Tha Sports Junkies 101

Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International Preview


This weekend, NASCAR’s finest head to Watkins Glen International for the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen. This is the 22nd race of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. In last year’s race, Joey Logano conquered this race over then newly minted title contender Kyle Busch.

Do It All Logano: Joey Logano silenced any remaining critics last year when he won this exact race and proved his versatility as a driver. In 2015, Joey also visited Victory Lane at a short track (Bristol), two restrictor-plate tracks (Daytona and Talladega) and two 1.5-mile ovals. Now, with less pressure on him to perform, can he repeat his feat from last year?

Where Are The Road Course Ringers?: It’s been no secret that fans have been seeing less and less road course ringers in recent years, and this weekends no exception. Only Boris Said (In the 32 GoFas Racing entry) and Alex Kennedy (In the 55 Premium Motorsports entry) join full time “ringers” AJ Allmendinger and Michael McDowell this weekend.

All In or All Out For AJ?: AJ Allmendinger crashed the Chase with a win at Watkins Glen International in 2014 and will try to do it again in 2016 with a visit to Victory Lane in Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 at The Glen. The road-course ace and former INDYCAR driver realizes he won’t have a better opportunity to take a checkered flag the rest of the season. AJ’s season hangs in the balance and will be a story to watch throughout the weekend.

Mr.800 Gordon: Veteran driver Jeff Gordon will make his 800th career start this weekend in Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 at The Glen. When Jeff takes the green, he will be the ninth driver to make his 800th start, joining the following: Richard Petty (1,185), Ricky Rudd (906), Terry Labonte (890), Dave Marcis (883), Mark Martin (882), Kyle Petty (829), Bill Elliott (828) and Darrell Waltrip (809). Gordon is still substituting for the injured Dale Earnhardt Jr. for at least this weekend and the next race at Bristol in two weeks.

And Mr. 600 Kenseth: Matt Kenseth will make his 600th career start in Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 at The Glen. For his career, Kenseth boasts 38 wins (tied for 19th in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history), 167 top fives, 299 top 10s, 17 poles and 10,851 laps led. But, Kenseth’s luck at WGI has been horrid as he only has one top five and six top 10s in 16 starts.

Below is some NASCAR Fantasy advice for the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen and the drivers to consider and to avoid:

Drivers To Consider: A.J. Allmendinger, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch, and Carl Edwards

Drivers To Avoid: Chase Elliott, Jimmie Johnson, Chris Buescher, Ryan Newman, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Potential Sleepers: Clint Bowyer, Casey Mears, Aric Almirola, David Ragan, and Boris Said

When and Where to Watch: The Cheez-It 355 at The Glen starts Sunday at 2:30pm EST on USA Network