Jeff Gordon – Gordon is one of the better NASCAR road racers. While he has four wins at Watkins Glen, oddly enough he hasn’t had a top-10 finish here in five races – he’s finished outside the top 20 in three of those events. But don’t be fooled; Gordon also has five wins at Sonoma, and could easily break out of his road-race slump here.
Denny Hamlin – Hamlin finished 10th at Watkins Glen last year and 10th at Sonoma earlier this year. He won last year’s Busch Series race in Mexico on a road course.
Matt Kenseth – Kenseth has three top-10 finishes in seven starts at the Glen with a best result of eighth. He runs much better here than at Sonoma.
Jeff Burton – Burton finished second here in 2001 and third in 2000, but five finishes outside the top 25 leave his average finish here a lowly 20th.
Tony Stewart – Stewart gets around this joint pretty well. He won here in 2002, 2004 and 2005 and finished second at the Glen last year. Fans may recall one bizarre win here where Stewart skipped victory circle having beshat himself during the race – teaching us all that you don’t lose points for doing it, just saying it.
Carl Edwards – Edwards finished sixth and fifth on the road courses in 2006, with his better effort scored here at Watkins Glen.
Kevin Harvick – Hey, look who can road race! Harvick won at the Glen last year and finished second at Sonoma earlier this year.
Kyle Busch – Busch struggled mightily with this whole turning right thing – just as he struggles with acting right – but he did manage a ninth-place finish in this race last year and an eighth-place result at Sonoma this year.
Jimmie Johnson – Johnson has two top-five finishes in five starts at the Glen, but his average finish here remains 16th.
Clint Bowyer – Bowyer failed to impress on the road courses last year, but rebounded nicely with a fourth-place finish at Sonoma this year.
Martin Truex Jr. – “The other Junior” has started three road-course races in the Cup Series and has failed to finish better than 15th.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. – While Junior has won at the Glen in the Busch Series, his Cup results here are wildly erratic. He has two top-five finishes and one additional top 10, but his average finish is just 18th.
Kurt Busch – While Busch qualifies well here – he took the pole at the Glen last year and has qualified in the top 10 for the last five races here – he’s failed to capitalize. His average finish here is a lowly 25th.
Ryan Newman – Newman stunned a lot of folks finishing second here as a rookie in 2002. He has three top-10 finishes in five Cup starts at the Glen, and also finished second at Sonoma last year.
Jamie McMurray – After four hapless runs at the Glen, McMurray did finish third here last year.
Greg Biffle – Biffle has yet to finish better than 30th here in four Cup runs at the Glen. Oddly enough, he has two top-five finishes in the last two Sonoma races.
Mark Martin – Before they invented Gordon, Martin was considered the premier road-course driver in the series. A past winner of three consecutive races at the Glen, he has 12 top-five finishes and 16 top 10s in 19 Cup starts here, with an average finish of seventh.
Juan Pablo Montoya – Montoya won at Sonoma a couple months ago and won the Mexican Busch race – in very controversial style – in March of this year. He has vast experience on the road courses, and as such, must be considered a favorite this weekend.
Casey Mears – In nine Cup starts on the road course, Mears has finished 20th or worse seven times. He did finish fourth at the Glen and seventh at Sonoma back in 2004.
Bobby Labonte – Labonte has top-10 finishes in six of his 14 Cup starts at the Glen, but he’s missed the top 10 in the last five races here.
About the author
Matt joined Frontstretch in 2007 after a decade of race-writing, paired with the first generation of racing internet sites like RaceComm and Racing One. Now semi-retired, he submits occasional special features while his retrospectives on drivers like Alan Kulwicki, Davey Allison, and other fallen NASCAR legends pop up every summer on Frontstretch. A motorcycle nut, look for the closest open road near you and you can catch him on the Harley during those bright, summer days in his beloved Pennsylvania.
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