Watkins Glen International
2790 Country Route 16
Watkins Glen, NY 14891
Business Phone: 607-535-2486
Business Fax: 607-535-8918
Ticket Office Phone: 607-535-2481
Ticket Office Fax: 607-535-2344
a 2.45-mile paved road course.
It has 7 turns with a variety of banking in turns ranging from 6 degrees to 10 degrees.
The length of the frontstretch is 2,150 feet and the length of the backstretch is 2,600 feet.
Track Width varies from 36' to 48' wide, averaging 38' wide
Grandstand seating capacity: 38,900
Repaved: in 1971, 1999 and 2015
Length: 29 feet
Width: 20 feet
Track Websites and Social Media:
Watkin's Glen International - website
International Motor Racing Research Center at Watkins Glen
Track Stats - Racing-reference.info
2016 Race Winner: #11-Denny Hamlin, 89.513mph, started 6th
Race Record: Mark Martin, 103.900mph, 8/13/1995
Slowest Race Record: Kyle Petty, 50.879mph, August 1992
Youngest Winner: Kyle Busch, 8/10/2008 - 23 years, 3 months, 8 days
Oldest Winner: Geoff Bodine, 8/11/1996 - 47 years, 3 months, 24 days
2016 Pole Winner: #19-Carl Edwards, 126.562mph, finished 16th
Track Qualifying Record: Marcos Ambrose, August 2014, 129.491mph (set in 1st round)
Worst Starting Spot to Win: Steve Park, August 2000, started 18th
Youngest Pole Winner: Jeff Gordon, 8/9/1998 - 27 years, 0 months, 5 days
Oldest Pole Winner: Morgan Shepherd, 8/13/1989 - 47 years, 10 months, 1 days
Most Wins: 4 - Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart
Most Poles: 3 - Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon
Most Top 5s: 12 - Mark Martin
Most Top 10s: 16 - Mark Martin
Most Lead Changes: 14 - 8/11/1991 & 8/15/2011
Fewest Lead Changes: 0 - 8/4/1957
Most Leaders: 12 - 8/13/1995
Fewest Leaders: 1 - 8/4/1957
Most Cautions: 8 - 8/14/1988, 8/12/2007, 8/11/2013 & 8/7/2016
Fewest Cautions: 0 - 7/18/1965
Most Caution Laps: 36, 8/14/1988
Few Caution Laps: 0, 7/18/1965
Most Finishers on a lead lap: 34, 8/14/2005
Fewest Finishers on a lead lap: 2, Twice most recently 7/18/1965
Most Running at the Finish: 42 - 8/9/2015
Fewest Running at the Finish: 11, 7/18/1965
Most Laps Led by a Race Winner: 83, Tony Stewart, 8/14/2005
Fewest Laps Led by a Race Winner: 1, Joey Logano, 8/9/2015
Most Wins by Manufacturer: Chevy, 17; Ford, 8; Pontiac, 4; Toyota, 3; Buick, 1; Mercury, 1
Road Course Wins: All-Time(3 or more wins)
Jeff Gordon, 9*
Tony Stewart, 8*
Rusty Wallace, 6
Bobby Allison, 6
Richard Petty, 6
Ricky Rudd, 6
Darrell Waltrip, 5
Tim Richmond, 5
Dan Gurney, 5
David Pearson, 4
Mark Martin, 4
Kyle Busch, 4*
Ernie Irvan, 3
Geoff Bodine, 3
Tim Flock, 3
Cale Yarborough, 3
Large number of pit road penalties at Waktins Glen: This past weekend there were seven penalties called on pit crews by seven different teams. It's the second highest penalties since the first race of the year which had a total of twelve penalties. The main reason for this...Watkins Glen. The penalties laid out like this: (2) Crewmen over the wall too soon, (3) Tire not in control, and (2) Tossing or throwing fuel fillers. Two of the three penalties that were called we see almost every week or every other week. The "Crewman over the wall too soon" and "Tire not in control" are both penalties that are common. This particular race had a few more than normal because of the where they were racing. I mentioned it earlier in a post before WG that leaving early would get a few teams because the timing of this stop is not what a normal stop is. The "Tire not in control" penalty on the #19 was another victim of track. Because the stops are backwards they had their right front tire get away and that would never happen on a normal stop. The last two penalties of "Tossing Fuel Fillers" is 100% because of WG. Everyone knows fuel is huge at this place and teams are pushing the limits to max out their fuel while doing a fast stop. Its comes as no secret that some teams got busted trying to hurry up the stop and move cans faster than NASCAR liked. These 7 penalties from today bring the year total of pit crew related penalties on pit road to a total of 80.(PitTalks)(8-10-2016)
Denny Hamlin wins at Watkins Glen: #11-Denny Hamlin won the Cheez-It 355 at the Glen Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International for his 2nd win of the season, 1st win at Watkins Glen, 1st road course win and 28th career win.
