Watkins Glen Fantasy Spin – At Watkins Glen, I think the road to victory lane will go thru Chase Elliott. If Elliott didn’t give the field a head start last year, the #9 would likely have 3-straight wins at “The Glen”. This year at road courses, Elliott has yet to visit victory lane, but he’s been close and has been a serious factor. In terms of road course 2022 speed analytics, Elliott ranks #1 for Total Speed Rankings and 4th for Speed Late In A Run. At Watkins Glen, look for Elliott to finish in the top five and compete for the win.
Watkins Glen Track History – Chase Elliott is a super-elite performer at Watkins Glen and in recent races, he’s been the class of the field. Over the last three Watkins Glen races, Elliott has a 1.3 average finish, 2 wins, one runner-up, the best driver rating by a wide margin and he’s averaged leading 44 laps per race. Last year at Watkins Glen, Elliott had a great car and finished runner-up, despite starting in the rear of the field and making an unexpected pit stop for flat spotting his tires on lap 31. If Elliott didn’t have those problems, I think he probably would’ve won. In terms of Total Speed Rankings, Elliott ranked 6th but take note his speed over the segments were 14th, 19th, 3rd and then 1st. In terms of speed late in a run, Elliott ranked #1. In 2019 in the next most recent race, Elliott started on the pole, finished 1st, had a 1.3 average running position, led 80 laps and was just .3 shy of earning a perfect driver rating. In terms of speed analytics, Elliott had the best Total Speed Ranking and his speed over the segments were 1st, 1st, 1st and then 2nd. In terms of speed late in a run, Elliott ranked #2. In 2018, Elliott had a great performance and raced his way to victory lane for the first win of his career. In addition to finishing first, Elliott earned the best driver rating, had a 3rd place average running position and led a race high 52 laps.
Watkins Glen Fantasy Spin – At Watkins Glen, look for Austin Cindric to be a contender. Cindric’s establishing himself as an elite performer on this track type, and he’s also a previous winner at “The Glen” in the lower series. This year at road courses over the combined events, Cindric has the best average finish (5.5), ranks 2nd for speed late in a run and is tied for having the 2nd best Track Type Total Speed Ranking with Ross Chastain. At Watkins Glen, look for Cindric to be a top five contender who’ll be a factor to win.
Watkins Glen Track History – Austin Cindric doesn’t have any Cup starts on his resume at Watkins Glen, but as you expected he’s been awesome here in the Xfinity series. Last year in the lower series, Cindric won Stage #1, finished 3rd in Stage #2, led 22 laps and then finished 3rd. In 2019, Cindric only led 8 laps but he capped off that afternoon with a trip to victory lane.
Watkins Glen Fantasy Spin – At Watkins Glen, Tyler Reddick will definitely be a driver to be reckoned with. Reddick has back-to-back wins on this track type and since Road America 2021 minus this year’s Sonoma race and last year’s Indy RC, Reddick has a 4.5 average finish. This year at road courses over the combined events, Reddick ranks #1 for speed late in a run and has the 4th best Total Speed Ranking. Of the road courses visited this year, I would argue COTA is the most similar and at that venue he won the pole and finished 5th.
Watkins Glen Track History – Tyler Reddick had a solid Watkins Glen Cup debut in 2021, despite it not being his rookie year. Remember, Watkins Glen wasn’t visited in 2020. Last year, Reddick started 13th and then finished 10th when the checkered flag waved. In the race, Reddick was the 10th fastest driver late in a run and had the 12th best Total Speed Ranking.