Puneet Varma (Editor)

Watkins Glen 355

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First race  1957
Watkins Glen 355
Venue  Watkins Glen International
Location  Watkins Glen, New York, United States
Distance  220.86 miles (355.44 km)
Laps  90 (Stage 1: 20 Stage 2: 20 Stage 3: 50)
Previous names  The Glen 101.2 (1957) The Glen 151.8 (1964–1965) The Budweiser At The Glen (1986–1989) Budweiser At The Glen (1990–1993) The Bud At The Glen (1994–1998) Frontier @ the Glen (1999) Global Crossing @ The Glen (2000–2001) Sirius Satellite Radio at the Glen (2002–2005) AMD at the Glen (2006) Centurion Boats at the Glen (2007–2008) Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen (2009–2011) Finger Lakes 355 at The Glen (2012) Cheez-It 355 at the Glen (2013–2016)

The Watkins Glen 355 is a 90-lap, 220.86-mile (355.44 km) annual Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series stock car race held at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York, on the 2.454-mile (3.949 km) road course. It is one of two road course races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule, the other being the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.



When NASCAR returned in 1986, they utilized the 1971 Six Hours course. In the 1991 race, J. D. McDuffie was killed in a crash in the Outer Loop, at the end of the backstretch. Following that crash, and another serious crash by IMSA driver, Tommy Kendall, the Inner Loop bus stop chicane was added just before the Outer Loop. NASCAR has since utilized this 2.45-mile (3.94 km) "short course," and has never utilized the "Boot" as the Indy Racing League has. Drivers, however, have been pushing for the use of the full course.

During a 2011 Mobil Oil "Car Swap" at Watkins Glen using the course, Tony Stewart pushed for using the Grand Prix course after driving demonstration laps in both his Chevrolet Impala and the majority of his laps in a McLaren MP4-23 as part of the event with Lewis Hamilton.

ESPN at one time broadcast the race. NBC had the rights to broadcast the 2015 edition, which was aired on NBCSN, In 2016, the race was put on USA Network because of the 2016 Summer Olympics airing on NBC and NBCSN.

In 2015, more than 95,000 people watched the race.


  • 1987, 2009, & 2011: Race postponed from Sunday to Monday due to rain.
  • 1992: Race shortened due to rain.
  • 2005 & 2011: Race extended due to a NASCAR Overtime finish.
  • 2010: Montoya's second career win made him the first foreign-born driver to have multiple wins in NASCAR Cup Series history.
  • 2011: Ambrose's first career win made him the first Australian driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race.
  • Race length notes

  • 1957: 44 laps (101.2 miles) of a 2.3-mile (3.7 km) course
  • 1964–1965: 66 laps (151.8 miles) of a 2.3-mile (3.7 km) course
  • 1986–1991: 90 laps (218.52 miles) of a 2.428-mile (3.907 km) course
  • 1992–present: 90 laps (220.5 miles) of a 2.45-mile (3.94 km) course with the addition of the Inner Loop chicane
  • Race summaries

  • 1986: The true inaugural running of this race, resulted in Geoff Bodine leading the most laps. Tim Richmond won the race after Bodine made too long of a pit stop with less than 10 laps to go.
  • 1991: Ernie Irvan won the race but the race was overshadowed by the death of NASCAR pioneer J. D. McDuffie during a crash on lap 5.
  • 1995: Wally Dallenbach Jr. appeared to have had the win wrapped up, but a caution with 9 laps to go resulted in him being passed by former teammate Mark Martin on a final restart.
  • 1999: Jeff Gordon started on pole, led the most laps and held off Ron Fellows for the win.
  • 2000: After Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart tangled early, Jeff Gordon's hopes to win a consecutive Watkins Glen race ended. Steve Park won his first Cup series race.
  • 2001: Jeff Gordon got redemption from his 2000 heartbreak by winning the race. Road expert Robby Gordon led the most laps and had the winning car but a pit road fire ended his hopes for his first Cup series victory.
  • 2002: A week after nearly being fired by his team for an incident in the Brickyard 400, Tony Stewart led the most laps alongside Robby Gordon and won the race. The race ended in controversy because it was discovered that Stewart had jumped the final restart.
  • 2004: A very sick Tony Stewart gutted through a sinus infection, food poisoning and stomach pains, and held off Ron Fellows to win the race.
  • 2007: Jeff Gordon led the most laps, but spun out with 2 laps to go, handing the win to Stewart.
  • 2009: Tony Stewart won his record 5th Watkins Glen race.
  • 2010: Juan Pablo Montoya ended a 113 race winless streak and won in dominating fashion, beating Marcos Ambrose for the win, thus making him the first foreign-born driver to win multiple NASCAR Cup races.
  • 2011: Marcos Ambrose's first career Cup series victory.
  • 2012: Oil dropped on the track by Bobby Labonte led to a dramatic finish after the caution was not called. Leader Kyle Busch lost control and spun off the bumper of Brad Keselowski in the Esses on the final lap, leaving Keselowski and Ambrose to battle both each other and the adverse track conditions, banging off of and passing each other several times during the lap. Ambrose won the race after Keselowski got loose in the oil off turn eleven and backed out of the throttle.
  • 2014: A. J. Allmendinger won his first Cup victory, after a lengthy marathon that included two red flags for track repair caused by serious accidents: the first for a severe accident in which Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell crashed in the exit to turn 5, which saw McDowell's rear wheel housing break off and puncture a hole in the Armco barriers, and a second one caused by Denny Hamlin crashing into the gravel barrels at the entrance to pit road.
  • 2015: An accordion wreck happened on the front stretch, fluid was on the track, which led to a nine-minute three second red flag to facilitate cleanup on the track, A.J. Allmendinger's car lost power, and came to a stop past turn 10. Joey Logano took advantage of fuel problems for Kevin Harvick and won his first NASCAR Cup Series race at Watkins Glen and second of the season.
  • 2016: Denny Hamlin passed Martin Truex Jr. late in the race to win his first road course victory and avenging his 2007 runner-up at the Glen. On the final lap, Truex got spun by Brad Keselowski and finished 8th while Kyle Larson expressed discontent with AJ Allmendinger for spinning him on the final lap as well. Truex and Larson both voiced their displeasure with their adversaries through slight contact with Keselowski & Allmendinger after the race ended, during the cool-down lap.
  • Television broadcasters

  • From 1990 to 1996 Benny Parsons and Ned Jarrett were anywhere around the Watkins Glen track. Parsons was at turn 1 from 1990 to 1993 and 1996 before being moved to the broadcasting booth in 1994, and missed the 1995 race due to illness, so Dorsey Schroeder took over turn 1 in 1994 and Bill Weber took over turn 1 in 1995. Jarrett was at turn 5 from 1990 to 1994 and 1996 before being moved to the broadcasting booth in 1995, so Schroeder took over turn 5 in 1995. Also, in 1999, Parsons didn't go to the race track due to eye problems, but acted as a color commentator from his home in North Carolina via calling in by telephone.
  • References

    Watkins Glen 355 Wikipedia

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