#22-Logano finished 2nd followed by #2-Keselowski, #47-Allmendinger, #14-Stewart, #18-Busch, #78-Truex Jr., #1-McMurray, #6-Bayne and #20-Kenseth.
#48-Jimmie Johnson finished last (40th) in a Sprint Cup race for the first time in his career after being involved in a four-car wreck on lap 53.
#10-Danica Patrick led 11 laps, a career best for a single Sprint Cup event, exceeding the seven laps she had led on two occasions at Talladega.
Joe Gibbs Racing now has the most wins at Watkins Glen in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with seven.
There were 9 lead changes among 8 drivers and 8 cautions for 20 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 89.513 mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at:
Unofficial Race Results page (pdf)
Lap Summary Report (pdf)
Penalty Report (pdf)
Pit Stop Times (pdf)
Watkins Glen International announces second consecutive reserved grandstand sell-out: Watkins Glen International is proud to announce that reserved grandstand tickets for today's Cheez-It 355 at The Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race have sold out for the second consecutive year. "We're excited to announce our second consecutive grandstand sell out," said WGI President Michael Printup. "This is a great testament to the passion and dedication our fans have for Watkins Glen International. We're looking forward to a great race and delivering an incredible experience that keeps our fans coming back year after year." With the announcement of its second grandstand sell-out, Watkins Glen International also announced that it is completing plans for a new viewing deck outside the Esses in 2017. This will create a new viewing experience for fans with more details to be released in coming weeks.(WGI)(8-7-2016)
Pit stops at The Glen are ... different: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series are taking their talents to the Watkins Glen road course this week. With that comes the challenge of pitting, as The Glen is the only place in the Sprint Cup Series where stops are done backward. What makes this so difficult? The first thing is just simply breaking routines. Pit crews train hard year-round, and all their focus is on gaining one-tenth of a second. Now you take a random week during the year and throw in backward stop and things get interesting. Teams usually will start practicing for Watkins Glen either the week of the race, or sometimes a week earlier. It's usually a two- or three-stop event, so teams don't spend a ton of prep time on it. Getting used to the choreography of the stops is difficult, too. Everything is opposite of the usual flow. Getting footwork to match up can be a challenge. What are usually easy left- and right-side wedge adjustments now become more difficult. Gasmen also have a different angle to plug their cans into. It's not uncommon to see lots of gas being spilled at a track where fuel mileage is big. Perhaps the biggest challenge for crewmen is the penalty they face for jumping early. With the new NASCAR technology, you can't cheat the jump line. When your routine is changed, so is your timing. Expect to see a few guys leave early because their timing is off. With the anxiety of change comes the anxiety of getting across the car quicker, and that's when leaving early happens.(NASCAR/PitTalks.com)(8-7-2016)
Record crowds possible for NASCAR at Watkins Glen: Racing returns to the Watkins Glen this weekend, and they're talking about setting records. "We hope to break our record attendance this weekend," said Watkins Glen International president Michael Printup. "It's looking good so far, but knock on wood, you never know how ticket buyers are going to react over the next five days." At most tracks, NASCAR has been a disappointment. TV ratings are declining and NASCAR hasn't provided attendance estimates since 2012 because the numbers are discouraging. But not at Watkins Glen. "You've seen some decline in attendance at other race tracks. Indianapolis is down. Michigan was down in June," Printup said. "We haven't seen that. We hope that we can uphold that and we'll see another huge crowd at Watkins Glen this weekend."(RochesterFirst)(8-3-2016)
