It’s back to a road course this week for the NASCAR series as the circuit visits Watkins Glen in New York for the Go Bowling at The Glen, which is run at a distance of just over 220 miles and 90 laps on the 2.45-mile track. It is one of seven road courses on the Cup Series schedule this year.
This race was not held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions in New York State. Thus, the two-time defending champion is Chase Elliott, who won in 2018 & ’19. To no surprise, Elliott is the +200 favorite to threepeat for Hendrick Motorsports. He looks to join Mark Martin (three), Jeff Gordon (four) and Tony Stewart (five) to win this race at least three times. This is the 38th trip to Watkins Glen International for the Cup Series, with the first visit in 1957.
2021 Go Bowling at The Glen Race Info
So happy to have you all back at The Glen this weekend! 🙌— Watkins Glen International (@WGI) August 5, 2021
We're going to have a grand ole time this weekend! pic.twitter.com/ePK8fvNSdB
- When: Sunday, 3 PM ET
- Where: Watkins Glen International, New York
- TV: NBC Sports Network
- Radio: MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
- Live Stream: NBCSports.com
Watkins Glen Track Facts
- Number of previous races: 37.
- First Cup race: August 4, 1957, won by Buck Baker.
- Last Cup race: August 4, 2019, won by Chase Elliott.
- Won from pole: 10, last time by Chase Elliott in 2019.
- Won from top-5 starting position: 24 times in 37 races (65%).
- Won from top-10 starting position: 28 times (76%).
- Won from 21st or worse starting position: 0 times (0%).
- Worst starting spot for race winner: 18th, by Steve Park in 2000.
- Most laps led: 83, by Tony Stewart in 2005.
- Fewest laps led by a race winner: 1, by Joey Logano in 2015.
- Fastest race: 104.132 mph by Martin Truex, Jr. in 2017.
- Fastest qualifying speed: 129.466 mph by Jeff Gordon in 2014.
- Most lead changes: 14 in 1991, 2006 and 2011.
- Closest finish: Jeff Gordon’s .172 second margin over Jeff Burton in 2001.
- Most caution flags: 10 in 2006.
Odds to Win the 2021 Go Bowling at The Glen
- Chase Elliot +175
- Kyle Larson +400
- Martin Truex Jr. +700
- Kyle Busch +750
- Joey Logano +1000
- Christopher Bell +1200
- Denny Hamlin +1200
- William Byron +1800
- Kurt Busch +2200
- Ryan Blaney +2800
- Alex Bowman +2800
- Kevin Harvick +3300
- Matt Dibenedetto +3300
- Tyler Reddick +3300
- Brad Keselowski +3300
- Ross Chastain +4000
- Daniel Suarez +5000
- Chase Briscoe +6000
- Erik Jones +6600
- Michael McDowell +6600
- Chris Buescher +8000
- Cole Custer +12500
- Aric Almirola +12500
- Ryan Preece +15000
- Austin Dillon +15000
- Bubba Wallace +20000
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. +20000
- Ryan Newman +30000
- Corey LaJoie +50000
- Justin Haley +50000
- James Davison +100000
- Anthony Alfredo +100000
- Kyle Tillet +150000
- Quin Houff +150000
- RC Enerson +150000
- Garrey Smithley +150000
- Josh Bilicki +150000
Who Has the Better Odds to Win the 2021 Go Bowling at The Glen
Elliott sits third on the all-time winners list on NASCAR road courses and could tie Stewart for second with an eighth victory. Gordon leads the category with nine road course wins. Elliott has two wins in 22 starts this year but comes off a disappointing 18th-place finish two weeks ago at New Hampshire (no race last week). Elliott’s team was punished from that race for engine allocation infractions at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The 25-point penalty dropped Elliott from fifth to sixth in the Cup series standings.
After dominating late May and the entire month of June, Hendrick Motorsports has now hit a two-race skid where their cars have not visited Victory Lane.
Kyle Larson is the +450 second favorite to win this race for the first time, while Martin Truex Jr. is +500 and Kyle Busch +800. Busch has won there twice, in 2008 & ’13. Truex won in 2017.
Larson, meanwhile, leads the points standings and has four wins on the year with 11 Top-5 finishes. He comes off a seventh-place finish at New Hampshire and in the previous two races overall hadn’t been better than 16th. Prior to that stretch, Larson had posted a Top-2 in eight of nine races, winning four of them.
Aric Almirola is a +10000 long shot even though he just won at New Hampshire, his first victory of the year. With his first Cup win outside of a superspeedway, Almirola snapped a 98-race winless streak. Impending darkness prompted NASCAR to shorten the race by 10 laps as New Hampshire Motor Speedway does not have lights.
Almirola drives the Go Bowling car: “We’ve got a little bit of extra to go get it considering it’s the Go Bowling at The Glen race.”
The driver with the best average finish at Watkins Glen with a minimum of three races isn’t Elliott (7.0) but Erik Jones at 6.3. However, he’s a +30000 long shot.