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2014 Cheez-It 355 at The Glen weekend: Who to watch

Drivers to watch at Watkins Glen International this weekend
Drivers to watch at Watkins Glen International this weekend
NASCAR Media

Fact No. 1: There are actually tracks where Jimmie Johnson has yet to win on the Sprint Cup Series schedule.

Fact No. 2: One of them is Watkins Glen International.

While Johnson does have seven top 10 finishes in 12 starts at the 2.45-mile, seven-turn track in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, Johnson’s best finish at The Glen is third, twice – 2007 and 2012. The track hosts this weekend’s Cheez-It 355 at The Glen on Sunday.

His Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon, on the other hand, is one of the long-time masters of the road course in general: Gordon leads all active drivers with nine road course wins (WGI and Sonoma combined). His four wins at The Glen are second only to Tony Stewart, who has five wins at the track (seven combined road course wins).

Unlike Gordon, who has two wins on the season, Stewart is searching for his first win of the season – and he’s not the only driver in that position: Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman and Clint Bowyer are just a few of the drivers in the same boat as Stewart. Stewart missed last year’s race at The Glen after suffering a broken leg in a sprint car accident earlier that week.

Also among the drivers looking to squeeze their way into the Chase for the Sprint Cup: recent road course aces Marcos Ambrose and AJ Allmendinger. Ambrose won two straight races at The Glen in the Cup Series in 2011 and 2012, and has five top 10 finishes in six starts there; he also had three straight Nationwide Series wins at The Glen from 2008 to 2010. Allmendinger, still searching for his first career Cup Series win, has top 10 finishes in the last three races at the track; he also has two wins in two road course starts in the Nationwide Series (Road America and Mid-Ohio, both in 2013). Only Ambrose will compete in the Nationwide Series Zippo 200 at The Glen on Saturday.

Qualifying for the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen takes place Saturday at 11:40 a.m. ET, with the race going green Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. Keep up with the action at www.nascar.com.

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