Governor Cuomo Unveils NASCAR/Watkins Glen International License Plate: On Monday (Aug 1), Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled a new Watkins Glen International license plate, available for order beginning Thursday, August 4. The plate is the newest addition to DMV's NASCAR custom plate series and features the WGI and NASCAR logos with a checkered flag background. The announcement coincides with the 2016 Cheez-It 355 at the Glen - New York State's only NASCAR race - and one of the highlights of Upstate tourism every summer. The Glen supports Governor Cuomo's commitment to tourism, which recently reached a new record-high economic impact in New York State of $102 billion - an increase of 25 percent since 2010. "The new Watkins Glen license plate celebrates New York's strong partnership with this award-winning NASCAR racetrack," Governor Cuomo said. "New York is proud to host this world-class event at the Glen, which attracts motorsport enthusiasts and drives tourism in the Southern Tier. I encourage racing fans to stop by the DMV exhibit on the Midway during this weekend's events and take advantage of the services they have to offer." Personnel from DMV will also be on hand to personally sell the newly-issued plate to NASCAR fans for the first time. DMV staff will help visitors order additional custom plates, renew their registrations, assist with address changes, schedule road and vision tests, and complete web transactions.
DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan said, "DMV is excited to once again partner with Watkins Glen and make this plate available to racing fans all over the state who make the venue a destination each year. The Glen is a perfect venue for DMV staff to interact with its customers and promote tourism at the same time. I thank Governor Cuomo for providing DMV with this opportunity to connect with customers statewide, and I encourage New Yorkers to order this plate to show their support for the Glen."
Watkins Glen International President Michael Printup said, "We are thrilled to unveil this Watkins Glen International license plate. The timing couldn't be better with New York State's largest sporting event, The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355, less than a week away. We'd like to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo and his office for their unyielding support of Watkins Glen International and tourism in our region and state as a whole."(NY Governor's Press Office)(8-3-2016)
Jack Huston to drive pace car at Watkins Glen: Jack Huston, star of the upcoming epic action adventure "BEN-HUR" from Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, will drive a 2016 Toyota Camry pace car to kick off the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It" 355 at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 7. This will be Huston's first time serving as an Official Pace Car driver at a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. He will also be recognized during pre-race ceremonies and will greet each NASCAR driver on stage during driver introductions. "BEN-HUR" is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title, separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption. Based on Lew Wallace's timeless novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. The film also stars Rodrigo Santoro, Nazanin Boniadi, Ayelet Zurer, Pilou Asbaek, Sofia Black D'Elia and Morgan Freeman.(WGI)(7-31-2016)
Watkins Glen announces National Anthem singers: Former U.S. Marine and star of the hit network television show Gotham, J.W. Cortes, has been named the National Anthem singer for the Cheez-It 355 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on August 7th at Watkins Glen International. Cortes, who currently stars as Detective Alvarez on FOX's Batman-inspired hit, also serves as a New York City MTA police officer. Cortes is also an ambassador for Boot Campaign, a national military-focused nonprofit that engages all generations of Americans in supporting those who defend the United States' freedom. On Saturday, Nashville recording artist Electra Mustaine, daughter of Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine, will perform "The Star Spangled Banner". Mustaine is set to release a new single on August 5th and has been a hit at several tracks on the NASCAR circuit in 2016. Windsor, Ontario's Amy Rivard will perform the Canadian national anthem before Saturday and Sunday's races, in addition to both anthems on Friday prior to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Bully Hill Vineyards 100. Rivard has toured the world with shows such Riverdance, Celtic Woman, Disney, among several others.(WGI)(7-30-2016)
