And Now for Something Completely Different.
With 11 twisting turns, Watkins Glen is NASCAR’s flying circus. The Glen is the last of two road courses. It’s also the last before the Chase cutoff, making it a wild card of sorts for those trying to secure a playoff berth.
Several teams have a new driver for The Glen and Scott Pruett could easily drive the Hendrick no. 24 should Jeff Gordon’s latest addition arrive on Sunday. News, notes and a starting lineup can be found after the jump!
Only five races remain until the Chase for the Sprint Cup begins at New Hampshire. Leading the Race to The Chase is Kevin Harvick, just 189 points ahead of second-place Gordon. Should the Chase begin today, it would be a different story entirely.
The playoffs are seeded by race wins and Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin lead that category with 50 bonus points each.
This leaves Gordon and Harvick (as well as fifth place Jeff Burton) desperate for wins. If the Chase were to begin now, Harvick (2 wins), Gordon and Burton (0 Wins) would restart the season in third, seventh and eighth respectively. With each of the top five all but guaranteed a Chase spot, wins are of the utmost importance.
The same could also be said of those trying to reach a Chase berth. Before a seventh-place at Pocono, Mark Martin had suffered seven consecutive finishes outside the top ten. The summer swoon dropped him from 10th to 13th in points, just 34 markers out of 12th place Clint Bowyer.
Behind both drivers is Dale Earnhardt Jr. Junior is likely the last Chase eligible contender entering the final five and sits just 129 points out of the cutoff.
Both drivers are capable of starting a run at Watkins Glen and it’s likely they could start such a run today. Martin has three wins at The Glen, winning three in a row from 1993-95. Each of those wins came from the pole.
In Junior’s favor, Dale (who will make NASCAR touring start no. 500) keeps his nose clean at most road courses and survived a top-15 finish at Sonoma.
But make no mistake. Watkins Glen belongs to Tony Stewart. Stewart owns five wins in upstate New York and has compiled a driver rating of 135.0. Stewart is currently eighth in the standings and needs a win. He could find it at The Glen. With an average finish of 5.3, Stewart has dominated at Watkins Glen and could stake a claim for the championship should he win.
Expect road course aces Marcos Ambrose, Boris Said and Ron Fellows to battle for the top ten with pole-sitter Carl Edwards (94.5 driver rating) the unlikely dark horse.
Pre-race coverage will be provided by ESPN Countdown (12ET) and SPEED Raceday (10ET). Live race coverage will air on ESPN starting at 1 p.m./ET. Green flag is set for 1:35 with Marty Reid, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree providing the call.
Watkins Glen International
Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen
Provided by NASCAR Statistics – Sat, August 07, 2010 @ 01:31 PM Eastern
Track Race Record: Mark Martin 08/13/95 02:11:54 103.03
|1||1||99||Carl Edwards||Aflac Ford||70.882||124.432|
|2||1||Jamie McMurray||McDonald’s Chevrolet||71.236||123.814|
|2||3||42||Juan Pablo Montoya||Target Chevrolet||71.302||123.699|
|4||43||A J Allmendinger||Insignia HDTV Ford||71.348||123.619|
|3||5||2||Kurt Busch||Miller Lite/Vortex Dodge||71.403||123.524|
|6||14||Tony Stewart||Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet||71.458||123.429|
|4||7||16||Greg Biffle||3M Ford||71.469||123.410|
|8||82||Scott Speed||Red Bull Toyota||71.493||123.369|
|5||9||48||Jimmie Johnson||Lowe’s Chevrolet||71.518||123.326|
|10||18||Kyle Busch||M&M’s Toyota||71.571||123.234|
|6||11||47||Marcos Ambrose||Little Debbie Toyota||71.611||123.165|
|12||77||Sam Hornish Jr.||Mobil 1 Dodge||71.648||123.102|
|7||13||83||Boris Said||Red Bull Toyota||71.662||123.078|
|14||11||Denny Hamlin||FedEx Freight Toyota||71.744||122.937|
|8||15||7||Robby Gordon||Speed Factory.TV Toyota||71.795||122.850|
|16||24||Jeff Gordon||DuPont Chevrolet||71.834||122.783|
|9||17||26||Patrick Carpentier||Air Guard Ford||71.921||122.635|
|18||20||Joey Logano||Home Depot Toyota||71.952||122.582|
|10||19||39||Ryan Newman||U.S.Army Chevrolet||71.965||122.560|
|20||29||Kevin Harvick||Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet||71.990||122.517|
|11||21||36||Ron Fellows||Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet||72.095||122.339|
|22||31||Jeff Burton||Caterpillar Chevrolet||72.113||122.308|
|12||23||98||Paul Menard||Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Ford||72.126||122.286|
|24||5||Mark Martin||GoDaddy.com Chevrolet||72.171||122.210|
|13||25||56||Martin Truex Jr.||NAPA Toyota||72.325||121.950|
|26||55||Michael McDowell||PRISM Motorsports Toyota||72.413||121.801|
|14||27||78||Regan Smith||Furniture Row Chevrolet||72.419||121.791|
|28||13||Max Papis||GEICO Toyota||72.461||121.721|
|15||29||09||Bobby Labonte||Phoenix Construction Chevrolet Chevrolet||72.525||121.613|
|30||00||David Reutimann||Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota||72.576||121.528|
|16||31||17||Matt Kenseth||Crown Royal Ford||72.649||121.406|
|32||12||Brad Keselowski||No. 12 Penske Dodge Dodge||72.650||121.404|
|17||33||71||Andy Lally||Adobe Road Winery/TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet||72.689||121.339|
|34||33||Clint Bowyer||Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet||72.728||121.274|
|18||35||6||David Ragan||UPS Ford||72.885||121.013|
|36||9||Kasey Kahne||Budweiser Ford||73.135||120.599|
|19||37||87||Joe Nemechek||NEMCO Motorsports Toyota||73.171||120.540|
|38||19||Elliott Sadler||Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford||73.202||120.489|
|20||39||07||P J Jones||SpeedFactory.TV Toyota||73.341||120.260|
|40||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet||73.396||120.170|
|21||41||37||Travis Kvapil||Long John Silver’s Ford||Owner Points|
|42||34||Kevin Conway #||Extenze Ford||Owner Points|
|22||43||38||David Gilliland||Taco Bell Ford||73.370||120.213|
Manufacturer Starting Lineup DNQs Manufacturer Starting Lineup DNQs
Chevrolet 15 1 Ford 12 0