The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series travels to Watkins Glen, New York, this week for the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen.
Watkins Glen is the easier of the two road courses. The turns are not as tight as they are at Sonoma, and the course has much more speed. The two things that teams must overcome this week are wheel hop and issues with their brakes. Teams that can control the balance of their cars will run up front.
The race at Watkins Glen last year was filled with wrecks. Jeff Gordon was trying to make his way through the field when he hit the wall on Lap 14. With 10 laps to go, Marcos Ambrose could not get going, causing Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne to wreck. A few laps later, Ambrose got loose again, and Max Papis wrecked him and Brian Vickers. In the end, Kyle Busch outraced Brad Keselowski to the checkered flag.
The Sprint Cup Series raced at Sonoma seven weeks ago, but fantasy teams should not focus on the drivers who ran well at the road course in California.
The misconception in NASCAR is that drivers who run well at Sonoma will run well at Watkins Glen. The tracks are different, though, and require a different skill set to get to Victory Lane. Last year, only four drivers finished in the top 10 at both races (Martin Truex Jr., Carl Edwards, Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson).
Here are my fantasy picks for the Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen.