NASCAR Cup Series
By Chase Wilhelm
Published: 6 Aug, 2021
2 Minute Read
This article was originally published on Aug. 1, 2018.
NASCAR Cup Series drivers are set to take on the fifth road course of the season — the 2.45-mile, seven-turn Watkins Glen International located in the Finger Lakes region of central New York.
Drivers will see higher speeds compared to other road courses on the schedule. Mark Martin, three-time winner at The Glen, once said Watkins Glen is the “superspeedway of road courses.”
RELATED: Full schedule for Watkins Glen
Ahead of Sunday’s GoBowling at The Glen (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), we analyze each turn the competitors will need to master for 90 laps to have a shot at victory.
Turn 1: Once drivers take the green flag, they are immediately faced with a downhill trek into the first corner. Carrying a ton of speed down the straightaway, this is a heavy braking zone in order to get the car slowed down enough to make the right-hand turn. This is one of the best opportunities to make a pass, and Turn 1 can get chaotic very quickly, especially on restarts.
Turn 2: After making it through the first turn, the drivers hop on a short straight which leads them gradually uphill and into the second right-hand corner. This turn begins the ascent through the “esses” portion of the road course.
Turn 3: Continuing the uphill climb through the esses, this sweeping left-hander can be treacherous as drivers begin to carry some speed up the slope.
Turn 4: This corner is the final portion of the esses. Drivers complete the uphill climb and the corner starts to level off, building up more speed as they enter the backstretch of the road course.
Inner Loop: The backstretch allows the drivers to gain a ton of momentum, which leads them into another heavy braking zone and into the bus stop, or the inner loop section of the course. Hot on the brakes upon entry, this is a great place to overtake someone before making a quick series of right- and left-hand turns. Lots of slipping, sliding and spinning is bound to occur here.
Turn 5: Also referred to as the carousel, drivers approach this long, sweeping right-hander. With a banking of 10 degrees, the steepest turn of the road course, it allows drivers to build up speed as they make their way onto the straightaway leading into Turn 6.
Turn 6: After gaining speed while traveling down the 2,040-foot chute, drivers are approached with another heavy braking zone at the entrance of this left-hand corner. Competitors use this turn to either make a quick pass, or to set themselves up for a pass heading into Turn 7.
Turn 7: Once they are through Turn 6, a short chute gives the drivers just enough time to adjust to make a good angle through the final corner. This is another chance to make a quality pass as the right-hand bend trickles drivers onto the frontstretch and down to the start-finish line.