Chevrolet and Hendrick Motorsports may have been fast on Saturday at the Watkins Glen International road course, but they still have to beat the Toyota’s in Sunday’s Go Bowling at the Glen (3 p.m. ET/NBCSN/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). I don’t know if they can beat the Toyota’s on outright speed.
Last weekend at the Pocono Raceway, Joe Gibbs Racing finished 1-2-3 for the second time of the year already. In last year’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at the Glen, Toyota’s finished 2-3-4-5. Heck, in the only other road course race this season in Sonoma, JGR finished 1-2.
In practice on Saturday, JGR was 2-3-7-9 in the first session this morning and 2-5-7-10 in final practice. Throw in Matt DiBenedetto’s No. 95 Toyota with Leavine Family Racing and they had 2-3-5-7-10 in the final session of the day.
Good luck topping that.
Denny Hamlin enters this weekend with three straight top five finishes in his No. 11 Toyota including two straight top two’s. He also won this race in 2016 and was fourth in 2017 as well. Furthermore, if you go back six weeks, Hamlin has four top five finishes. He was third and seventh respectively on the speed charts on Saturday and second in final practice on the 10 lap average chart.
Erik Jones finished 10th in 2017 and fifth last year. If he gains another five spots he will win on Sunday. Jones, has three consecutive top three finishes in his No. 20 Toyota on the season and four top seven results in his last five races too. Heading into the Kentucky, he was 13 points behind the cutoff. Heading into Watkins Glen, he’s 39 points to the good. He was ninth and 10th respectively on single lap speed and eighth on the 10 lap average.
Martin Truex Jr. was seventh and second respectively in his No. 19 Toyota in practice. He won this race in 2017 and was second last year. He won at Sonoma in June too. In fact, if you go back to the 2017 Watkins Glen race, his road course finishes are first (WGI), first Sonoma (2018), second at Watkins Glen (2018), 14th on the ROVAL (2018) but was leading on the final lap and first at Sonoma (2019). That’s four top two finishes in his last five tries.
Then there’s Kyle Busch who was second and fifth respectively in practice and 10th on the 10 lap averages. He has four straight top seven finishes in Watkins Glen and a top 10 in all but two career starts.
DiBenedetto, finished fourth in Sonoma back in June and is a legit sleeper to win this weekend.