Driver Handicaps: Watkins Glen

44256Jpg
Share:
This weekend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Watkins Glen International for Sunday's Centurion Boats at The Glen. To help you make your fantasy racing picks, RacingOne brings you our weekly detailed look at some of the field for the 90-lap event.

Who's HOT at Watkins Glen
• Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon lead all drivers with four wins each.
• Denny Hamlin has a 6.0 average finish in two starts.
• Robby Gordon has finished in the top five in the last three races.
• Kevin Harvick has one win and three top 10s in his last five starts.

Keep an Eye on at Watkins Glen
• Kyle Busch won his first Sorint Cup road race in June at Infineon.
• Jimmie Johnson scored his best road course finish (third) in this event last year.
• The road course "ringers" - Ron Fellows and Boris Said.
• Carl Edwards is coming off consecutive to 10s at The Glen.
• Marcos Ambrose, who will attempt his third Sprint Cup start, has captured four top 10s in five Nationwide road course races.
• Ryan Newman has finished in the top 10 in three of his six starts at The Glen.
• Juan Pablo Montoya has one Sprint Cup road course win (Sonoma) in three starts.

Track Performers
Tony Stewart has competed in 19 road course events and his 8.2 average finish tops all drivers. Jeff Gordon, who has an 10.8 average finish, leads all drivers in wins (9) and laps led (664) in 31 starts. Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards are the only other drivers entered in the Centurion Boats at The Glen that have an average finish of 15.0 or better on road courses.

Watkins Glen Rookie Report
Patrick Carpentier and Regan Smith are the only rookies to have made a Cup start at Watkins Glen International. Former open wheel driver, Carpentier, drove the No. 10 at The Glen last year to a 22nd-place finish and Smith piloted the No. 01 to a 37th-place finish after starting 10th. Both of them have also made Nationwide starts at the 2.45-mile road course. Carpentier pulled a double last year, finishing 19th in the Nationwide race and Smith has raced twice at The Glen in the Nationwide Series in 2005 and 2006. His best finish was 19th in 2005. Rookie Standings

Qualifying Tidbits
There have been 14 different pole winners at Watkins Glen International, with qualifying rained out five times, including three times in the last four years. Kurt Busch is the most recent pole winner at The Glen, taking the position in the 2006 race. Prior to that Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin are the only other active drivers to have won poles at the road course. Gordon has won two pole awards at the track, while Martin is tied with Dale Earnhardt for the most poles at the track with three. Gordon is the current qualifying record holder with his 2003 lap of 124.580 mph. Eight of the races have been won from the pole position and all but seven races have been won from a starting position within the top 10. Past Pole Winners | Starting Positions of Watkins Glen Winners

Watkins Glen Loop Data Stat Leaders (2005-2007)
*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Tony Stewart
1. Tony Stewart
1. Tony Stewart - 3.3
2. Denny Hamlin
2. Patrick Carpentier
2. Denny Hamlin - 7.8
3. Jeff Gordon
3. Juan Pablo Montoya
3. Jimmie Johnson - 7.9
4. Robby Gordon
4. Robby Gordon
4. Jeff Gordon - 9.6
5. Jimmie Johnson
5. Kevin Harvick
5. Robby Gordon - 11.9
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Tony Stewart - 264
1. Robby Gordon - 83
1. Tony Stewart - 137.9
2. Jimmie Johnson - 237
2. Ryan Newman - 76
2. Denny Hamlin - 112.1
3. Kevin Harvick - 202
3. Tony Stewart - 73
3. Jeff Gordon - 108.2
4. Jeff Gordon - 196
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 69
4. Robby Gordon - 106.3
4. Robby Gordon - 196
5. Kurt Busch - 67
5. Jimmie Johnson - 104.5


*Fastest Early In a Run: Ranks each driver during the first 25 percent of laps run since a pit stop.
*Fastest Late In a Run: Ranks each driver during last 25 percent of laps run since a pit stop.
*Quality Passes: Passing a car running in the Top 15 while under a green flag.
*Driver Rating : Formula combining the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.


RacingOne Staff Picks

Jeff Wackerlin: Jeff Gordon
Pete Pistone: Robby Gordon
Rachael West: Kyle Busch
Kym Opalenik: Tony Stewart

Top 20 Driver Notes - Based on Current Standings

1. Kyle Busch: Busch captured his first two NASCAR road course victories this season at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez (Nationwide) and Infineon Raceway (Sprint Cup). His win at Infineon lowered his overall average finish to 15.6 in seven Cup road course starts. This weekend Busch will be shooting for his third consecutive top 10 at Watkins Glen when he makes his first start at the track with Joe Gibbs Racing.

