2021 NASCAR Preview: Week 23 – Watkins Glen


It feels like we’ve been off from NASCAR for about a year (Olympics were on, in case you missed it!), and it seems like even longer — because it is — since we’ve had a race in New York! COVID-19 struck Watkins Glen from the schedule in 2020, and they make their big return this year, and we do, too.

Here’s what to look for:

Chase Elliott is our most recent winner here, and did it the year before that, too. In the 2019 race, he led 80 of 90 laps, and called Watkins Glen a “second home” or something along those lines. Hey, that’s pretty cool, Chase! They’re happy to have you, I’m sure! Today he goes for three straight, something that is wildly tough to do. Can he do it? Will he do it? Stay tuned!

Martin Truex Jr. leads all Cup drivers in acquired points over those last ten races here, and is riding a streak of three straight Top 2 finishes. He won the 2017 race, but has watched Chase’s rear bumper cross the finish line first in the last two. Can Truex get back out front today?

-The Busch Bros. have scored the 2nd (Kyle) and 3rd (Kurt) most points in the last ten races here. In those twenty races, they’re rocking a combined fifteen Top 10s. Just one Win for them though, when Rowdy took the checkers back in 2013. Kurt has been to Victory Lane in Atlanta just a few weeks ago edging his younger brother. Kyle Busch exited the last Cup race while leading, a flash rain shower that hit the track before officials could get their flags out. He’ll be full of, uh, “rowdiness” today, I’m sure. I cleaned it up a little bit: two ingredients, one of which is vinegar.

Erik Jones actually has the best average finish of all active drivers here, a 6.3 and three Top 10s. Hard to argue with that, and he’ll be someone to watch today. That goes for everyone, right? One to watch until they aren’t? Jones has a new team this year, running his recent races in Joe Gibbs’ #20. Will that success follow him to the King’s #43?

Daniel Suarez is our only other driver with a sub-10.0 average finish here. In three attempts, he’s got a pair of Top 5s and an 8.0 average. He’s had an up and down sorta year, but this could be the thing he needs to definitively get on track. Coming back to a place you’ve had success has a way of rejuvenating oneself. Both of his Top 5s were also with Joe Gibbs Racing, but Trackhouse Racing certainly has the oomph to give him a shot today.

No food at home today, but we’ll be on the road right after I send this off! Taking in the race LIVE! again for the second straight running, hopefully have some cool pics or stories to share. I always say that, but it never happens, haha. Lisa’s first race here was when she adopted her affinity for Chase, looking to see if he can make it three in a row today. After watching Alex Bowman and Kyle Busch take the W’s at our Pocono races, we’d be pleased with a third different driver (and some burnouts!) in The Glen this afternoon.

Coverage of the race starts on NBCSN at 3:00pm, and green flag scheduled for around 3:00pm, too.

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