Watkins Glen repave complete; would NASCAR run "the boot"? After a five-month, $12 million-plus facelift that started with the boot - and continued with the remaining 2.45-mile road course that NASCAR uses for the Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series following the races last August -- Watkins Glen president Michael Printup is ready for his "Wild Season" to begin. "The grip is going to be there. Unlike the oval, we won't have multi-lanes coming out of the corner. So there's no effect on that in terms of lines. It's going to be fast. I've coined it as saying it's going to be a wild season. I don't know what's going to happen, but it's going to be wild." There's been speculation that the Glen might consider adding the boot to the current layout NASCAR uses and return the circuit to the full Grand Prix course. That would maximize the track at 11 turns rather than the seven the Sprint Cup tour uses for its annual romp just south of Seneca Lake in upstate New York. "Steve O'Donnell (NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer) said last year, 'Maybe we should race the boot,' but that adds another mile," Printup said. "The only thing the fans are concerned about is if you add another mile you only get to see the cars come around 60 times instead of 90. So there's a fan engagement opportunity that we have to analyze and get some feedback on before us and NASCAR make a decision. It would be fun, it would be sexy, it would be fast. But I think the fans need to give their opinion before we decide what to do."(Motorsport)(5-5-2016)
Watkins Glen to unveil $11M track project: Watkins Glen International will unveil its newly resurfaced race track on Friday, and then let the public take their own cars on the track this weekend to test it out. Contractors began work on the $11 million repaving project began right after the NASCAR Sprint Cup race last August and continued through the winter. The finishing touches are being put on this spring, just in time for WGI's annual Opening Weekend festivities, when fans can take laps to raise money for charity. "This is one of those wow projects, for everybody, from the fans to the drivers to the media," said WGI President Michael Printup. "It's going to be awesome." The last major resurfacing was done about 20 years ago, Printup has said, and due to the cold Northeast winters, frost heave was a constant problem. Drivers in all the series that race at WGI, from sports cars to NASCAR, will notice a "dramatic" difference, Printup says. He says there will be better grip in the corners and he's expecting record speeds in the Sprint Cup race. WGI will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11:15 a.m. Friday. Bob Varsha, a TV racing announcer, will be the MC, and special guests will include sportscar drivers Andy Lally and Derek Bell, who have 10 victories at the Glen between them. Afterward, cars from the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association will take the first laps on the fresh surface. Fans are invited to view the on-track festivities free of charge in the Argetsinger and Seneca grandstands by entering through Gate 2 off County Route 16.(Corning Leader)(4-14-2016)
Repaving at Watkins Glen on schedule: With few delays, the massive repaving project at Watkins Glen International is moving along at or ahead of schedule. Top coat layers from general contractor Ajax Paving Industries Inc., were being put down on some areas of the 3.4-mile circuit this week, while a base coat was still being laid down in other areas. The work is expected to be completed by Nov. 1. The $12 million project is one of the most ambitious endeavors in the 59-year history of the historic track. The entire 3.4-mile configuration, including the 2.45-mile section used by NASCAR, will be repaved in time for the 2016 season. The pit lane is also being repaved. According to a WGI statement, the project is the equivalent of paving a 22-mile, two-lane highway at a thickness of 1.5 inches. It is the first repave of the track since 1989. The pavement from that project began to break up during its first pro race weekend, which led to concrete patches being added that remained through the 2015 season. While the entire track will now be asphalt, the pit lane boxes will remain concrete. The original pit boxes were broken up and new ones were being poured for the first time Wednesday.(Elmira Star-Gazette)(9-19-2015)
