Weekend Preview: Watkins Glen – Logano under pressure, but looking for XFINITY history
By Matteo Marcheschi
Busch going for two in a row at the Glen
Kyle Busch, winner of last weekend’s Overton’s 400 at Pocono Raceway, is now looking to continue his momentum this Sunday at Watkins Glen. Busch has two wins and 10 top-10 finishes in twelve starts at the track. With an average finish barely outside the top-10, Busch can be expected to contend on Sunday afternoon.
Allmendinger eyes playoff berth with Glen win
A.J. Allmendinger hasn’t been in the playoff picture all season, sitting 27th in points. Allmendinger, though, knows a thing or two about road-course racing. In eight starts at the Glen, Allmendinger has an average finish just inside the top-10, including five top-10 finishes and his only career Cup series win. Since 2010, Allmendinger has only one finish outside the top-10 in six starts. He is a lock to contend Sunday afternoon.
Former Glen winner Logano needs a win badly
Joey Logano is now in a must-win situation to make the playoffs. The Glen offers a good shot for the 27-year-old. Logano has a win, three top-5 finishes, and 5 top-10 finishes in eight starts at the track. Those numbers are identical to Allmendinger’s. However, two of Logano’s three finishes outside the top-10 are also outside the top-30, meaning his average finish is 12.8. Logano, though, hasn’t scored worse than seventh since he joined Team Penske in 2013, earning an average finish of fourth in four starts in that span. He certainly has a shot on Sunday.
Road Course stretch begins at the Glen
The Xfinity series starts its stretch of three road courses this weekend at Watkins Glen. Three out of the next four races will be on road courses. Watkins Glen takes place this weekend (August 5), followed by Mid-Ohio (August 12), Bristol (August 18), and Road America (August 27). The Glen is the series’ only road course race that is a Cup series companion race.
Eight Cup regulars look to get road course reps in
Eight different Cup series regulars will race in the XFINITY Series event at Watkins Glen to prepare for Sunday’s race: Paul Menard and Ty Dillon for RCR, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski for Penske, Kyle Busch and Erik Jones for JGR, Kevin Harvick for SHR, and Kyle Larson for CGR. Cup drivers have won 13 of the series’ 19 races so far in 2017.
Logano on pole, looking for three in a row
Joey Logano won the pole for the Xfinity Series Zippo 200 at the Glen. He looks to be the first ever driver to win three consecutive XFINITY series races from the pole at Watkins Glen. In 2015, Logano and his Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski led all but three of the 82 laps, finishing 1-2 on the day. Logano looks to be the third driver to win three in a row in the XFINITY Series at the Glen, but the first ever to win all three from the pole.