the whole time, too... I feel like drivers are only as good as what they have to drive. Fortunately, I feel like I've got the best stuff and just got to make it work."
Chase, 25, is the son of the 1988 NASCAR Cup champion Bill Elliott of Dawsonville, Georgia. His father won the "Most Popular Driver" title 16 times during his career, an honor Chase also claimed in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Chase is also third in the all-time list of road course winners with seven. He trails Tony Stewart (eight) and Jeff Gordon (nine). Stewart made it to victory lane in Watkins Glen five times and Gordon four.
However, as the racing post-season approaches the projected rankings show Kyle Larson first; Martin Truex, Jr., second; Kyle Busch, third; Denny Hamlin, fourth; and Elliott, fifth. Larson comes into Watkins Glen with four wins this season, 11 top-fives and 1,441 laps led. Truex and Alex Bowman each have three wins on the year.
Race fans will get to see four racing series at the track over the weekend beginning on Friday. The practice and qualifying for the ARCA Menard's Series will run from 3:15 to 4 p.m., Friday, Aug. 6. The race for that class will be at 6 p.m. and consist of 41 laps.
Saturday's racing action gets underway at 12:30 p.m. with the 72-lap truck race. This is the first time in more than 20 years the trucks will see the upstate New York road course. Concluding the day on Saturday are the Xfinity cars with their 82-lap race at 4 p.m.
Sunday's main event, the Go Bowling at The Glen, features the NASCAR Cup drivers and cars in the 3 p.m. race.
Tickets are still available and fans can purchase them for the weekend by visiting TheGlen.com or at the track at all gates except for 4A and 4. Gate 3 will have ticket sellers available on Saturday and Sunday only. Tickets are available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
TV viewers can find the Friday ARCA race on FS1, as well as the Saturday truck race. The Xfinity race will be broadcast on CNBC and the Cup race on NBCSN.