Date: Sunday, August 14th, 2011
Time: 1pm ET
Track: Watkins Glen International
Laps: 90 ; Miles: 220.5
Broadcast: TV – ESPN ; Radio – MRN/Sirius XM NASCAR
Sunday: High-72°F ; Low-62°F
60% Chance of Rain
Winds SSE at 7mph
Courtesy of Weather.com
-Montoya has had limited success this season, posting just six top-10 finishes in 21 starts. He’s had only two top-10s in the last 15 races. Expect big things from Montoya this weekend.
-There is no question Tony Stewart has had superb success at the Glen, since he’s captured this race five times in the last nine years. In fact, Stewart had either finished first or second six straight years prior to 2010 when he placed seventh.
-With thundershowers wreaking havoc, the 2009 race at Watkins Glen was delayed one day, but that didn’t slow down Stewart, as he conserved enough fuel and easily held off Marcos Ambrose in the closing laps to become the road course king at this track. Ambrose, who’s finished third and second the past two years, had won the Nationwide Series race two days prior.
-Stewart, who started 13th, led twice for a race-high 34 laps, as he posted his 36th career Sprint Cup title by 2.969 seconds. In 12 races at Watkins Glen, Stewart has 10 top-10 finishes along with his five wins.
-In 2006, Kevin Harvick won for the seventh time in his career, as he clipped Stewart at the finish line. Harvick, who reclaimed the lead on lap 87 of the 90-lap event, took the checkered flag, 0.892 of a second ahead of Stewart. Harvick, who started in the seventh spot on the grid, led twice for a total of 28 laps, while pole sitter Kurt Busch, who placed 19th, led for a race-high 38 laps. Harvick now boasts 17 Sprint Cup titles.
-Watkins Glen International has hosted this race since 1986. Watkins Glen hosted its first NASCAR race in August 1957, the sixth road-course event for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The Glen can be considered the superspeedway of all road courses. It features long straightaways, corners with a lot of banking and its configuration allows the drivers to attain high speeds. A driver also has plenty of opportunities to pass.
-Although Stewart has dominated this race in recent years, Jeff Gordon is also stellar at the Glen, with four wins at Watkins Glen and nine overall road-course victories. The duo have combined to win nine of the last 14 at Watkins Glen. Gordon has nine top-10 finishes in 19 attempts at Watkins Glen.
-The pole sitter has done fairly well at Watkins Glen, winning nine of the 28 races. In fact, the top-three positions have recorded 16 victories. Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt and Gordon are all three-time pole winners. Steve Park’s win in 2000 was the closest in race history, as he edged Mark Martin by 0.384 seconds. 19 of the 28 races have been won from a top-10 position.
-There are five racetracks on the current Sprint Cup Series schedule that Jimmie Johnson has yet to win: Watkins Glen: 0-for-9 with a best finish of 3rd in 8/2007, Michigan: 0-for-18 with a best finish of 3rd in 8/2007, Homestead: 0-for-10 with a best finish of 2nd in 11/2004 & 11/2010, Chicagoland: 0-for-9 with a best finish of 2nd in 7/2004 & 7/2008. Johnson finished third in the inaugural race at Kentucky in July.
-Adam Richman from the Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food Nation” will serve as Grand Marshal at Watkins Glen.
-The next Sprint Cup Series race is the August 21st running of the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Kevin Harvick is the defending race winner.
Fantasy Racing Picks:
Target: Marcos Ambrose, Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, and Juan Pablo Montoya
Avoid: Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer, and Jeff Burton
Analysis: Ambrose has top-fives in each of his three starts. Stewart has won five times. Edwards has top-10 runs in his last five starts.
Bargain: Robby Gordon has top-10 talent at road courses. Andy Lally has driven the No. 71 the last two years, with a best finish of P18 last year.
#00 David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL) Toyota/Aaron’s Dream Machine
#1 Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO) Chevrolet/McDonald’s
#2 Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI) Dodge/Miller Lite
#4 Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA) Toyota/Red Bull
#5 Mark Martin (Batesville, AR) Chevrolet/GoDaddy.com
#6 David Ragan (Unadilla, GA) Ford/UPS
#7 Robby Gordon (Orange, CA) Dodge/Speed Energy
#9 Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia) Ford/Stanley
#11 Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA) Toyota/FedEx Ground
#13 Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA) Toyota/GEICO
#14 Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN) Chevrolet/Office Depot/Mobil 1
#16 Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA) Ford/Valvoline Nextgen
#17 Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI) Ford/Crown Royal
#18 Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV) Toyota/M&M’s
#20 Joey Logano (Middletown, CT) Toyota/Home Depot
#22 Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV) Dodge/Shell/Pennzoil
#24 Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA) Chevrolet/DuPont
#27 Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI) Chevrolet/Menards/Pitts. Paint
#29 Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA) Chevrolet/Budweiser
#31 Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA) Chevrolet/Caterpillar
#32 Andrew Ranger (Roxton Pond, Canada) Ford/Bully Hill Vineyards
#33 Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS) Chevrolet/Cheerios/Hamb. Helper
#34 David Gilliland (Riverside, CA) Ford/TBA
#35 Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH) Chevrolet/TBA
#36 Ron Fellows (Mississauga, Ontario) Chevrolet/Golden Corral
#37 Scott Speed (Manteca, CA) Ford/TBA
#38 Terry Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX) Ford/Long John Silver’s
#39 Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN) Chevrolet/U.S. Army
#42 * Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia) Chevrolet/Target
#43 A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA) Ford/Best Buy
#46 Brian Simo (Carlsbad, CA) Ford/Red Line
#47 Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX) Toyota/TBA
#48 Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA) Chevrolet/Lowe’s
#50 T.J. Bell (Reno, VA) Chevrolet/Green Smoke
#51 Boris Said (Carlsbad, CA) Chevrolet/Phoenix Construction
#55 J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ) Ford/TBA
#56 Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ) Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts
#60 Mike Skinner (Susanville, CA) Toyota/Big Red
#66 Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ) Toyota/HP Racing
#71 Andy Lally (Northport, NY) Ford/Interstate Moving Services
#77 P.J. Jones (Torrance, CA) Dodge/Speed Energy
#78 Regan Smith (Cato, NY) Chevrolet/Furniture Row Racing
#83 Brian Vickers (Thomasville, NC) Toyota/Red Bull
#87 Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL) Toyota/TBA
#88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC) Chevrolet/Amp Energy/Nat’l Guard
#99 Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO) Ford/Scotts Ortho
For all your post race analysis, continue to follow thepacelap.com, as Branden and I will do our best to make you feel like you are part of the action! Have fun this weekend!