Record crowd flocked to Cheez-It 355 at The Glen: The 30th annual Cheez-It 355 at The Glen had all of the ingredients for success: huge fan interest, perfect weather and a dramatic finish. "The race weekend was stupendous," WGI President Michael Printup said Sunday after the race. "I don't know if it could get any better." Printup is not at liberty to give out exact attendance totals because Watkins Glen is owned by publicly held International Speedway Corporation. The previous attendance record, of about 95,800, was set in 2002. Printup said after last year's race that just under 95,000 fans attended that event. Prior to the start of the race, Printup announced at the drivers meeting the track had effectively sold out reserved seating for the first time in a Sprint Cup event there. "We were already looking at adding bleachers here," he said. "Maybe we just accelerated that capital expenditure." Printup said only 21 of the 38,900 grandstand seats were unsold. There were also an additional 200 American Disabilities Act-compliant seats that were unsold. Printup said according to accounting regulations, "That qualifies us for a sellout." Pre-event demand for camping sites was such that two additional areas were added in recent weeks. Next year, competitors will get an added boost with a smoother surface to race on. The entire 3.4-mile configuration will be repaved for the first time since 1998. Demolition began on the "Boot" section of the long course in July. It is expected to be finished by the end of October. The paving is part of $35 million in capital improvements made by ISC at Watkins Glen over the last 10 years. That investment has been paying off with an event that has showed remarkable growth at a time when most NASCAR events have remained flat after dropping in attendance from loftier days before the 2008 recession.(Elmiria Star Gazette)(8-12-2015)
NASCAR could run "the boot" again at Watkins Glen: Now that Watkins Glen has started repaving its racing surface, running "the Boot" may be back on the table for NASCAR races. The current configuration of the Glen for NASCAR Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series races eliminates the Boot, which contains Turns 6 through 9, and shortens the course from 3.40 miles to 2.45 miles. But with repaving already having taken place in the Boot, smoothing the bumps in that portion of the track, NASCAR is considering running the full Grand Prix Course, which currently is used for the Tudor United Sports Car Championship. "We could," NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development officer Steve O'Donnell told the NASCAR Wire Service before Sunday's Cheez-It 355 at the Glen. "We're discussing it with the track. It's something we're looking at down the road." Even with the addition of the Boot, Watkins Glen wouldn't be the longest road course on the NASCAR rotation. Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, which hosts the XFINITY Series, measures 4.048 miles.(NASCAR Wire Service)(8-10-2015)
Logano wins at Watkins Glen: #22-Joey Logano won the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International for his 2nd win of the season, 1st win at Watkins Glen and 10th career win.
#18-Busch finished 2nd followed by #4-Harvick, #20-Kenseth, #41-Busch, #15-Bowyer, #2-Keselowski, #19-Edwards, #9-Hornish, Jr, and #48-Johnson.
Harvick ran out of fuel while leading on the final lap and was passed by Logano and Busch coming to the checkered flag. The only lap Logano led was the final one.
#18-Busch's 2nd place finished moved him up to 30th in the points standings and puts him into the Chase (as long as he can remain in the top 30 through the Richmond race).
Pole sitter #47-Allmendinger was running 6th on lap 50 when the car lost power and he went a lap down. He climbed back to 14th place before running out of gas late in the race and finishing 24th.
#4-Harvick continues to be the points leader now 42 points over #22-Logano.
There were 8 lead changes among 8 drivers. There were 5 cautions for 16 yellow flag laps.
There was a red flag on lap 51 for track cleanup after an accident.
