With the exception of my two-year-old son pointing to me and saying “DA DAAAAAAA,” there is no sweeter sound to my ears than that of 43 NASCAR engines thundering through the hills of New York’s wine country in Watkins Glen. And speaking of thundering, the weather this weekend looks brilliant, meaning I may actually get to see them qualify for a change. For those of you new to the sport, Watkins Glen combines high speeds with twisting corners and elevation changes that test not only the driver but his equipment as well. If NASCAR wants to brag about having the best 43 drivers in the world, they’ve got to run road courses, and could use a few more like this one.
But with the test of left and right turns usually comes major shakeup on your oval-track roster. So with that in mind, let’s look into who are the fantasy kings of the road…
No one dominates this track, or maybe any other, like Tony Stewart. In 11 career starts he has nine top 10s, seven top-fives and five wins with an average finish of fifth. He has won five of the last eight tries here, and of the three he didn’t win… he came in second. Definitely a must have for this weekend. Another driver to invest in is the old veteran Mark Martin. He’s on a roll with three straight top-15 finishes, and this is historically one of his best tracks. Martin has an average finish of eighth and has 18 top-20 finishes in 20 career starts. But the most amazing of his stats is that with the exception of his first race here in 1988, he has finished on the lead lap every time. Martin’s another sure bet this weekend.
Who Will Carry You
This week’s darkhorses to watch are Robby Gordon, Marcos Ambrose and Juan Pablo Montoya. Gordon is dirt cheap, sitting 33rd in points. His 11th-place average finish, along with seven top-10s and a win, are impressive stats that would probably be even better if it weren’t for that goofy pit-road fire back in 2001. Add in a runner-up finish at Infineon this year, and he should be set for success on Sunday.
Throw out the late accident and fight with Kevin Harvick back in 2007, and Montoya has a pair of top-10s here; also, at 21st in points he’s still cheap. Plus, let’s face it, he’s great on the road courses, scoring his lone career win at Infineon in 2007. As for Ambrose, he’s been nothing short of spectacular at the Glen, posting finishes of second and third in his only two appearances. A word of advice to the Aussie, though; don’t shut off your car going into the esses!
Who Will Bury You
I don’t know where all the king of the road stuff about Jeff Gordon comes from, but it certainly doesn’t come from here. Gordon has just one top 10 in the last eight years at the Glen, and five of those were finishes of 21st or worse. In two of those events, Gordon wrecked, and last year when he crashed he complained it hurt, so NASCAR had them change the track. Sam Hornish Jr. was in two horrific wrecks here in the last two years, and you never heard a peep out of him!
So, there you have it, your Fantasy Insider for this weekend’s race at the Glen. Please don’t forget to set your lineups for this weekend’s race in Frontstretch’s Game of Tomorrow as the season begins to wind itself down towards the Chase. Myself, I have to set my lineup tonight, as I will be heading to the track tomorrow morning bright and early! So y’all have yourselves a great weekend, and I’ll see you back here next Thursday.