Weekend schedule for Watkins Glen

NASCAR heads to Watkins Glen International this weekend for a full schedule of racing. It will be the first time back at the 2.45-mile road course since 2019.

The ARCA Menards Series starts off the action Friday evening. The Camping World Truck Series and the Xfinity Series compete back to back Saturday and the Cup Series closes out the activities Sunday afternoon.

Chase Elliott has won the last two Cup Series events at Watkins Glen and is considered the favorite heading into the weekend. Kyle Busch and Elliott have the most wins at Watkins Glen among active drivers, with two victories each. Brad Keselowski will start on the pole with teammates Joey Logano starting in second and Ryan Blaney in third.

There have been 26 Xfinity Series races at Watkins Glen with 15 different race winners. In 2019, Austin Cindric became the youngest winner in the history of the track. He was 20 years, 11 months and one day old. JR Motorsports driver Justin Allgaier will start on the pole.

The Camping World Truck Series returns to Watkins Glen for the regular-season finale Saturday afternoon. It’s the series’ first time back at the track since 2000 and Austin Hill will lead the way from the pole. There have only been five previous Truck Series races at the track with four different winners. Ron Hornaday won the first two races, going to victory lane in 1996 driving a Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolet, and again in 1997 driving for Billy Hess Racing. Joe Ruttman won in 1998, Ron Fellows in 1999 and Greg Biffle won the last Truck race held at Watkins Glen in 2000.

There will be no practice or qualifying for the Cup, Xfinity and Truck Series.
The starting lineups were determined by the following metrics formula established by NASCAR.

• 25 percent: Driver’s finishing position from the previous race
• 25 percent: Car owner’s finishing position from the previous race
• 35 percent: Team owner points ranking
• 15 percent: Fastest lap from the previous race

All times are Eastern.

Friday, August 6

3:15 p.m. – 4 p.m.: ARCA Menards Series Practice/Qualifying
6 p.m.: ARCA Series Clean Harbors 100 at The Glen (41 Laps, 100.45 Miles)
TV/Radio: FS1, MRN

Saturday, August 7

12:05 p.m.: Truck Series Driver Intros (Drivers standing by trucks)
12:30 p.m.: Truck Series United Rentals 176 (Stages 20/45/72 Laps, 176.4 Miles)
Pole: Austin Hill
TV/Radio: FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

3:30 p.m.: Xfinity Series Driver Intros (Drivers standing by cars)
4 p.m.: Xfinity Series Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey 200 (Stages 20/40/82 Laps, 200.9 Miles)
Pole: Justin Allgaier
Defending Winner: Austin Cindric
TV/Radio: CNBC, NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Sunday, August 8

2:20 p.m.: Cup Series Driver Intros (Drivers standing by cars)
3 p.m.: Cup Series Go Bowling at The Glen (Stages 20/40/90 Laps, 220.5 Miles)
Pole: Brad Keselowski
Defending Winner: Chase Elliott
TV/Radio: NBCSN, NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Watkins Glen Data

Season Race #: 23 of 36 (08-08-21)
Track Size: 2.45-miles
Track Type: Multi-Elevational Road Course
Number of Turns: 7
Race Length: 90 laps / 220.5 miles
Stage 1 & 2 Lengths: 20 laps (each)
Final Stage Length: 50 laps

Watkins Glen: Qualifying Data

Track qualifying record: Marcos Ambrose, Ford (129.491 mph, 68.113 secs.) on 08-09-14.
2019 pole winner: Chase Elliott, Chevrolet (127.297 mph, 69.287 secs.) on 08-04-19.

  • Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick lead all active NCS drivers in starts at Watkins Glen with 19 starts each.
  • Chase Elliott leads the series among active drivers in average starting position at Watkins Glen with a 6.000 in four starts.
  • Five of the 22 NCS pole winners at Watkins Glen are active this weekend.  Kyle Busch (2), Chase Elliott (1), Denny Hamlin (1), AJ Allmendinger (1), and Kurt Busch (1).
  • Dale Earnhardt, Mark Martin, and Jeff Gordon lead the series in poles at Watkins Glen with three each.
  • Kyle Busch leads all active NCS drivers in poles at Watkins Glen with two.
  • Five drivers have won multiple poles in the NCS at Watkins Glen.  Kyle Busch is the only active driver with multiple WGI poles (two).
  • The youngest NCVS Watkins Glen pole winner is Chase Elliott (08/4/2019 at 23 years, 8 months, 7 days).
  • Seven different manufacturers have won at least one NCS pole at Watkins Glen.  They are led by Chevrolet with 15 poles, followed by Ford (8), Toyota (four), Dodge, Mercury, Oldsmobile and Pontiac (one each).

Watkins Glen: Race Data

Track race record: Martin Truex Jr., Toyota (104.132 mph, 02:07:03) on 08-06-17.
2019 race winner: Chase Elliott, Chevrolet (98.523 mph, 02:14:17) on 08-04-19.
2020 pole/race winner: The series did not compete in 2020 due to the pandemic.

  • Seven of the 23 NCS winners at Watkins Glen are active this weekend.  Chase Elliott (2), Kyle Busch (2), Martin Truex Jr. (1), Denny Hamlin (1), Joey Logano (1), AJ Allmendinger (1), and Kevin Harvick (1).
  • Tony Stewart leads the NCS in wins at Watkins Glen with five victories (2002, ’04, ’05, ’07 and ’09).
  • Chase Elliott and Kyle Busch lead all active NCS drivers in wins at Watkins Glen with two wins each.
  • Consecutive WGI Race Winners:  Jeff Gordon (1997, 1998, 1999), Mark Martin (1993, 1994, 1995), Chase Elliott (2018, 2019), Marcos Ambrose (2011, 2012), and Tony Stewart (2004, 2005).
  • The youngest NCS Watkins Glen winner is Chase Elliott (08/05/2018 at 22 years, 8 months, 8 days).
  • A total of 10 of the 37 NCS races at Watkins Glen have been won from the pole or first starting position, making it the most proficient starting position in the field at 27%.
  • Kurt Busch leads the series among active NCS drivers with the most starts at Watkins Glen without visiting Victory Lane at 19 starts.
  • 18 different organizations have won in the NCS at Watkins Glen and nine are active this weekend.  Hendrick Motorsports (8), Joe Gibbs Racing (7), Roush Fenway Racing (3), Richard Childress Racing (2), Richard Petty Motorsports (2), JTG Daugherty Racing (1), Team Penske (1), Stewart-Haas Racing (1) and Wood Brothers Racing (1).
  • Six different manufacturers have won in the NCS at Watkins Glen.  It is led by Chevrolet with 19 victories, followed by Ford with eight, Pontiac and Toyota with four each and Buick and Mercury each have one.
  • Erik Jones leads all active NCS drivers in average finishing position at WGI with a 6.333 in three starts.
  • Kyle Busch leads the NCS in laps led at Watkins Glen among active drivers with 247 in 15 starts.

Top 12 Driver Ratings at Watkins Glen

Chase Elliott – 120.4
Kyle Busch – 110.5
Erik Jones – 104.8
Martin Truex Jr – 99.9
Brad Keselowski – 99.4
AJ Allmendinger – 94.9
Kurt Busch – 92.9
Daniel Suarez – 92.5
Kevin Harvick – 90.5
Denny Hamlin – 90.0
Kyle Larson – 88.2
Ryan Blaney – 85.4

Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2019 races (15 total) among active drivers at Watkins Glen International. Series did not compete at WGI in 2020 due to the pandemic.



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

Angela Campbell
A native of Charlotte, NC, Angela (Angie) was first introduced to racing by her father. An avid fan of NASCAR, she found a way to combine her love of racing with her passion for writing. Angie is also an award-winning member of the National Motorsports Press Association. Follow her on Twitter @angiecampbell_ for the latest NASCAR news and feature stories.

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