The average speed was 91.420mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).(8-9-2015)
Watkins Glen introduces new "Bronson Hill" camping area: Race fans looking to camp at Watkins Glen International now have a new area to consider. Due to the increasing demand of RV camping space, the historic circuit has introduced "Bronson Hill", an outfield location set just outside of the Gate 6 entry into the facility. All sites are sized at 30x50 feet, and feature non-trackside pricing -- $375 until Monday, August 3rd, when rates rise to $425. In addition, Two vehicle passes come with each site purchase. Fans can call 866.461.RACE or log onto www.theglen.com for more information.(WGI)(7-7-2015)
Watkins Glen International Named Best NASCAR Track: Each year the NASCAR Sprint Cup series takes place on two dozen tracks across the nation. Each track makes for its own unique racing style and fan experience. USA Today 10 Best's panel of NASCAR experts selected their 20 favorite venues as nominees for 'Best NASCAR Track,' and for the past four weeks, USA Today readers have been voting for their favorites. It was a close race between the winner and runner-up, but in the end it was Watkins Glen International, host of a double header weekend of top tier events, that snagged the title. Martinsville Speedway came in a close second.(see full list at USA Today)(6-27-2015)
New York State Legislature recognizes Watkins Glen: Members of the Watkins Glen International team and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship driver Colin Braun traveled to the State capital this week to meet with legislators and open a New York State Motorsports Exhibit in the Empire State Plaza. In a related move, both houses of the Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo acted on a joint Legislative Resolution to proclaim April 19-25, 2015 as "Motorsports Appreciation Week" across The Empire State. State Senator Tom O'Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, sponsors of the bill, and co-sponsor Assemblyman Chris Friend, were joined by WGI representatives and Braun to help celebrate the contributions of motorsports to New York's economy and culture. During a legislative session, "The Glen" was highlighted for being home to the state's largest sporting event, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend in August, which attracts fans from all 50 states and 16 different countries.(WGI)(4-24-2015)
Watkins Glen President, Michael Printup assumes Americrown role, to continue as President: International Speedway Corporation announced that Watkins Glen International President Michael Printup will assume additional responsibilities within the company, including managerial oversight of Americrown, effective immediately. While continuing in his current role with the historic New York road course, Printup will lead the Americrown team in strategy for profitability, a successful execution of Daytona Rising food and beverage, and enhancing overall value and operations. Printup will also continue with his oversight of Michigan International Speedway, according to an ISC release. "I am very excited to take on this additional responsibility within ISC," Printup said. "I look forward to working closely with all of those involved with Americrown, while moving forward with my role at Watkins Glen International." Americrown, formed in 1989, is the leader in motorsports catering, concessions and merchandise sales and service. Operating at 12 NASCAR-sanctioned tracks nationwide, Americrown serves millions of race fans annually.(WGI)(4-2-2015)
Chris Banker Joins Watkins Glen as Public Relations Manager: Watkins Glen International announced the addition of Chris Banker as Public Relations Manager, effective immediately. Banker comes to WGI by way of New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, N.J., where he served as Manager of Communications for the past two years. Banker will be assigned a wide range of responsibilities in his new role at The Glen. His primary duties will include drafting press releases, managing the media credential process, pitching media on story opportunities, and scheduling on-air appearances with local and regional affiliates for drivers and WGI staff. During event weekends, Banker will assist with the operation of the WGI media center along with pre- and post-race activities. "We are excited to welcome Chris to the Watkins Glen International team and know he will be a valuable asset to us moving forward," WGI President Michael Printup said. A 2012 graduate of York College of Pennsylvania, Banker earned a degree in Public Relations. His previous experience also includes time with Comcast Spectacor, a sports and entertainment firm in Philadelphia, PA.(WGI)(2-26-2015)