2. Dale Earnhardt Jr: In 2006, Earnhardt Jr ended a streak of three consecutive, and only, top 10s at Watkins Glen with an 18th-place finish. In the three-race top 10 run, Junior posted an average finish of 6.0 and led a combined 12 laps. Last year Earnhardt finished 42nd after his No. 8 Chevrolet lost an engine. This week he will look to get back on track at The Glen when he makes his first track start with Hendrick Motorsports. He will make that start in a brand new car, chassis No. 88-514.

3. Carl Edwards: Edwards is coming off two consecutive top 10s at Watkins Glen International. His fifth-place finish in this event last season is his only top five in seven road course starts. This weekend he will shoot for his fifth Cup Series road course top 10 by driving the same car (chassis No. RK-482) that finished ninth in June at Infineon.

4. Jimmie Johnson: Johnson captured his best Sprint Cup road course finish last season at Watkins Glen International when he took the checkered flag in third. It marked his third top five at The Glen and fifth overall top 10 in road course competition. This weekend Johnson will be driving the same car (chassis No. 442) that finished 15th at Infineon in June.

5. Jeff Burton:Watkins Glen International is Burton's worst track on the circuit when it comes to finishing average. In 2005, Burton finished 43rd after he crashed in Turn 1 on lap 30. The finish was his worst at WGI and it came in his first track start with Richard Childress Racing. Burton will be looking to lower his WGI average finish of 21.3 by racing the same car (chassis No. 249) that finished 13th at Infineon in June.

6. Jeff Gordon: Gordon has the most Sprint Cup wins on the road courses with nine. He is tied with Tony Stewart for the most victories at The Glen with four. Gordon is first in laps led at WGI with 227 and second in poles (2), and top-10 finishes (8). Since winning at Watkins Glen in 2001, Gordon has posted an average finish of 18.7.

7. Kasey Kahne: Kahne has made four starts at The Glen with a best finish of 14th coming in his debut there in the 2004 race. Since then, his finishes have continued to get worse, with a 26th-place finish in the COT's first race at the track in 2007. Kahne's average finish at The Glen is 19.8. He finished 33rd at Infineon in June.

8. Greg Biffle: Biffle has been fairly successful in all three top NASCAR series at The Glen. He won a Craftsman Truck Series race there from the pole in 2000, has posted two top-10 finishes in the Nationwide Series and posted his first top-10 finish at the road course in the Cup Series last year. In five Cup Glen starts, Biffle has an average finish of 30.2. The No. 16 team will bring Chassis RK 497 this weekend. It was last raced at Infineon in June to an 11th-place finish.

9. Tony Stewart: Stewart returns to The Glen as the defending race winner after winning the race last year from the fifth-starting position. Not only is he the defending winner, Stewart is tied with Jeff Gordon for all-time winners at the road course, having won four races in his last six starts at the 2.45-mile road course. He won the 2005 race from the pole, leading a record setting 83 of the races 92 laps en route to the victory. In nine total starts at the track, Stewart has finished in the top 10 in all but two races. One of those finishes outside the top 10 was 11th, while the second was a 26th-place result in 2001. He has led a total of 190 laps in five races at the track and has the best pre-race driver rating of 137.9.

10. Denny Hamlin: Hamlin has made two starts at Watkins Glen. In his debut there in 2006, Hamlin started and finished 10th and last year, battled for the victory most of the day. He battled Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart throughout the race and benefitted from Gordon and Edwards' late race spins to score the runner-up finish behind teammate Stewart. Hamlin will pilot Chassis 181 in Sunday's race. The car will be making its second start of the season after being driven to a 27th-place finish at Infineon.

11. Kevin Harvick: Harvick is a past winner at The Glen, taking the victory in the 2006 race from the seventh starting position. He has three other top-10 finishes at the road course in seven total starts. But in last year's debut of the new car at the 2.45-mile course, Harvick posted his worst finish to date there - 36th. At the first road course event this year, Harvick finished 30th. He will pilot a new car for Sunday's event, Chassis No. 256, which was tested at Road Atlanta last week.

12. Clint Bowyer: In two starts at The Glen, Bowyer finished a best 14th-place last year. He will be piloting Chassis No. 250, which he drove to a fourth-place finish in June at Infineon Raceway. Additionally, Bowyer will be racing in Saturday's Nationwide Series event at The Glen.

13. Matt Kenseth: Kenseth's best finish in eight starts at The Glen is an eighth-place finish in 2003. He has two other top-10 finishes there. The road course in New York is one of only two tracks on the circuit where Kenseth has yet to post a top-five finish. The other track is Infineon Raceway. Kenseth will be behind the wheel of Chassis RK-597, which he raced at Infineon this year to a career-best eighth-place finish after starting 33rd.

