LEGACY MOTOR CLUB Race Preview: Watkins Glen International

Race Information

– Round: NASCAR Cup Series race No. 25 of 36

– Track Location: Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, NY

– Race Name: Go Bowling at The Glen

Broadcast: Sunday, August 20th at 3:00 PM ET live on USA (TV), MRN (Radio), and SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90

– Team Entrants:

  • No. 42 | Mike Rockenfeller & Luke Lambert – Sunseeker Resort Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
  • No. 43 | Erik Jones & Dave Elenz – Allegiant Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
 

Mike Rockenfeller, No. 42 Sunseeker Resort Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

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Watkins Glen International Stats

-NCS Starts: 1; Best start: 33rd; Best finish: 30th (2022)

-Weathertech SportsCar Championship Starts: 2, Best Start: 4th (2023); Best finish 5th( 2023)

-Rolex Grand-Am Sports Car: Starts: 3; Best Start: 1st (2004); Best finish 3rd (2006)

NCS Career Stats (2022-2023)

-Starts: 3; Best Start: 33rd (Watkins Glen, 2022); Best Finish: 24th (Indianapolis 2023)

 

About Sunseeker Resort: Opening in 2023, Florida’s newest luxury resort located in Charlotte Harbor is the first resort property of Sunseeker Resorts, a wholly owned subsidiary of Allegiant Travel Company. Sunseeker Resort Charlotte Harbor occupies over 22 waterfront acres with 785 guest rooms, including 189 Signature Sunsuites™. Set upon the Peace River and Florida Gulf Coast, this premier resort offers 20 original food and beverage concepts; including seven stand-alone restaurants, eleven bars and lounges, two poolside offerings and a 25,000-square-foot multi-dining experience. Additional hotel amenities include a waterfront promenade, two unique rooftop and waterfront pool experiences, 60,000-square-feet of combined convention space, full-service spa and salon, a 7,100-square-foot state-of-the-art fitness center with four group exercise studios with specialty instructor lead classes, three retail and market shops, and an 18-hole championship level golf club exclusive to hotel guests only. The resort is conveniently located within a short drive of Punta Gorda, Fort Myers, Sarasota, St. Petersburg-Clearwater, and Tampa airports. For more information, visit www.sunseekerresorts.com. Follow us on Instagram: @sunseekerresorts and like us on Facebook: @sunseekerresorts.

Indy Rewind: In his third NASCAR Cup Series start, sports car veteran Mike Rockenfeller started the 200-mile event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course from the 39th position. The driver and team seemed to be making ground when a pit road speeding penalty sent him to the rear of the field. Rockenfeller charged forward throughout the remainder of the race and ended up 24th.

Fresh Paint: To commemorate the upcoming opening of Sunseeker Resort in Charlotte Harbor, Florida in October. The the No. 42 Chevrolet has a new look for the remainder of the season. The stunning waterfront resort offers 785 guest rooms ranging from Charlotte Harbor-inspired premium hotel rooms to luxurious Sunsuites™, perfect for short- and long-term stays. For more information, booking and rates go to www.SunseekerResorts.com.

Debut at The Glen: Rockenfeller made his NASCAR Cup Series debut one year ago at Watkins Glen driving for Spire Motorsports. He faced many obstacles throughout the race – starting the race on wet weather tires and changing to slicks under green-flag conditions – yet Rockenfeller dubbed the experience where he ran as high as fourth as “wild”. On Lap 32 of the 90-lap event, Rockenfeller and Tyler Reddick made contact, knocking him off the pace and a late race stop caused him to fall to 30th at the checkered flag.

Lambert at Watkins Glen: Crew Chief Luke Lambert has called nine races in the NASCAR Cup Series at The Glen with four different drivers resulting in one top-10 finish. In Xfinity Series competition, Lambert has two starts with two different drivers managing a 12th and fourth place finish.

Quoting Mike Rockenfeller: “We will have better preparation on our end, I have another week with the team to prepare. I look back at what we learned from Indy – I think qualifying in a better position will be crucial so it makes life hopefully easier in the race. From my end, I need to execute better and not make any mistakes like I did in Indy speeding on pit lane because it probably cost us a top-15 finish.”

