Watkins Glen always provides great racing and Sunday’s “Go Bowling At The Glen” should be one of the most entertaining races of the season. It’s a 90 lap race that will be heavy on strategy, but at the end the best drivers will be up front battling for the win.
Starting up front is always important at Watkins Glen. The “sweet spot” for winning has been a starting position between 3rd to 6th. 7 of the last 8 Watkins Glen races have been won from a driver starting within that range. It’s been a decade since this race has been won from the pole. Here’s the FULL STARTING LINEUP for Watkins Glen.
I’ll note this is a combined Post Practice Predictions/ Confidence Ranking Picks post. Next week posts will resume as normal. Thanks for understanding.
Final Top 25 Rankings For The Watkins Glen
1) Kyle Busch – Starts 2nd – DraftKings Price: $11,800 – FanDuel Price: $12,300
**Risk Factor: Low Risk**
Watkins Glen Fantasy Spin – Kyle Busch is a super-elite performer at Watkins Glen who’ll be tough to beat. He’s a two-time winner who’s finished in the top ten in 11 of the last 12 races. If it wasn’t for a problems he would have a handful of wins. In practice nobody was better than him. In Happy Hour he had the best average speed, the best ten lap average and was viewed as the driver to beat from many in the garage. Entering the weekend you have to love how well the #18 team is performing. Since Charlotte minus Daytona, he’s won three races and has an impressive 2.6 average finish. On Sunday look for Busch to finish in the top five and be a serious threat to win.
Watkins Glen Track History – Kyle Busch has thrived at Watkins Glen and is always a factor to win. Since 2006 minus 2014 when he had problems his average finish is 5th. Last year, Kyle Busch had a phenomenal car that might’ve been the best, but he finished a misleading 7th. In the race he started on the pole, lead the entire opening segment but then during the Stage caution while leading he pitted a second time which dropped him in the running order. When Stage #2 ended he finished 9th. During the opening lap of the final Stage while he was battling with Keselowski for 8th he was spun. He had to battle back again and that makes his 7th place finish very impressive. From the race it should be noted his green flag average speed ranked as the best. In 2016 he had a great car and finished 6th. Strength wise I thought he had the 2nd best car but some poor late restarts were unfriendly. In the race he had the best average running position (5th) and the 2nd best driver rating. In 2015 he had a strong showing. He finished 2nd, earned the 2nd best driver rating and had a 6th place average running position. Throughout the event he was a consistent front runner.
2) Martin Truex Jr. – Starts 4th – DraftKings Price: $11,500 – FanDuel Price: $12,700
**Risk Factor: Low Risk**
Watkins Glen Fantasy Spin – Martin Truex Jr. is the defending champion at Watkins Glen and on Sunday I wouldn’t be surprised if he repeats. At worst I think he’ll finish in the top five. He’s run exceptionally well here and since 2011 minus 2015 he has a 6.3 average finish and an 8.3 average running position. Earlier this year at Sonoma, the other road course on the schedule he led 62 laps and easily raced his way to victory lane. In Happy Hour the #78 was fast and his average speed ranked as the 2nd best.
Watkins Glen Track History – Watkins Glen has been a great track for Martin Truex Jr. Last year he was the class of the field and raced his way to victory lane. Over long runs he was fast and when the fuel mileage aspect entered the equation at the end he had enough to go the distance. In addition to winning he earned the best driver rating, had a 3rd place average running position, led a race high 24 laps and finished 2nd in the first two Stages. In 2016 he had a great car but finished an asterisk mark 7th. When the finish line was in sight on the final lap Keselowski spun him while he was running in 2nd. Additionally, he earned the 5th best driver rating and had an 8th place average running position. In 2015 he had top five potential but with 22 laps to go while running in 3rd he came down pit road because of a flat tire. That dropped him back to 36th. When the checkered flag waved he finished 25th.
3) Joey Logano – Starts 6th – DraftKings Price: $9,100 – FanDuel Price: $11,500
**Risk Factor: Low Risk **
Watkins Glen Fantasy Spin – Joey Logano is a recent Watkins Glen winner who should have a strong showing. He’s run extremely well here and in 5 of the last 7 races he’s finished in the top 7. I will note the races he finished outside the top 7 over this stretch his afternoon wasn’t incident free. In practice I thought Logano looked good. In practice #1 his average speed ranked as the 5th best. On Sunday I would look for Logano to compete for a top five.
Watkins Glen Track History – Joey Logano has consistently run well at Watkins Glen. Last year he likely had a great car but finished 24th. When Stage #1 ended he finished 7th. During that caution he had a slow stop that dropped him back 15 positions. That put him back in traffic and while he was working his way to the front he had contact with another car that impacted his handling, dooming him to his poor result. In the four races prior to that he had a series best 4.0 average finish. In 2016, Logano was fast. He finished 2nd, earned the 4th best driver rating and had an 8th place average running position. In 2015 Logano had a great car and raced his way to victory lane. He only led 1 lap but it was the most important. When Kevin Harvick ran out of fuel at the end he was able to take advantage of the situation. In that race it should be noted he earned the 3rd best driver rating and had a 9th place average running position. In 2014 he overcame an early pit penalty to finish 6th.