2012 Finger Lakes 355:
NASCAR only runs two road races each year and Watkins Glen International is more than worthy. This track has high speed sections, tight technical sections and enough passing zones to keep the race interesting.
The Big Picture:
Jeff Gordon made a huge jump in his wild card hopes this week. With his win he went from barely hanging on into the second wild card spot. He is tied in wins and points with Ryan Newman but wins the tiebreaker because he has more fifth place finishes than Newman. Both drivers are tied in firsts, seconds, thirds and fourths this season.
This wild card battle is going to come right down to Richmond.
The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings:
How does Dodge leaving affect the sport? Is this a sign of trouble for NASCAR or a minor blip on the radar? This is a topic that we can be sure to hear more about this weekend in Watkins Glen.
Radio: MRN and SIRIUS Satellite
Actual Race: 1:05PM Eastern
2011 Polesitter: Kyle Busch
2011 Winner: Marcos Ambrose
Looking at the list of recent Watkins Glen winners one name stands out. Tony Stewart won half of the last ten Watkins Glen races and finished first or second in three of the last five years. However, Stewart is safely in the Chase and there are no more road races in 2012 so there is no incentive for him to really work on his Watkins Glen program.
For my picks this week I am going with two road racing aces who both truly need the win. Jeff Gordon backed into last week's Pocono win with crazy circumstance and luck. Jeff now clings to the second wild card spot by the slimmest of margins. Gordon knows his way to Victory Lane at Watkins Glen and another win would help solidify his Chase position. Gordon will be giving it his all this weekend and makes a great pick.
For my backup Juan Montoya stands out as another solid choice. Montoya lead 74 laps of this race in 2010 on his way to the win. He knows how to turn right. If he can keep his cool and if his strategy works out then Montoya will definitely have a shot at this win.