“My experience at Watkins Glen should not hurt as I did race a Cup car last year but most of my time on the track has been in a prototype. I raced there this year in IMSA but it’s a different track configuration. Regardless, I love this place, Watkins Glen is a proper road course and I hope that all our work in the SIM sessions, debriefs and everything we do this week will be a buildup from Indy. we hope that we have a solid weekend. I am quite confident we can be better than last week.”

 

Erik Jones, No. 43 Allegiant Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

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Watkins Glen International Stats

-NCS Starts: 5; Best start: 6th, Best finish:4th (2019); Top-5s: 2; Top-10s: 4

-NXS Starts: 3; Best start: 6th,; Best finish: 8th (2017); Top-10s: 1

-K&N Pro Series East Starts: 1; Best Start: 25th; Best finish: 19th

2023 NASCAR Cup Series Season Stats 

Starts: 24; Best start: 8th; Best finish: 6th; Top-10’s: 5; Laps led: 17; Points position: 28th

 

About Allegiant: Las Vegas-based Allegiant (NASDAQ: ALGT) is an integrated travel company with an airline at its heart, focused on connecting customers with the people, places and experiences that matter most. Since 1999, Allegiant Air has linked travelers in small-to-medium cities to world-class vacation destinations with all-nonstop flights and industry-low average fares. Today, Allegiant’s fleet serves communities across the nation, with base airfares less than half the cost of the average domestic roundtrip ticket. For more information, visit us at Allegiant.com.

Indy in the Rearview: Watkins Glen marks the second consecutive road course appearance, Erik Jones and the No. 43 team aim to build on the unfortunate outcome at the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Jones faced an early transmission issue and struggled to recover, encountering difficulties on pit road during both stops and, ultimately finished the race 35th. Despite the transmission setback, Jones and his team gained valuable insights into both the track and the car’s road course package, refining their balance and identifying strategies for the upcoming road course at Watkins Glen.

The Home Stretch: In last year’s three race stretch from Watkins Glen to Darlington, Jones found success at all three tracks, including a 10th place finish at Watkins Glen, a 17th place finish in Daytona, and a win at Darlington. Jones has an average finish of 9.3 in the final push towards the playoffs and the first round in Darlington. 

Last Time Around: In his latest attempt at the 3.37-mile road course in Watkins Glen, NY, Jones started 31st and progressed to a 12th-place finish by the conclusion of stage one, followed by a 17th-place finish at the end of stage two. Despite starting 31st, Jones ran 52% of the race in the top-15. A late caution triggered a restart with just five laps remaining and after the green flag Jones kept the No. 43 in contention during the final sprint, securing a top-10 finish.

Dave at The Glen: Elenz has accumulated six starts in the Xfinity series and one start in the Cup Series alongside Erik Jones. During his Xfinity tenure with JR Motorsports, Elenz has achieved three top-10 finishes and has coached five different drivers to an average finish of 14.8, with just two finishes falling outside the top-15, one of which resulted from engine issues.

Quality Run: During his standout performance at “The Glen” in 2019, Jones began from the 14th position and surged into contention. Jones maintained a consistent presence within the top-15 throughout the entire race and was spotted running as high as 3rd. Jones recorded the fastest lap of the race and achieved an impressive 63.6% quality pass rate throughout. Ultimately, Jones secured a 4th-place finish, marking consecutive top-5 finishes and his third top-10 finish in a row at Watkins Glen.

Running with the best: In five attempts at “The Glen,” Jones maintains an average finish of 11.2, ranking him 8th among all active Cup Series drivers. Jones highlights two top-5 and four top-10 finishes, with only one finish placing outside of the top 10. 

Quoting Erik Jones: “Watkins Glen has always been one of my favorite road courses, so I am excited to get back over there. I feel like our road course stuff has been getting better and better, we took a big step in Chicago. In Indy, we had a mechanical issue, and didn’t really have the chance to race, but I am excited to get to ‘The Glen’ and see what we’ve got. It is probably my favorite road course, so I am eager to see if we can do as well as last year with a top 10 or better.”

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