Watkins Glen, NY – The Nationwide Series will join the Sprint Cup Series this weekend at Watkins Glen International.
This will be the second road-course race for Nationwide in 2013. When the series ran on a road course for the first time this season on June 22 at Road America In Elkhart, Wis., Regan Smith entered that event with a comfortable 58-point lead. Smith had won the week prior at Michigan.
Since Michigan, Smith has finished no better than eighth. He finished 32nd at Road America after being spun around onto the gravel during the final lap.
Smith comes to Watkins Glen, which is located roughly 75 miles south of his hometown of Cato, N.Y., second in the point standings. Sam Hornish Jr. and he are both 14 points behind leader Austin Dillon.
"Our team ran really well at Road America, but we just didn't have the finish we wanted," Smith said. "I know we can take what we learned there and use it at Watkins Glen. It will be another wild race for the Nationwide Series. Everyone saw how crazy things got at Road America. I don't think you will see the same type of aggressive driving, because the Glen is much faster, but you can bet some tempers will flare."
Smith has two Nationwide starts at Watkins Glen, finishing 19th in 2005 and 23rd in '06. He has competed in four Sprint Cup races here, placing ninth in last year's event.
Dillon has finished no worse than 12th in the last seven races, including a 10th-place run at Road America. He claimed the points lead two races ago at Indianapolis. Nationwide will run its third and final road-course event of the season next week at Mid-Ohio.
"I think if we can leave these next two road-course races on the schedule with top-10 finishes, we will be in good shape for the rest of the season," Dillon said. "Our team has made a lot of progress in our road-course program, and we have built a new road-course car to bring to Watkins Glen International, which I am excited about."
Dillon finished 23rd in last year's Nationwide race at Watkins Glen.
Forty-one teams are on the preliminary entry list for the Zippo 200 at the Glen. Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano are those Sprint Cup regulars competing in this race. Keselowski won last week's event at Iowa.
Series: NASCAR Nationwide. Date: Saturday, Aug. 10. Race: Zippo 200 at the Glen. Site: Watkins Glen International. Track: 2.45-mile road course. Start time: 2:15 p.m. ET. Laps: 82. Miles: 200.9. 2012 Winner: Carl Edwards. Television: ABC. Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.