The Backstretch Blog: Watkins Glen Ahead

It's once again time for NASCAR to start making right turns again. This time it will be at the road course in Watkins Glen, New York. And just like Daytona and Talladega are the same, but very different, so too are the Glen and Infineon.

"It's a totally different race track and atmosphere," said Paul Menard. "It is really tough to pass at Sonoma (Infineon Raceway), and everyone drives in way over their heads. You see a lot of tore-up race cars at Sonoma. You'll probably see some of that at Watkins Glen, but it's a lot easier to pass there. It will be more of a straightforward race."

Maybe, but there is still some bad blood left over after last week's race at Pocono. So while, it doesn't necessarily need to get rough at the Glen, it might. In his weekly media availability, Jimmie Johnson made it now secret how he feels about Kurt Busch.

"If you look at over the years and what his (Kurt Busch) mouth has done for him," said Johnson. "It got my biggest fan, Jimmy Spencer to punch him in the face, it's lead to issues with the NASCAR officials on pit road. I think we all tune in weekly and wonder what's he going to say to his crew guys, look at what he said to Roger Penske his car owner. So I think that aspect is the part that really got me mad. And at the end of the day, I'm not going to let him run his mouth at me."

But Johnson also said he has no plans of taking care of Busch on the track, because he respects his team and Roger Penske too much.

So assuming most drivers are actually focused on the racing, one of the unique features at the Glen is the so called bus stop turn. What's that all about?

"It's called that because you carry so much speed coming off that long straightaway and high speed up through the S-turn," said Clint Bowyer. "You get flying on down into the bus stop with a head of steam built up, trying to out-brake the next guy, who also got into the corner fast, and if he doesn't give you the spot, it creates a pretty intense situation because there's not a lot of room down there."

Tight turns, hot tempers. Cold be a fun weekend at the Glen.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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