NASCAR heads to its second road course of the season at Watkins Glen, and while former European drivers with a bit more experience making right turns are obviously the guys to watch, the injury to Tony Stewart opens up the field a bit for more traditional NASCAR drivers to make a run at the win.
Stewart, who broke his leg Monday night in a sprint car race -- leaving many to wonder what he was doing racing in the first place -- has taken the checkered flag five times at the Cheez-It 355, more than any racer in the history of the event, most recently in 2009. He also had a pair of wins at the Toyota/SaveMart 350, NASCAR's other road course event.
Although some other regular drivers have had success -- Martin Truex, Jr. won at Sonoma this year, Jeff Gordon has four wins at Watkins Glen, and Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick have won there as well -- nobody has done so with the regularity of Stewart.
Stewart-Haas Racing made a smart choice in replacing their namesake driver, though -- Max Papis will take the wheel of the No. 14 car this weekend, and he brings plentiful experience as a road racer in circuits such as Formula One, CART, American Le Mans and Grand-Am.
Marcos Ambrose, an Australian driver, has taken the last two race victories at Watkins Glen, and former Formula One and CART driver Juan Pablo Montoya won the year before that.
Here's the full list of events at Watkins Glen this week, including the Nationwide Series' Zippo 200, one of the rare times the minor league circuit gets big time airtime on ABC.
Friday, August 9
12 p.m: Sprint Cup Series practice, SPEED
1:40 p.m.: Nationwide Series final practice, SPEED
4 p.m.: Sprint Cup Series final practice, SPEED
Saturday, August 10
11:40 a.m.: Sprint Cup series qualifying, ESPN2
2 p.m.: Nationwide Series Zippo 200 coverage starts, ABC
2:30 p.m. NASCAR Nationwide Series Zippo 200
Sunday, August 11
12 p.m.: NASCAR pre-race show, ESPN
1 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at the Glen, ESPN