14. David Ragan: Ragan made his Watkins Glen debut last year and finished 32nd after starting 22nd. He finished 24th at Infineon in June and will pilot the same chassis from that event - Chassis RK-495.

15. Ryan Newman: Newman has one top-five and three top-10 finishes in six starts at The Glen. He finished 13th in last year's race and has an average finish of 14.7 at the track. Newman posted a seventh-place finish at Infineon in June. The team is bringing Chassis PRS-527 this weekend and is the same car he raced at Infineon. He also drove the car at Bristol Motor Speedway in March.

16. Brian Vickers: Vickers made his road course debut for Red Bull at Watkins Glen last year but suffered a transmission problem and posted a 41st-place finish. In three other starts there driving for Rick Hendrick, Vickers posted one top-10 finish - eighth in 2005. At Infineon this June, Vickers finished 14th.

17. Martin Truex Jr: Truex Jr. has made two starts at The Glen. In his debut there in 2006, he finished 28th. Last year, with the COT's debut on the road course, he posted a sixth-place finish after starting 12th. He finished 16th at Infineon in June. Truex Jr. will pilot a new Chevy Impala Chassis No. 075 this weekend at The Glen.

18. Kurt Busch: Busch has made seven starts at The Glen and came close to winning in 2006. That year, Busch started from the pole and led the most laps (38). But a pit road penalty on lap 54 placed Busch at the rear of the field and he was collected in an accident as he worked his way back up. He finished 19th. His best finish on the 2.45-mile road course is a 10th-place in 2004. His average finish is 23.0. This weekend Busch will field Chassis PSC-565 a brand new car that debuted in Sonoma this June to a 32nd-place finish. The team also tested the car at Road Atlanta last week.

19. Jamie McMurray: McMurray has made five starts at The Glen and holds an average finish of 17.0. His best finish came in 2006 on the 2.45-mile road course, when he finished third after leading six laps. Last year he finished 34th in the COT's debut on the New York road course. He did a little better with the new car at Infineon this year, posting an 18th-place result. McMurray will pilot Chassis RK-496, which he raced last year at The Glen.

20. Bobby Labonte: Labonte has made 15 starts at The Glen - two for Petty Enterprises. Both of his starts with Petty resulted in 24th-place finishes, but last year, he led four laps en route to the finish. Prior to that, Labonte had posted six top 10s and two top fives at the road course. He won the pole there in 2000 and has led a total of 27 laps. At Infineon this past June, Labonte scored his highest qualifying position of 2008 with a fourth-place start. He wasn't able to capitalize on it though, finishing 39th with a mechanical issue.

Photos

  • Kyle Busch Visits White House
  • Kyle Busch Visits White House
  • Kyle Busch Visits White House
  • Kyle Busch Visits White House
  • Kyle Busch Visits White House
  • From the Archives: Dover
  • From the Archives: Dover
  • From the Archives: Dover
  • From the Archives: Dover
  • From the Archives: Dover
  • From the Archives: Dover
  • Bad Boy Off Road 300
  • Bad Boy Off Road 300
  • Bad Boy Off Road 300
  • Bad Boy Off Road 300
  • Bad Boy Off Road 300
  • Bad Boy Off Road 300
  • Bad Boy Off Road 300
  • Bad Boy Off Road 300
  • Bad Boy Off Road 300
  • Bad Boy Off Road 300
  • Bad Boy Off Road 300
  • Bad Boy Off Road 300
  • Bad Boy Off Road 300
  • Bad Boy Off Road 300
  • Bad Boy Off Road 300
  • Bad Boy Off Road 300
  • TMNT 400
  • TMNT 400
  • TMNT 400
  • TMNT 400
  • TMNT 400
  • TMNT 400
  • TMNT 400
  • TMNT 400
  • TMNT 400
  • TMNT 400
  • TMNT 400
  • TMNT 400
  • TMNT 400
  • TMNT 400
  • TMNT 400
  • TMNT 400
  • TMNT 400
  • TMNT 400
  • Past Chicagoland Winners
  • Past Chicagoland Winners
  • Past Chicagoland Winners
  • Past Chicagoland Winners
  • Past Chicagoland Winners
Click to View More

Advertisement

You may unsubscribe at any time.
Motor Racing Network
555 MRN Drive
Concord, NC 28027
www.mrn.com/Footer/Contact-Us.aspx
(704)262-6700
feedback@mrn.com
  • © 2016 MRN. All Rights Reserved

    FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousLinkedInGoogle BookmarksYahoo BookmarksLive (MSN)

    ISC Track Sites