Scott Dixon exits Turn 1 during practice for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen at Watkins Glen International — Photo by: Bret Kelley
Race weekend: Friday Sept. 2 – Sunday, Sept. 4
Track: Watkins Glen International, an 11-turn, 3.37-mile road course in Watkins Glen, N.Y.
Race distance: 60 laps / 202.2 miles
Entry List: INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen (PDF)
Push-to-pass parameters: 10 activations for 20 seconds each
Firestone tire allotment: Eight sets primary, three sets alternate
Twitter: @WGI @IndyCar, #INDYCARGP, #IndyCar
Event website: http://www.theglen.com
INDYCAR website: http://www.IndyCar.com
2010 race winner (most recent event): Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara-Honda)
2010 Verizon P1 Award winner (most recent event): Will Power (12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara-Honda), 1 minute, 29.3164 seconds, 135.832 mph
Qualifying record: Ryan Briscoe, 1:28.1322, 137.657 mph, July 4, 2009
NBCSN television broadcasts: Practice, 11 a.m. ET Friday, Sept. 2 (live); Qualifying, 6 p.m. ET Saturday, Sept. 3 (taped); Race, 2 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 4 (live); Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for the NBCSN broadcasts this weekend alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Pit reporters are Jon Beekhuis, Kevin Lee, Katie Hargitt and Robin Miller.
Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Jake Query and Nick Yeoman are the turn announcers with Dave Furst, Rob Howden and Michael Young reporting from the pits. All Verizon IndyCar Series races as well as qualifying sessions are broadcast live on network affiliates, Sirius 212, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app. All Verizon IndyCar Series practice sessions are available on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app.
Video streaming: Friday afternoon’s practice session (3:30 p.m. ET), Saturday morning’s practice (11 a.m. ET), qualifying for the Verizon P1 Award (3 p.m. ET Saturday) and Sunday’s final practice (10:30 a.m. ET) will be available on RaceControl.IndyCar.com.
INDYCAR Mobile app: Verizon Wireless puts fans around the world in the driver’s seat with its INDYCAR Mobile app. The app has been enhanced with new features to keep fans in the know of the latest race-day action. Exclusive features of the INDYCAR Mobile app for Verizon Wireless customers will stream live through the app and includes enhanced real-time leaderboard and car telemetry; the ability to follow the race in real time with the interactive 3D track; live in-car camera video streaming for select drivers during Verizon IndyCar Series races; live driver and pit crew radio transmissions during races and live Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network audio streaming during all track activities.
At-track schedule (all times local):
Friday, Sept. 2
11 – 11:45 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #1, NBCSN (Live)
3:30-5:30 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #2, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
Saturday, Sept. 3
11 – 11:45 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #3, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
3 p.m. – Qualifying for the Verizon P1 Award (three rounds of knockout qualifying), RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live); TV: NBCSN (Taped, 6 p.m.)
Sunday, Sept. 4
10:30 – 11 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series warmup, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
1:55 p.m. – Driver Introductions
2:30 p.m. – Command to Start Engines
2:37 p.m. – INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen (60 laps/202.2 miles), NBCSN (Live)
• Simon Pagenaud leads the Verizon IndyCar Series championship with two races to go for the first time in his career.
• Simon Pagenaud leads Will Power by 28 points. Pagenaud has led the championship since the second race of the season at Phoenix. With 54 maximum points available at Texas, the points lead could change for the second time in 2015.
• There are nine drivers still mathematically eligible for the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series championship: Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden, Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal, James Hinchcliffe and Carlos Munoz. Any driver who trails the points leader by 104 points or more following the race will be eliminated from contention.
• Six drivers were eliminated from championship contention at Texas Motor Speedway on Aug. 27 – Charlie Kimball, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, Juan Pablo Montoya, Sebastien Bourdais and Mikhail Aleshin.
• Since the first Indy car race at Watkins Glen in 1979, the winning driver has won the championship once – Rick Mears in 1981.
Key championship point statistic: The driver who has led the championship with two races to go has failed to win the championship in six of the last nine seasons. Scott Dixon in 2008, Dario Franchitti in 2011 and Will Power in 2014 are the exceptions.
