Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Watkins Glen International Facts

compiled by Mike Forde - NASCAR Media Services

At Watkins Glen International:

• After several events were held on the streets of Watkins Glen, a permanent facility was opened in 1956.
• The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was in 1957, won by Buck Baker.
• After a six-year absence, NASCAR returned to The Glen in 1964 and 1965.
• After a 21-year absence, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returned to The Glen, and has run one race a year there since 1986.
• The NASCAR Nationwide Series held its first race at The Glen in 1991.
• The first combination weekend at Watkins Glen International for NASCAR’s national series was a NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event in 1998.

• There have been 26 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Watkins Glen International since the first race there in 1957.
• Buck Baker won the first pole and race.
• Tim Richmond won the first pole and race upon the series’ return in 1987.
• There have been 14 different pole winners.
• The race winner has started first in nine of 26 races, including last season when Kyle Busch won from the pole (he started first based on owner points – qualifying was canceled due to inclement weather).
• Mark Martin leads all drivers with wins from the pole with three in a row between 1993 and 1995.
• 17 of the 26 race winners have started from a top-five starting position.
• 19 of 26 races at Watkins Glen have been won from a top-10 starting position.
• The deepest in the field that a Watkins Glen race winner has started was 18th by Steve Park in 2000.
• 16 different drivers have won races, led by Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart, with four each.
• Jeff Gordon set the all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup record for road-course victories with his victory in 2001, his seventh on a road course. He has since won two more (both at Infineon Raceway), for a career total of nine.
• Three active drivers with more than one start have an average finish in the top 10: Denny Hamlin (6.7 in three starts), Mark Martin (6.9 in 19 starts) and Tony Stewart (5.7 in 10 starts).
• Michael Waltrip is the active leader in starts, with 22. Waltrip will not this race this weekend, instead giving his seat in the No. 55 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota to Patrick Carpentier. Carpentier has finishes of 22nd and 20th in his two previous Watkins Glen races.

NASCAR in New York
• There have been 64 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in New York:
• 176 drivers in NASCAR’s three national series (all-time) have their home state recorded as New York.
• There have been 13 race winners from New York in NASCAR’s three national series:

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