Watkins Glen Awarded State Funding for Modernization and Repaving: Watkins Glen International announced that it has been awarded $2.25 million by the State of New York and Governor Andrew Cuomo to assist in modernization efforts and repaving of the historic facility. Watkins Glen International receives the award after being named a Priority Project by the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council (STREDC) in 2014. The grant comes on the heels of $33.5 million in private capital investments at Watkins Glen International over the past 10 years, with an additional $12 million committed for 2015. The investments cement The Glen's position as the premier road racing facility in North America. "We're extremely grateful to have the support of Governor Cuomo, Senator Tom O'Mara, Assemblyman Phil Palmesano and Co-chairs of STREDC Tom Tranter and Harvey Stenger," said Watkins Glen International President Michael Printup. "Watkins Glen International has been a worldwide tourist destination in upstate New York for more than 50 years. With the support of our elected officials, regional council and dedicated race fans around the world, we're poised to continue shining an international spotlight on the Finger Lakes region for another 50 years." Watkins Glen International announced in November its intentions to repave the historic road course following the 2015 Cheez-It 355 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend. The $12 million in private and $2.25 million in public funds will be applied towards infrastructure modernization & marketing during the repaving project.(WGI)(12-12-2014)
Cheez-It returns as sponsor at Watkins Glen: Watkins Glen International and Kellogg Company announced Cheez-It renews its place as the title sponsor of The Glen's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. WGI's marquee event, Cheez-It 355 at The Glen returns August 6-9. This will be the company's third-consecutive year as the race's entitlement sponsor, while the iconic snack brand's parent company, the Kellogg Company, has been involved with NASCAR since 1991. "NASCAR provides a great way for Cheez-It crackers to reach our fans and Watkins Glen provides an amazing venue that is unlike any other," said Melissa Pawlowicz, senior director of integrated promotions for the Kellogg Company. "Cheez-It is proud to be associated with 'The Glen' and to play a role in bringing the excitement of the Cheez-It" 355 to life."(Watkins Glen International)(11-21-2014)
Watkins Glen International Set to Repave in 2015: Watkins Glen International President Michael Printup announced Wednesday that the historic track will conduct a repaving project in the summer of 2015. It is the first time the track will be repaved since 1998. The repave will begin with "The Boot" in July, followed by the short course immediately following the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend in August. The repave is slated for completion in advance of the 2016 race season. "This is a significant project for Watkins Glen International, our competitors, fans and track rental customers," Printup stated. "The repave is a tremendous undertaking and next summer is the right time to begin this historic project and prepare The Glen for the future." Asphalt specialists and engineers conducted a thorough evaluation of The Glen's entire circuit and recommended the current timeline. Further details and project specifics will be released at a later date. As a result of the repave, the Glenora Wine Cellars U.S. Vintage Grand Prix presented by Welliver will take place July 24-26. Information regarding renewals and ticket sales will be shared with customers in the coming weeks. Fans will be able to witness the project from the Fans R1st Viewing Area in the Argetsinger Grandstand. That area will continue to be free and open to the public through the end of October. Fans will also be able to follow the progress of the project via Facebook, Twitter and TheGlen.com.(WGI)(11-5-2014)
Watkins Glen plans on safety improvements: This year's Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International once again also featured a violent multi-car wreck -- something that has been a trend over the past few years at WGI. This time the incident occurred exiting the Carousel corner, when Ryan Newman's #31 hit the Armco barrier before shooting across the track and into the path of Michael McDowell's #95. After the two cars made contact, McDowell's car lifted in the air, hitting another Armco barrier, leaving a hole in the wall and causing a lengthy delay as crews made repairs. While both drivers were able to walk from their cars, Newman -- among other drivers -- heavily criticized the state of safety around WGI, saying the track has not adapted to the changes in safety developed over the years. Throughout the years, Watkins Glen has made a number of changes to the track, run-off areas and walls with the goal being to produce safer racing, including in the area of the track where Newman's incident occurred. After hard wrecks by the late Jason Leffler in the Nationwide Series and Sam Hornish Jr., Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton in the Sprint Cup Series, the track paved the grass that was next to the track and adjusted the wall and barriers where both Leffler and Hornish had hit.
For WGI track president Michael Printup, "safety is obviously paramount" to WGI, saying the best thing about the Newman-McDowell incident was that all drivers walked away and nobody had to go to the hospital. While admitting there always is room for improvement and innovation, Printup said he does not fully agree with Newman's tough words. "I think Ryan's a little off in his harsh criticism, because it that was a SAFER wall -- like Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. said, you don't want to be hitting concrete," he pointed out. "Concrete stops you, the barrier gave; but there are definitely issues we have to address." For the record, Earnhardt Jr. actually called for concrete and SAFER barriers in that section of track, saying the Armco barriers were not enough.
