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]