Point differential: The 28 points which separate Simon Pagenaud and Will Power is the fourth-largest margin with two races remaining since 2010. Ryan Hunter-Reay, who trailed Power by 36 points with two races remaining in 2012, and Scott Dixon, who was 34 points behind Juan Pablo Montoya last year, have overcome a larger deficit. The average deficit with two races to go since 2007 is 20.67 points.
Championship-eligible drivers’ results at Watkins Glen: Will Power, Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon are the only championship-eligible drivers to have raced an Indy car at Watkins Glen International. Dixon and Power are former race winners at The Glen with Dixon winning three in a row from 2005-2007 and Power winning in 2010. Kanaan’s best finish is second and he has a pair of podium finishes. Castroneves has won three pole positions at the track, but has never finished better than fourth in six starts.
• There have been eight different winners in the 14 previous Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2016: Juan Pablo Montoya (Streets of St. Petersburg), Scott Dixon (Phoenix International Raceway), Simon Pagenaud (Streets of Long Beach, Barber Motorsports Park, Grand Prix of Indianapolis and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course), Alexander Rossi (Indianapolis 500), Sebastien Bourdais (Raceway at Belle Isle-1), Will Power (Raceway at Belle Isle-2, Road America, Toronto and Pocono), Josef Newgarden (Iowa Speedway) and Graham Rahal (Texas Motor Speedway). Dixon’s win at Phoenix on April 2 tied him for fourth on the all-time Indy car victory list with Al Unser at 39. He is the active leader in wins. Bourdais’ win at Belle Isle on June 4 tied him with Bobby Unser for sixth on the all-time list with 35 wins. Power’s win at Pocono on Aug. 22 tied him with Rick Mears and Helio Castroneves for 11th all-time with 29.
• The INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen will be the 10th Indy car race at Watkins Glen International. Will Power won the last Verizon IndyCar Series race at the track in 2010. Bobby Unser won the first Indy car race at The Glen in 1979.
• Scott Dixon is the winningest Indy car driver at Watkins Glen with three victories (2005, 2006 and 2007). Bobby Unser won at Pocono twice. Past winners Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008) and Will Power (2010) are entered this year.
• Will Power is the only driver to win the race from the pole in 2010.
• Team Penske has won four times at Watkins Glen. Penske’s winning drivers are: Bobby Unser (1979 and 1980), Rick Mears (1981) and Will Power (2010).
• Chip Ganassi Racing has three wins at Watkins Glen, all by Scott Dixon from 2005-2007.
• Scott Dixon has finished on the podium in four of his six starts at Watkins Glen, including his three wins. Tony Kanaan has a pair of podium finishes in his six starts, including a second-place finish in 2005. Marco Andretti has finished in the top five in three of five starts.
• Eight drivers entered in the event have competed in past Indy car races at Watkins Glen: Marco Andretti, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Will Power, Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato. Castroneves, Dixon and Kanaan each have six starts, most among the entered drivers. Six of those drivers have led laps at the track (Dixon 68, Castroneves 50, Power 45, Andretti 11, Kanaan 11 and Hunter-Reay 9). Dixon has led in five of his six previous starts.
• Five rookies – Max Chilton, Conor Daly, RC Enerson, Spencer Pigot and Alexander Rossi – are entered. Rossi leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings by 83 points over Daly, with Chilton 127 points behind.
• Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 264th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Teammate Scott Dixon has made 205 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the third-longest streak in Indy car racing.
• Helio Castroneves will attempt to make his 326th career Indy car start, which ranks fourth on the all-time list. Tony Kanaan will attempt to make his 325rd Indy car start, which is fifth all-time.
• Ryan Hunter-Reay will attempt to make his 200th career Indy car start at Watkins Glen. He would become the 20th driver to reach that milestone.
• The 2016 season is the second in which aerodynamic bodywork component kits are used. The aero kits, produced by engine manufacturers Chevrolet and Honda for their respective supplied teams, are the latest technical innovation to enhance on-track performance through competitive aerodynamic development. Each manufacturer produces two kits for teams – one for short ovals/road courses/street courses and another for superspeedway ovals – but within each kit, teams have multiple component options available.
• The second season of aero kit competition complements the fifth year of engine manufacturer competition between Chevrolet and Honda with their 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engines. It will be another season testing speed and durability to determine the manufacturer champion.