"I'd love to have some concrete walls and SAFER barriers but it's a lot of concrete that would have to be put up here," Earnhardt Jr. said during the race's red-flag period that day. "We've been running through guardrails for 50 years, so I don't think they've got them perfected. They do the best they can and we're going way faster here than we used to go and so when the car bounces back out on the race track it's hard to avoid. And you're going to get slung into the guardrail and hit that thing harder than you would expect, but I don't know what else they can do. It would be too expensive to put walls around it and SAFER barriers and all that stuff. You trust in what they're doing and I'm glad nobody is hurt."
Printup indicated after that after the race at The Glen, he flew to International Speedway Corp. headquarters in Daytona Beach, Fla., and spent three days working with ISC president John Saunders and the design team to address the issue. "We'll get the University of Nebraska up there, we'll get NASCAR up there, we're going to evaluate everything we can," he said. "We'll do whatever we need to do to make sure it is the safest track we can." While driver input is always a valuable resource when looking at safety innovations, Printup indicated they have to marry that up with the University of Nebraska safety experts, and let them take the lead. Hosting only one NASCAR race a year, Watkins Glen also features a host of other racing series, all of which use "the boot" section of the track that NASCAR does not. Any safety innovations implemented with an eye to the NASCAR weekend will also have implications for the other racing series as well. "There was some curbing there that made the back of that car hop. A lot people can't see it. It's a black-and-white checkered curbing that is about a seven-inch curb rise. So when the car hits it, it pops it up. So that was one thing we have to look real hard at and see if maybe that curbing doesn't need to be there. But for the road-course guys who race the boot, they want that curbing there. So, we have to figure out that happy medium." Serving as track president since June 2009, Printup understands that his lone NASCAR weekend each year has to not only put on a good show on the track, but also be accommodating for everyone involved -- and the results show his team is doing its best to get the job done.(in part from FoxSports)(8-22-2014)
Watkins Glen medical center named for Ernie Thurston: Watkins Glen International announced the dedication of their infield care center to area native and long-time safety and emergency services leader, Ernie Thurston. The naming of the Ernie Thurston Medical Center took place Friday morning at a ribbon cutting ceremony. After spending a lifetime in the service of others, Thurston passed away in November. A native of Watkins Glen, NY, Thurston returned to his hometown after serving as an Airman First Class in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War. Shortly after his return, Thurston served as deputy sheriff and fire coordinator for Schuyler County, and held public office as a county legislator. In 1985, Thurston became the Director of Race Operation at Watkins Glen International. Thurston's wealth of knowledge and passion for safety and emergency services lead him to Daytona Beach, FL and International Speedway Corporation headquarters, where he oversaw all race facilities and events as Corporate Coordinator of Track Safety and Emergency Services. After many years of service, Thurston was posthumously named the 2014 Jim Bockoven Lifetime Achievement Award winner by NASCAR. The Jim Bockoven Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the contributions of an individual made to the improvement of track services over the course of a career spanning 10 or more years. This award is not awarded annually, therefore the recipient's contributions must be considered to be exemplary.(WGI)(8-9-2014)
Rusty Wallace to join Watkins Glen Walk of Fame: Auto racing legend Rusty Wallace will be inducted into the Watkins Glen Drivers Walk of Fame during a ceremony at 4:30pm Friday. The Rusty Wallace marker in the Drivers Walk of Fame is located in the sidewalk front of Unique Country Boutique, 212 N. Franklin St. in Watkins Glen. Wallace, who retired in 2005, had a career that included 55 NASCAR championship event victories, the 1989 NASCAR Winston Cup championship, the 1991 IROC Championship and the 1983 American Speed Association Championship. He was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in February 2013. The Drivers Walk of Fame, located in the sidewalks of Watkins Glen, honors the drivers who have competed in Watkins Glen events since the first race in 1948.(Elmira Star-Gazette)(8-6-2014)
Happy Hour Practice:
Friday, October 21, 2016, 4:30pm/et
TV: NBCSN 4:30pm/et