This Week in Motorsports: August 2-8, 2021
· NCS/NXS/NCWTS/ARCA: Watkins Glen International – August 6-8
PLANO, Texas (August 4, 2021) – After two weeks off, NASCAR is back on track turning left and right at Watkins Glen International. All three national series and the ARCA Menards Series will take on the Upstate New York road course after the 2020 NASCAR race weekend was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
NASCAR National Series – NCS| NXS| NCWTS
Truex strong at Watkins Glen… Martin Truex Jr. has continued to run strong at road courses and he has been stellar the last three races at Watkins Glen. Truex scored his first win at the track in 2017 and followed it up with back-to-back runner-up finishes in 2018 and 2019.
Hamlin continues to lead… After another top-10 finish at the series’ last race in New Hampshire, Denny Hamlin extended his points lead to 13 points with just four races remaining in the regular season. Hamlin is a previous winner at Watkins Glen, scoring the victory in 2016 after leading the final 10 laps in the No. 11 Camry.
Toyota Supra drivers look to continue streak… Since the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) race at Circuit of the Americas in May, Toyota drivers have been on a winning streak – scoring victories in seven of the last nine events to climb within two points of the NXS manufacturer’s championship lead. Toyota looks to continue the streak with five Supras in the field this weekend, including Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Daniel Hemric, Brandon Jones, Harrison Burton and Ty Gibbs, along with Sam Hunt Racing’s Kris Wright.
Nemechek, regular season champion… Regardless of the results this weekend at Watkins Glen, John Hunter Nemechek has clinched the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) regular season championship. In his first season for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM), Nemechek has scored five victories, eight top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. With the 15 Playoff points earned for the NCWTS regular season champion, Nemechek currently has 49 Playoff points, more than double of any other driver.
Playoff Bound… Watkins Glen is this season’s final regular season event for the Truck Series, and Toyota has already secured four of the 10 berths with Nemechek, Ben Rhodes and Austin Hill qualifying on race wins, while Matt Crafton has clinched based on his points position. Toyota drivers Stewart Friesen and Chandler Smith are ninth and 10th, respectively, on the Playoff points board with fellow Tundra racer Derek Kraus in 11th – just 40 points back. The final Playoff-eligible Toyota driver, Johnny Sauter, will need a win at Watkins Glen to secure a spot in the 2021 Playoffs.
NASCAR Regional Series – ARCA
Heim and Gibbs continue championship battle… The battle continues between Ty Gibbs and Corey Heim in the ARCA Menards Series. After late-race contact at Winchester (Indiana) Speedway, Gibbs earned his seventh win of the season and grew his points lead to seven points over Heim. Both Gibbs and Heim will compete in two races this weekend. Heim will run his second-career Truck Series event on Saturday, while Gibbs will race in the Xfinity Series race later that afternoon.
National series drivers competing in the ARCA race… Both Brandon Jones and Austin Hill will look to continue to learn about racing on road courses as both will compete in Friday’s ARCA Menards Series event to gain additional experience. Hill will compete for his current Truck Series team – Hattori Racing Enterprises, while Jones will be behind the wheel of a Venturini Motorsports Toyota Camry.
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