• Jan 26th 2010 at 8:28AM
  • 10
Watkins Glen is in for some renovations. The historic road course in upstate New York was once the home of the US Grand Prix, and today hosts races in the Indy Racing League, NASCAR, the Rolex Grand-Am series and the SCCA Speed World Challenge, not to mention several vintage racing series. It's a veritable landmark in American automobile racing, and (nostalgia not being what it used to be) only stands to get better with the new improvements underway.

Intended to improve both safety and competition, the revisions will include paved run-off areas replacing some of the gravel traps and grass fields, new crash barriers and guard rails, upgraded catch fences and the installation of FIA-regulation curbs at certain corners. The project, which is set to be completed before the track opens for the season in April, will be the largest undertaken at the track since the catch fences were installed before the IndyCar Series came in 2005.

The plans were announced by the International Speedway Corporation, the company owned by the France family that controls NASCAR and which, in turn, owns and operates Watkins Glen along with such noteworthy oval speedways as Daytona, Talladega, Darlington and Homestead, to name just a few. However The Glen, as it's known, remains the only road course under the umbrella, and one of only two on the NASCAR Sprint Cup calendar, which calls its race there, if you can believe it, "Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen".

[Source: Racer via Axis of Oversteer | Image: Chris Graythen/Getty]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      So, if it meets current FIA regs, they could host the USGP again? PLEASE?!?!?!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've spent many many days there at the glen in my short 22 years, here's to hoping that the renovations make improvements and don't put a damper on the competition!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Without a memorial to to the burning of the bus in the bog it will not be complete in my eyes.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This track needs it. There are too many spots that have no runoff room and ancient metal guard rails. (as the picture shows above)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Watkins Glen does not need the USGP. It is too nice a facility to have the cruds that attended previous GP's to decend upon it again. Let F1 stay where it is. Watkins Glen will get along fine without it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Haha... I'm with the Commander. I'd much rather the F1 crowd than the NASCAR crowd. Nothing beats Rolex weekend though. Just the right crowd (those that truly enjoy it) and plenty of space to roam and EVERYTHING is opened up.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If this means a chance of more awesome races, bring it on. Can't wait for Rolex weekend.

      We are hoping to also have one of our autox events at one of the paddock areas later this year (much later). Will be a first for the Glen Region - but should be awesome. If we're able to do it, it should coincide with a regional club race that weekend.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Here's hoping they don't ugilfy the Glen too much - too many tracks these days have asphalt runoff areas the size of parking lots and heavy fencing everywhere, which really detracts from their appeal.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Bernie would be proud.
    Share This Photo X