INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen Race Preview

“There’s nothing quite like an INDYCAR race at Watkins Glen on Labor Day weekend. It should be a great event. Just a couple weeks ago, we had a very promising test at the Glen, so hopefully we can continue where we left off and have a strong race weekend for the DHL team.”

Fast Facts

Track: Watkins Glen International, an 11-turn, 3.37-mile road course in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

Race distance: 60 laps / 202.2 miles

Push-to-pass parameters: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.

Firestone tire allotment: Seven sets primary, four sets alternate. Teams must use one set of primary and one new set of alternate tires in the race.

Twitter: @WGI @IndyCar, #INDYCARGP, #IndyCar

Event website: http://www.theglen.com/

INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com

2016 race winner: Scott Dixon (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet)

2016 Verizon P1 Award winner: Scott Dixon (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet), 1 minute, 22.5259 seconds, 147.008 mph

Qualifying record: Scott Dixon, 1:22.5259, 147.008 mph, Sept. 3, 2016

NBCSN television broadcasts: Qualifying, 7 p.m. ET Saturday, Sept. 2 (same-day delay); Race, 1 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 3, NBCSN (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, Katie Hargitt, Kevin Lee and Robin Miller.

Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Jake Query (Esses), Nick Yeoman (Inner Loop) and Michael Young (The Boot) are the turn announcers with Dave Furst, Rob Howden and Jim Murphy reporting from the pits. All Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on network affiliates, Sirius 214, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app. All Verizon IndyCar Series practice and qualifying sessions are available on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app.

Video streaming: All practice sessions and qualifying for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen will stream live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com and on the INDYCAR YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/indycar)

INDYCAR Mobile app: Verizon’s INDYCAR Mobile app is available across all carriers. Exclusive features for Verizon Wireless customers will stream live through the app and include enhanced realtime leaderboard and car telemetry; 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. 1
10:15 – 11 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #1, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
3:05 – 3:50 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #2, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
3:55 – 4:10 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series pit stop practice, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)

Saturday, Sept. 2
10:30 – 11:15 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, 7 p.m.)

Sunday, Sept. 3
9 – 9:30 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series warmup, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
1:07 p.m. – Driver introductions
1:40 p.m. – Command to start engines
1:47 p.m. – INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen (60 laps/202.2 miles), NBCSN (Live)

Championship facts:

  • Josef Newgarden leads the Verizon IndyCar Series championship with two races to go for the first time in his career. Newgarden took the championship lead for the first time in his career following his win at Mid-Ohio on July 30.
  • Josef Newgarden leads Scott Dixon by 31 points with Helio Castroneves (-42) and Simon Pagenaud (-43) just behind. With 54 maximum points available at Watkins Glen, the points lead could change for the fifth time in 2017.
  • There are eight drivers still mathematically eligible for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series championship: Josef Newgarden, Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Graham Rahal, Alexander Rossi and Takuma Sato. Any driver who trails the points leader by 104 points or more following the race will be eliminated from contention.
  • 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: Since 2008, the driver who has led the championship with two races to go has failed to win the championship in five of the last nine seasons. Scott Dixon in 2008, Dario Franchitti in 2011, Will Power in 2014 and Simon Pagenaud in 2016 are the exceptions.

Point differential: The 31 points which separate Josef Newgarden and Scott Dixon 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 in 2015, 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:
All eight championship-eligible drivers have raced an Indy car at Watkins Glen International at least once. Scott Dixon and Will Power are former race winners at the Glen with Dixon winning three in a row from 2005-2007 and again in 2016, while Power won in 2010. Newgarden finished second last year in his first start at the Glen while Pagenaud finished seventh in his first race. Castroneves has won three pole positions at the track, but has never finished better than third in seven starts.

Race notes:

  • There have been nine different winners in the 14 previous Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2017: Sebastien Bourdais (Streets of St. Petersburg), James Hinchcliffe (Streets of Long Beach), Josef Newgarden (Barber Motorsports Park, Streets of Toronto, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Gateway Motorsports Park), Simon Pagenaud (Phoenix Raceway), Will Power (INDYCAR Grand Prix, Texas Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway), Takuma Sato (Indianapolis 500), Graham Rahal (Raceway at Belle Isle-1 and Raceway at Belle Isle-2), Scott Dixon (Road America) and Helio Castroneves (Iowa Speedway). Bourdais’ win at St. Pete on March 12 gave him sole possession of sixth on the all-time Indy car victory list with 36 wins. Dixon’s win at Road America on June 25 was his 41st career victory and he will tie Michael Andretti for third all time with his next win. Castroneves’ win at Iowa on July 9 ended a 54-race winless streak and gave him sole possession of 12th all time with 30 wins. Power’s win at Pocono on Aug. 20 gave him sole possession of ninth on the all-time list with 32 wins.
  • The INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen will be the 11th Indy car race at Watkins Glen International. Scott Dixon won the Verizon IndyCar Series’ return to the track in 2016. 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 four victories (2005, 2006, 2007 and 2016). Bobby Unser won at Watkins Glen twice. Past winners Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008) and Will Power (2010) are entered this year.
  • Will Power (2010) and Scott Dixon (2016) the only drivers to win the race from the pole.
  • 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 four wins at Watkins Glen, all by Scott Dixon in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2016.
  • Scott Dixon has finished on the podium in five of his seven starts at Watkins Glen, including his four wins. Tony Kanaan has a pair of podium finishes in his seven starts, including a second-place finish in 2005. Marco Andretti has finished in the top five in three of six starts.
  • Eighteen drivers entered in the event have competed in past Indy car races at Watkins Glen. Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan each have seven starts, most among the entered drivers. Six of those drivers have led laps at the track (Dixon 118, Castroneves 52, Will Power 47, Marco Andretti 11, Kanaan 11, Ryan Hunter-Reay 9, Carlos Munoz 3 and James Hinchcliffe 2). Dixon has led in six of his seven previous starts. Castroneves has led in five of his seven previous starts.
  • Two rookies – Jack Harvey and Ed Jones – are entered. Jones has already clinched the season-long Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award.
  • Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 281st consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Teammate Scott Dixon has made 222 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the second-longest streak in Indy car racing. Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti has made 198 consecutive starts, which is the fourth-longest streak in Indy car racing.
  • Helio Castroneves will attempt to make his 343rd career Indy car start, which ranks third on the all-time list. Tony Kanaan is fourth all-time with 341 starts.
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