CONCORD, N.C.— This weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is in New York at Watkins Glen International.
And Hendrick Motorsports is prepared to take on the challenging 2.45-mile road course.
“Watkins Glen is a more flowy track than Sonoma for us,” said Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Jimmie Johnson Foundation Chevrolet SS. “I think it probably complements our cars a bit better, but it’s much more difficult on the brakes.”
To prepare for Sunday’s race, take a look at the key notes below to remember before the green flag drops at The Glen.
BROADCAST INFORMATION: Sunday’s race will air live on USA at 2:30 p.m. ET. Can’t make it to the television? Listen to the race live on MRN and SiriusXM to catch the radio coverage. Here is the full broadcast schedule:
Friday, August 5:
12:30 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Practice, NBC Sports Network
3:00 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Final Practice, NBC Sports Network
Saturday, August 6:
Noon ET: Sprint Cup Series Qualifying, CNBC
Sunday, August 7:
2:30 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Race, USA
THIS WEEKEND’S PAINT SCHEMES: This weekend at Watkins Glen International, Kasey Kahne will drive the No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS. For the second time in the 2016 season, SunEnergy1 will be the primary partner on board Rookie of the Year contender Chase Elliott’s No. 24 Chevrolet SS. Johnson’s No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet will feature the special star logos of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation 10th Anniversary paint scheme and four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon will drive the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet SS.
HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT WATKINS GLEN: In 30 races at Watkins Glen, Hendrick Motorsports has six wins, six pole positions, 18 top-five finishes and 35 top-10s. Gordon ranks second on the all-time wins list at WGI with four victories. He earned Hendrick Motorsports’ most recent victory at the road course when he won the 2001 event. With 262 laps led, Gordon is the all-time leader in that category at the serpentine track.
WATKINS GLEN TEST: Kahne and the No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS team have already visited Watkins Glen once this season. The No. 5 team completed a two-day tire test on May 10 and 11. In Kahne’s 12 starts at the 2.45-mile road course, he recorded a best finish of 12th in 2014 after he led three laps. The Enumclaw, Washington, native’s best qualifying effort at the track was in 2006 when he started from the outside pole position. Kahne has also completed 98.6 percent of the 1,084 laps he’s run at the New York track.
GREAT CLIPS #MOREMINUTES: Save #MoreMinutes during the busy back-to-school season by using the Great Clips check-in app or checking in online for a haircut at your local salon. #MoreMinutes will adorn the TV panel of Kahne’s No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS this weekend at Watkins Glen International. Great Clips is asking fans to share a selfie of your new haircut via Twitter or Instagram and tell them what you would do with #MoreMinutes.
ROAD COURSE ROOKIE: Elliott will make his second NASCAR Sprint Cup road course start this weekend at Watkins Glen International. However, the road course rookie will have a few additional miles under his belt as he took part in a test at The Glen on July 26 and July 27. In addition to his Sprint Cup road course debut at Sonoma Raceway earlier this year, Elliott has competed in six road course races in NASCAR’s XFINITY Series, earning four top-five finishes. He has also competed in one Camping World Truck Series road course event, scoring a victory, and three ARCA Racing road course races, earning top-five finishes in each.
FIFTH-HIGHEST DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR's loop data statistics, Johnson has the fifth-best driver rating at Watkins Glen with a score of 98.4 during the past 10 years at the track. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum a driver can earn in each race is 150 points. The driver rating number is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator.
EARNHARDT UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet SS for Hendrick Motorsports, has not been cleared by physicians to compete in at least the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events. It will be the fourth consecutive race he has missed as he continues to recover from a concussion. Earnhardt underwent further evaluation Tuesday at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program. The driver said on his weekly The Dale Jr. Download podcast that he continues to experience issues with balance and gaze stabilization.
MILESTONE START: Gordon will make his 800th career NASCAR Cup Series start this weekend. He has made all 799 of his career Cup starts while driving for car owner Rick Hendrick. In addition to his four championships (1995, 1997, 1998 and 2001), Gordon has earned 93 Cup victories, which ranks him third on the all-time wins list. He’s a three-time Daytona 500 winner, a record five-time Brickyard 400 winner and has seven wins at Darlington Raceway. He has racked up 81 poles, which also ranks him third on the all-time pole award winner’s list, 325 top-five finishes, 475 top-10s and has led a total of 24,929 laps in his 24-year career.