Statistically speaking: a look at Watkins Glen

cheezit355attheglen

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series turns left and right this weekend, as the circuit heads to Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International for Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 at The Glen. Its the second and final road course races of the season, and counting this weekend’s race, there are five more to go before that ever-important deadline to gain eligibility into the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Among the drivers still without a win is three-time Cup champion Tony Stewart. Stewart leads the way with five wins at The Glen, even though his last two visits to the Upstate New York track have resulted in finishes outside the top-10.

There’s another driver still looking for that first win of the season whose performance at Watkins Glen has been tops more recently — Marcos Ambrose. Ambrose has won two out of the last three races at The Glen. Those wins came in 2011 and 2012; last year a wreck resulted in a finish outside the top-30. But 2013 wreck aside, Ambrose has never finished outside the top-three at Watkins Glen.

Jeff Gordon’s name used to come up in coversations about favorites at the Glen, and rightfully so. He has four wins there and nine, total, on road courses. But he hasn’t won at Watkins Glen since 2001, and while he’s run well at Sonoma in years since, he’s only managed two top-10s at The Glen since his last win there in 2001.

Here’s a look at how some of the drivers have performed at Watkins Glen throughout their careers:

AJ Allmendinger (No. 47 JTG-Daugherty Racing Chevrolet)

· One top five, three top 10s

· Average finish of 9.2

· Average Running Position of 13.5, ninth-best

· Driver Rating of 94.7, seventh-best

· Average Green Flag Speed of 119.842 mph, seventh-fastest

Marcos Ambrose (No. 9 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford)

· Two wins, five top fives, five top 10s; one pole

· Average finish of 6.8

· Average Running Position of 8.6, second-best

· Driver Rating of 120.1, second-best

· Series-high 125 Fastest Laps Run

· Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 120.616 mph

· 425 Laps in the Top 15 (78.4%), 10th-most

Kurt Busch (No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet)

· One top five, five top 10s; one pole

· Average finish of 19.8

· Driver Rating of 91.8, 10th-best

· 47 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most

· 364 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most

· Average Green Flag Speed of 119.901 mph, sixth-fastest

· 475 Laps in the Top 15 (58.4%), eighth-most

Kyle Busch (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)

· Two wins, four top fives, eight top 10s; one pole

· Average finish of 8.1

· Average Running Position of 10.0, third-best

· Driver Rating of 113.3, third-best

· 72 Fastest Laps Run, third-most

· Average Green Flag Speed of 120.107 mph, fourth-fastest

· 616 Laps in the Top 15 (75.7%), third-most

· 175 Quality Passes, sixth-most

Carl Edwards (No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford)

· Four top fives, six top 10s; one pole

· Average finish of 8.8

· Average Running Position of 12.6, eighth-best

· Driver Rating of 94.6, eighth-best

· 15 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most

· 405 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most

· Average Green Flag Speed of 119.630 mph, ninth-fastest

· 588 Laps in the Top 15 (72.2%), fourth-most

· 178 Quality Passes, fifth-most

Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)

· One top five, four top 10s

· Average finish of 19.5

· Average Running Position of 15.5, 10th-best

· Driver Rating of 87.0, 12th-best

· 11 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most

· 374 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most

· Average Green Flag Speed of 119.598 mph, 10th-fastest

· 416 Laps in the Top 15 (57.6%), 11th-most

· 158 Quality Passes, ninth-most

Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet)

· One win, two top fives, six top 10s

· Average finish of 13.1

· Average Running Position of 15.7, 12th-best

· Driver Rating of 88.3, 11th-best

· 10 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-most

· 390 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most

· Average Green Flag Speed of 119.442 mph, 11th-fastest

· 480 Laps in the Top 15 (59.0%), seventh-most

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet)

· Four top fives, seven top 10s; one pole

· Average finish of 12.8

· Average Running Position of 10.2, fourth-best

· Driver Rating of 100.6, sixth-best

· 27 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most

· Average Green Flag Speed of 119.971 mph, fifth-fastest

· 637 Laps in the Top 15 (78.3%), second-most

· 188 Quality Passes, second-most

Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Team Penske Ford)

· Three top fives, three top 10s

· Average finish of 6.5

· Average Running Position of 12.1, seventh-best

· Driver Rating of 102.8, fifth-best

· 29 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most

· Average Green Flag Speed of 119.842 mph, eighth-fastest

Tony Stewart (No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet)

· Five wins, seven top fives, 10 top 10s

· Average finish of 7.9

· Series-best Average Running Position of 5.7

· Series-best Driver Rating of 120.4

· 106 Fastest Laps Run, second-most

· Average Green Flag Speed of 120.465 mph, second-fastest

· Series-high 678 Laps in the Top 15 (93.6%)

· Series-high 195 Quality Passes

Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet)

· Three top fives, five top 10s

· Average finish of 12.4

· Average Running Position of 12.0, sixth-best

· Driver Rating of 92.8, ninth-best

· Average Green Flag Speed of 119.400 mph, 12th-fastest

· 519 Laps in the Top 15 (71.9%), sixth-most

· 179 Quality Passes, third-most

Watkins Glen International Data

Season Race #: 22 of 36 (08-10-14)

Track Size: 2.45-miles

Number of Turns: 7

Race Length: 90 laps / 220.5 miles

Top 10 Driver Ratings at Watkins Glen

Tony Stewart……………………….. 120.4

Marcos Ambrose………………….. 120.1

Kyle Busch…………………………. 113.3

Juan Pablo Montoya…………….. 110.5

Brad Keselowski………………….. 102.8

Jimmie Johnson…………………… 100.6

AJ Allmendinger…………………….. 94.7

Carl Edwards………………………… 94.6

Martin Truex Jr………………………. 92.8

Kurt Busch……………………………. 91.8

Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (nine total) among active drivers at Watkins Glen International.

Qualifying/Race Data

2013 Coors Light Pole winner:

Marcos Ambrose, Ford

128.241 mph, 68.777 secs. 08-09-13

2013 race winner:

Kyle Busch, Toyota

87.001 mph, (02:32:04), 08-11-13

Track qualifying record:

Marcos Ambrose, Ford

128.241 mph, 68.777 secs. 08-09-13

Track race record:

Mark Martin, Ford

103.030 mph, (02:11:54), 08-13-95

Tags: NASCAR Watkins Glen International

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