Race: Go Bowling at The Glen
Date: August 8th @ 3:00pm
Venue: Watkins Glen International
2020 Winner: Chase Elliott (2:14:17)
Watkins Glen. Opened in 1956, this 3.4 mile asphalt 11-turn amoeba raceway is a stark contrast to most other NASCAR races. “The Glen” brings a different dynamic with 1 real open way for drivers to open up and much of the rest of the race encompassing navigating the turns and mapping out a strategy against the other racers for position. Starting in 2021, a number of additional road courses make drivers get more skilled at these ‘turn centric’ courses, requiring less raw speed and more work on turns, braking, and maneuverability.
Chase Elliott (sixth selection this year) – Chase finished 13th here in 2017 and thought, I think I can improve off that. He turned around and finished 1st here in 2018 and thought, that’s perfect. Then he finished 1st again in 2019.
Kyle Larson (fifth selection this year) — After three consecutive wins at Charlotte, Sonoma, and Nashville, he cooled off a touch—finishing outside the top 15 in two of his next five races. At Watkins he landed in the top 10 in 2018 and 2019.
High Risk/High Reward
Ryan Blaney (seventh selection this year) — Ryan has finished among the top seven in four of the last five races. He comes to Watkins Glen where he has finished among the top 12 each time since 2017. The future for Blaney shall be curious – he switched to Team Penske along with Jeremy Bullins as the two were on Wood Brothers Racing together previously. It’s been a fantastic duo as Ryan keeps improving each year up until this year when Roger Penske paired Blaney with Todd Gordon. Blaney seemed to jump forward even more but Gordon is retiring and Blaney will be searching for a new crew chief for 2022.
Kyle Busch (fifth selection this year). Kyle had a very slow start to this season but he’s rebounding now with top three finishes in four of his last five races (the other finish was a 37th place accident two weeks ago at New Hampshire). Kyle held nothing but top 10’s from 2015-2018 until he finished 11th in 2019.
The Dark Horse
Erik Jones (sixth selection this year) — Despite being 25th in Cup Series points, Erik is just about best Watkins has seen over the last three years. 5th in 2018 and 4th in 2019. Erik is just as much a favorite as he is a dark horse here.
Fun Fact: The race was not held here last year for the first time since 1985.
Favorite: Average Finish 13th (34th Percent)
High Risk/High Reward: Average Finish 18th (46th Percent)
Dark Horse: Average Finish 18th (46th Percent)