FORD PERFORMANCE NASCAR: WATKINS GLEN
After being forced to reschedule last year’s Watkins Glen races, NASCAR returns to the historic road course for a tripleheader as all three top series will be in action. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will kick off a Saturday twinbill at 12:30 p.m. with the NASCAR XFINITY Series immediately following at 4 p.m. The NASCAR Cup Series will conclude the weekend with Sunday’s 3 p.m. green flag.
This Week’s Schedule:
Saturday, August 7 – NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, 12:30 p.m. (FS1)
Saturday, August 7 – NASCAR XFINITY Series, 4 p.m. (NBCSN)
Sunday, August 8 – NASCAR Cup Series, 3 p.m. (NBCSN)
FORD IN THE MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES AT WATKINS GLEN
- Ford has 8 all-time series wins at Watkins Glen.
- Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick have series victories at Watkins Glen.
- Mark Martin and Marcos Ambrose are the only Ford drivers to win this race more than once.
FORD IN THE NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT WATKINS GLEN
- Ford has 9 series victories at Watkins Glen.
- Ford has won 7 of the last 8 series races held at Watkins Glen.
- Team Penske has won this event 4 of the last 5 years.
FORD IN THE NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES AT WATKINS GLEN
- Ford has 2 series victory at Watkins Glen.
- Joe Ruttman (1998) and Greg Biffle (2000) have Ford wins at the track.
- This marks the first series race at Watkins Glen since Biffle won in 2000.
FIVE FORD DRIVERS CURRENTLY IN PLAYOFFS
Aric Almirola’s victory two weeks ago at New Hampshire Motor Speedway gives Ford five drivers who have at least one NASCAR Cup Series win this season, joining Michael McDowell, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney. Those five drivers are ticketed for the playoffs next month while Kevin Harvick is currently in position to advance on points with only four races remaining in the regular season.
FORD LOOKING TO CONTINUE WATKINS GLEN SUCCESS
Ford has 19 combined wins at Watkins Glen in NASCAR’s top three touring series combined and has been particularly successful of late in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The Blue Oval has won seven of the last eight races contested, including the last time the circuit visited in 2019 when Austin Cindric took the checkered flag. Team Penske has been dominant as well during that time with Joey Logano winning four times in the two series combined and Brad Keselowski once.
The first time Ford won a NASCAR Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International was when Marvin Panch drove the Wood Brothers to victory on July 18, 1965. There were only 19 cars in the field that day and it proved to be a Ford show as all 66 laps were led by three drivers sporting the Blue Oval. Ned Jarrett, who finished second, led the first lap before Junior Johnson passed him on lap 2. Johnson led the pack for 12 circuits until his engine blew, which enabled Panch to inherit a lead he never gave up, going the final 53 laps and making it first to the checkered flag. The win was Panch’s fourth of the season and next-to-last in his career, which ended with 17 victories.
Mark Martin became the first driver to win three straight NASCAR Cup Series races at Watkins Glen International, and he capped that streak on Aug. 13, 1995 after passing Wally Dallenbach, Jr. on lap 84 of the 90-lap event. Martin, who led a race-high 61 circuits overall, held off the road racing specialist to win by one second. That victory completed a three-year run that saw him not only sit on the pole every time but lead 183-of-270 laps (68%).
When Chemung, NY, native Geoffrey Bodine took the checkered flag in the No. 7 QVC Ford Thunderbird on Aug. 11, 1996 he established a strategy that hadn’t been used to that point. He, along with crew chief Paul Andrews, employed an “only stop when you have to” strategy and that resulted in making only two stops in the 90-lap event, compared to three for everyone else. Bodine passed Ken Schrader with eight laps to go and then held off Terry Labonte over the final laps to win. That marked the 18th and final victory of his NASCAR Cup Series career, and it came in front of his hometown fans.
One of the all-time classic finishes at Watkins Glen International came when Marcos Ambrose went slip sliding away on the final lap, but still resulted in him winning the NASCAR Cup Series race for the second straight time on August 12, 2012. In a race that had more twists and turns over the final three laps than many can remember in recent years, Ambrose was the one who survived a massive streak of oil that had been laid down on the track, allowing him to pass Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski for Ford’s third win of the season. Busch appeared to be headed toward victory, but as he came into turn one on the final lap, he slipped in some oil and got loose. Keselowski came up from behind and hit Busch, sending him spinning off the track. A battle between Ambrose and Keselowski ensued from that point with both drivers trying to avoid the slickness that had covered the course. Ambrose followed Keselowski through the grass at one point, but was able to get by in the treacherous carousel when Keselowski slid one final time.
Joey Logano became the first driver to sweep a NASCAR XFINITY/Cup weekend at Watkins Glen International when he did it in 2015. Fuel mileage ended up deciding the Cup race as leader Kevin Harvick ran out on the last turn, which allowed Logano to pass him and make it to the finish line first. The win was Logano’s first on a road course and also marked the first series triumph for car owner Roger Penske at the historic track.
FORD NASCAR CUP SERIES WINNERS AT WATKINS GLEN
1965 – Marvin Panch
1993 – Mark Martin
1994 – Mark Martin
1995 – Mark Martin
1996 – Geoffrey Bodine
2011 – Marcos Ambrose
2012 – Marcos Ambrose
2015 – Joey Logano
FORD NASCAR XFINITY SERIES WINNERS AT WATKINS GLEN
1993 – Bill Elliott
2008 – Marcos Ambrose
2012 – Carl Edwards
2013 – Brad Keselowski
2014 – Marcos Ambrose
2015 – Joey Logano
2016 – Joey Logano
2018 – Joey Logano
2019 – Austin Cindric
FORD NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES WINNERS AT WATKINS GLEN
1998 – Joe Ruttman
2000 – Greg Biffle