Quotes from ESPN Analyst Andy Petree on Watkins Glen Andy Petree, NASCAR analyst for ESPN, was a 25-time NASCAR Sprint Cup race winner and two-time series champion during his career as a crew chief.
Q – Are race teams still building special cars for road courses, even with the new Sprint Cup car?
Andy Petree- Yes, they are. You will see some teams run a car that they’ve run on an oval, but most teams are starting to have cars for specialized race tracks like Watkins Glen. A lot of that is because of packaging, although they are petty limited to what they can do. Since Watkins Glen is primarily right hand turns you are going to want to place the oil tank and batteries on the right- hand side of the vehicle. But, now NASCAR tells you where to put a lot of that stuff. The angle of the front tires is going to be different. The base of the car is going to be the same but the way it’s packaged is going to be different. Most teams will probably have a specialized car.
Q – What makes a NASCAR driver good on a road course?
Andy Petree- The main thing is to get the car stopped in the shortest amount of time and distance and letting the car roll through the middle of the corner. That is a real skill that many of the road course ringers have learned and really refined because they do it so much. Oval track racing is different. You’re really carrying a lot of momentum and speed on ovals and you’re not trying to slow down the car a lot. How a driver is going to bleed off the speed when they enter those turns and how they can carry that speed and do it in a shorter time is the skill set needed to be a good road course racer.
Q – What’s something unique about Watkins Glen that fans should watch for on the telecast?
Andy Petree- Watkins Glen is a very fast road course. Horsepower will really come into play, especially along the back straightaway. You’ll see the guys take that as a great passing opportunity. There are several run-off areas and you’ll see guys run into each other there. Then, of course, the brakes are going to be a big issue because of the high-speed straights going into the tight turns.
NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series Live from Watkins Glen This Weekend
The NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will be in action this weekend at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International as the historic road racing facility celebrates its 60th anniversary. The NASCAR Sprint Cup race airs live on ESPN on Sunday, Aug. 10, at 1 p.m., while the NASCAR Nationwide Series race airs Saturday, Aug. 9, at 2:30 p.m. on ABC.
Coverage from Watkins Glen also includes a live telecast of NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying on Friday, Aug. 8, at 3 p.m., and coverage of practice sessions earlier that day at noon and Saturday, Aug. 9, at 1:30 p.m. Nationwide Series qualifying airs Saturday at 10 a.m., and coverage of final practice airs Friday at 5:30 p.m. All practice and qualifying coverage is on ESPN2, and all programming airs in high definition.
Dr. Jerry Punch will be lead announcer for ESPN’s coverage, with analysis by Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. The pre-race NASCAR Countdown show from the ESPN pit studio will be hosted by Allen Bestwick, with analysts Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty.
As part of the 60th anniversary celebration of Watkins Glen, ESPN Classic airs the track’s 1988 NASCAR Sprint Cup race on Thursday, Aug. 7, at 2 p.m.