INDYCAR GRAND PRIX AT THE GLEN PRE-RACE QUOTES:
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet): “Maybe this will be the weekend everything will change. It has to at some point. It will be the first time for us to have the PPG Automotive Refinish Chevrolet at the track this year and those colors have been pretty good. The new track surface at Watkins Glen is incredible. It was a ton of fun to drive at the test. It should be a great weekend.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “We’re still in the (championship) mix, but the Hitachi Chevrolet team needs a solid performance at Watkins Glen. I’ve got some experience there, but it’s a different place now. Our cars really like the new pavement. It was amazing when we tested there a couple of weeks ago. We dodged a few bullets in Texas, so maybe our luck is changing a little. I’m looking forward to a very exciting weekend.”
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “The test at Watkins Glen really opened our eyes to how fast that place is now with the repave. It’s going to be a really fast race. Qualifying will be about who takes the most risks and the show will be incredible. I love fast, natural road courses and this one will be great. Hopefully we can carry the momentum that the SPM team has had for the last three races and come away with a solid finish for the No. 5 Arrow Electronics car.”
MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Honda): “Watkins Glen is a great track with many technical turns. This will be my first race there and I can’t wait to get on track because I’ve heard such good things about it. The SPM team has made great progress during the season and we’ve really picked up momentum at Mid-Ohio, Pocono and Texas. Now we’re ready to go to the top step of the podium.”
MAX CHILTON (No. 8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “We tested Watkins Glen last month and I really enjoyed the track. It’s fast, technical and very challenging. I know Scott (Dixon) has been particularly good there over the years, so I will be leaning on his experience as well. After the last few oval events, it will be nice to get back to road-course racing. The Gallagher team is continuing to get better and I’m learning and logging more and more laps each race weekend.”
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “Watkins Glen is one of those old-school, traditional road courses. It’s one of my favorite tracks on the INDYCAR circuit and we’ve had a lot of success there in the past with Team Target. The layout is really a driver’s track. I think every driver was excited when they announced we were going back. It’s a place where Indy car racing belongs. I’m glad INDYCAR was able to continue this relationship into the future, too, after the recent announcement of the 2017 schedule.”
TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet): “It feels really good to be back at Watkins Glen, especially after seeing it back on the schedule for next season. Scott (Dixon) tested here before the rest of us and I didn’t believe him when he said how much faster it was, until I actually got out there and saw for myself. The last time I was on track here was in the old car (in 2010), so it’s definitely a lot faster now and just a different feel altogether. The track is really impressive, very smooth. I’m glad we’re getting the chance to go back to a road course with so much history.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Team Hydroxycut-KVSH Racing Chevrolet): “The Hydroxycut-KVSH Racing team had a good test at Watkins Glen. We ended up in the top 3 but, obviously, track and weather conditions could be different. However, based on the test I think we should come off the transporter with a good baseline setup. We haven’t qualified well on the road courses this year because we’ve struggled with the red (alternate) tires. Hopefully we can improve in that area and start at the front of the grid. We’re down to the last two races of the season and if we are going to finish in the top 10 in the points, we have to have a good performance this weekend.”
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “I liked Watkins Glen a lot when we went there a few years back. Now, it’s just amazing with the new surface. The speeds are incredible with the grip that we have with these cars. We’ll try and keep the Verizon Chevy in good positions throughout the weekend. We’re down to two races left. Everything we do will be critical. We’ll stay focused and see at the end what’s left to do. I don’t think the fans will leave disappointed after this one.”
TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda): “Watkins Glen is an outstanding track. I’m very happy to hear this venue is returning to the series. I’ve raced there only once in my debut season in INDYCAR in 2010, but I really enjoy this challenging road course. Unfortunately, we couldn’t come to the test here unlike everyone else, so we will face a big challenge but I trust we can catch up quickly and have a strong weekend.”
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): “We have had speed at Watkins Glen in the past, but the race has never gone our way. Having said that, we haven’t been there in years and I think the team and myself have come a long way since. I am looking forward to getting there and trying to keep the momentum we built in Texas. My team and I are poised to keep going and try to sneak into the top 3 in points. We have made the Firestone Fast Six at all of the road-course races so far this season. I think we will be very competitive at Watkins Glen and would be shocked if that’s not the case there, too.”
CONOR DALY (No. 18 Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality Honda): “We need to have a good race at Watkins Glen. Mid-Ohio was great so I’m looking to go back to Watkins Glen with the form we had in testing. I think we rolled off the truck with a really nice setup and we just have to take advantage of it. Points are very important for us. If I’m going to have any chance of catching (Alexander) Rossi in the rookie of the year (standings), I’m going to have to finish ahead of him in a big way in both Watkins and Sonoma. It’s going to be really fast and a really physically difficult weekend. Everybody is going to have to be on their ‘A’ game. It might be difficult to pass, so we may have to use our strengths to get to the front as normal and hopefully we can just have a good race.”
RC ENERSON (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda): “I think we have a good weekend ahead of us. We were really quick in testing. We seem to have pretty good cars. We still need to work a little bit more, but we should be able to dial in the car in practice before qualifying and that should put us in a pretty good spot. I’m just looking forward to getting back in the car. I think the track layout is pretty cool, it has a bit of a Mid-Ohio taste to it almost because of all the elevation changes and a lot of high-speed, flowing corners. That new pavement that they have – I never got to drive on the old one – but apparently it has way more grip and I believe it because it’s pretty intense how much speed you can carry into the corners and how much the car will actually take. I think my objective for the weekend is pretty much the same thing as Mid-Ohio, to pull as much experience as I can from this and do my best and see what kind of result I can bring home.”
SPENCER PIGOT (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “Watkins Glen is quickly becoming one of my favorite tracks. It’s incredibly fast in an Indy car and so much fun to drive. We had our best finish last time out in Mid-Ohio, so hopefully we can build on that this weekend. I think the track will provide close, exciting racing and I can’t wait to get started in our Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevy on Friday.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 21 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka/ECR Chevrolet): “I’m very excited to get to Watkins Glen. We had a great test there a couple of weeks ago, even though it was only a half day with the rain. It’s one of the great racetracks I’ve been wanting to drive on since I was a little kid. I think it’s one of the best courses we have in North America and it’s fun for me to be able to go there for the first time. We should have a really good car. At the test, we had a really good car right off the truck. The season’s been rolling pretty good for us on the No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka car. It would be nice to go into the last event with a strong result. That’s what we’re going to work on.”
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chevrolet): “I think the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen is going to be a very historical race and classic venue. The track is great; the competition is close. All of the ingredients are there and the fans will have a great time as it is a beautiful area. There are just two races left and the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chevy team is out in front. We’ll continue to focus and execute with our head down until we cross the finish line. I really can’t wait for this weekend.”
CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda): “I’m really looking forward to Watkins Glen. It is a new track for almost everyone. We tested there a couple weeks ago and, unfortunately, all we could do was 20 laps. It was a really fast track. for sure, also really, really physical. Hopefully we have a good weekend for the hhgregg team. Only have two races left, we need to continue to work hard.”
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 United Fiber & Data/Snapple Honda): “I can’t wait to get back to The Glen. In 2006, I felt that it could have been my first win and I enjoy the track. I want to end the year with strong results so that we can start looking toward to 2017.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “We’re all really looking forward to returning to Watkins Glen this weekend. In 2008, I had a breakthrough win here, made some great memories and we’re looking to make more this weekend. Hopefully we can keep our string of bad luck at bay for the final two races of the season. DHL, AutoNation, Honda and all our partners on the 28 car should’ve been in victory lane with us already this season. Hopefully we can make that happen this weekend at Watkins Glen.”
JACK HAWKSWORTH (No. 41 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda): “Watkins Glen is a proper racetrack from what I have seen. A variety of corners and very unforgiving in terms of runoff. I look forward to hanging it out there myself on Friday.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Tresiba Chevrolet): “I’m really excited to be racing at Watkins Glen International this weekend. It’s a course that just has so much history within the sport. Since the race was announced, we’ve already seen and heard so much support from fans, too. The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team was able to do some testing earlier this month at The Glen and all I can say is, it’s fast! It’s got those really tight corners through the Boot, but also plenty of track space to gain some speed. I’m looking forward to getting back out there this weekend and getting a good result with the No. 83 Tresiba Chevrolet.”
ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 98 Castrol Edge/Curb Honda): “I’m looking forward to getting to Watkins Glen this weekend and to be a part of the Verizon IndyCar Series’ return to this historical track. We’ve tested there twice and it has quickly become one of my favorite tracks. There are two races left to get back on the podium, so the pressure is on and I’m excited.”
Graphics & Photos Courtesy of Indycar