It's NASCAR race day at Watkins Glen, and we've got the actual race start time, the starting lineup and some other facts about today's Finger Lakes 355 for you below.
What time does the race start today? Former Major League Baseball catcher Kirt Manwaring will give the command to start engines at 1:09 p.m. Eastern time today. Following a few pace laps, Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown will wave the green flag at 1:20 p.m. So if you want to skip the pre-race show and just tune in for the race itself, turn on your TV set at 1:20 p.m. Eastern.
Race name/distance: Today's race is called the "Finger Lakes 355." Watkins Glen was unable to sign a sponsor for the race, so track officials just named it after the Finger Lakes region where the track is located. But 355 isn't the amount of miles – it's 355 kilometers. The race distance is just 220.5 miles, which is 90 laps around the 2.45-mile track. Today's race is only eight laps longer than Saturday's Nationwide Series race.
TV, radio and live streaming: Today's race can be seen on ESPN. This is ESPN's third broadcast of its portion of the season, and it will handle the remainder of the season. There IS live streaming of the race today, which can be found at NASCAR.com's "RaceBuddy" site and on the "Watch ESPN" app. If you'll be away from your computer and TV, check the Motor Racing Network's web site for a list of affiliate radio stations in your area.
*** NOTE: If you're out and about today and can't watch the race, make sure to follow me (@jeff_gluck) on Twitter. I'll be tweeting updates about the event. ***
National anthem: Country music singer Marlee Scott will sing both the United States and Canada national anthems before the race today (the Canada version won't be on TV, though). Watkins Glen, New Hampshire and Michigan play both anthems because they have so many fans from Canada who come over the border for the race.
Tickets: The race is not a sellout, so you should be good to go if you're planning to make a last-minute trip on race day.
Weather: The unofficial NASCAR weatherman, Brian Neudorff, says today's weather at Watkins Glen should be pleasant. There isn't much chance of rain – unlike past Watkins Glen races – and the temperature is expected to be in the high 70s.
Last time: Last year, Marcos Ambrose finally got his breakthrough first NASCAR win and thrust himself into the wild card picture. Could Ambrose or pole-sitter Juan Pablo Montoya do the same thing today?
Here's the starting lineup for today's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen: