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K&N Pro East Stat Advance: Watkins Glen

Analyzing the Finger Lakes Wine Country 100
Travis Barrett, NASCARHomeTracks.com
August 2, 2017 - 9:19am

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East heads to Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York, for the Finger Lakes Wine Country 100 on Friday, August 4. Below is a look at the race itself and some of the selected participants.

Finger Lakes Wine Country 100 Race Setup: 
• Todd Gilliland heads into Watkins Glen as the hottest driver in the series, winning three of the last four races, including two in a row, to pull to within six points of Harrison Burton atop the K&N Pro Series East standings.
• The Finger Lakes Wine Country 100 is the fifth race in a six-week stretch for the series that has seen Burton — who has four wins this season — and Gilliland pull away from the rest of the field with just four races remaining on the schedule. 

At Watkins Glen International:
History:
• The track was established by law student Cameron Argetsinger in 1948 on the streets of Watkins Glen, New York.
• Competition moved to a temporary course in 1953, and a 2.3-mile permanent circuit was built in 1956.
• In 1992, the back straightaway was reconfigured, adding an inner loop that increased the length of the long course to 3.4-miles and the short course to 2.45-miles.
• Held its first NASCAR race in 1957, won by Buck Baker in what is now the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup.
• The first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event was held in 1993 and was won by Bobby Dragon.

Notebook:
• The K&N Pro Series East has held 23 events at Watkins Glen since 1993, including 17 standalone races and six combination races with the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
• There have been 17 different series event winners at Watkins Glen. Scott Heckert, Bryan Wall, Andy Santerre and Ted Christopher each have two wins at the track.
• Thirteen drivers have won pole awards at Watkins Glen in standalone events. Curtis Markham and Dale Quarterley are the only drivers with more than one pole award at the track with two each.

Watkins Glen Data:
Race: #11 of 14 overall
Race Date: Friday, August 4, 4:45 p.m. ET
Track Layout: 2.45-mile road course
Race Length: 41 laps (100.45 miles)

Qualifying/Race Data:
2016 Winner: Austin Cindric
2016 Pole Sitter: Austin Cindric
1-lap Qualifying Record: Brodie Kostecki, 121.039 mph (72.869 seconds, 2014)
100-mile Race Record: Austin Cindric, 90.586 mph (August 2016)

Selected Driver Highlights:
Ronnie Bassett Jr. (No. 04 Bassett Gutters and More Chevrolet)
• Sits fourth in the standings with one win, six top fives and seven top 10s through 10 races this season.
• Won the season opener at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway for his first career win.
• Heads into the weekend on the strength of five straight top-six finishes after three straight finishes of 14th or worse dropped him out of the series point lead.
• Finished 15th at Watkins Glen in 2014 in his only career start at the track.

Harrison Burton (No. 12 DEX Imaging Toyota)
• Holds the K&N Pro Series East points lead with four wins, nine top fives and 10 top 10s in 10 races this season.
• Won at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in April for his first career K&N Pro Series East win.
• Also, has wins at Virginia’s South Boston Speedway, Memphis (Tenn.) International Speedway and Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park this season.
• Leads the series with nine top-five finishes this season and is one of only two drivers to finish in the top 10 in every start. Has not finished worse than sixth this year.
• Finished 12th last season in his only career start at Watkins Glen.

Ruben Garcia Jr. (No. 6 UTI/NTI Toyota)
• Finished a career-best second at Bristol and has four straight top-10 finishes entering Watkins Glen.
• Sits fifth in the standings with two top fives and eight top 10s in 10 races this season overall, having already set new career highs for top fives and top 10s.
• Was the 2015 NASCAR Peak Mexico Series champion with four wins, 15 top fives and 41 top 10s in 64 career starts in that series.
• Finished 17th last season in his only career start at Watkins Glen.

Todd Gilliland (No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota)
• One of only two drivers to finish in the top 10 in all 10 K&N Pro Series East races this season, he sits second in the championship standings with three wins, seven top fives and 10 top 10s through 10 races.
• Won three of the last four races, including the last two races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Iowa Speedway, and has 16 career wins between the K&N Pro Series East and West.
• This will be his first series start at the Glen.

Scott Heckert (No. 31 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet)
• Has four career K&N Pro Series East wins, including two at Watkins Glen, in 44 career series starts.
• Making his first series start since the 2015 season finale.
• Three of his four K&N Pro Series East career wins have come on road courses, including consecutive wins at Watkins Glen in 2014 and 2015 and a victory at VIRginia International Raceway in 2014.

Robert Pawlowski (No. 32 Channel/JD Equipment Ford)
• Making his first career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East start.
• Has a background in GT road racing and sno-cross snowmobile racing.
• His car owner Dale Quarterley is one of only two drivers in series history to win two poles at Watkins Glen.

Chase Purdy (No. 17 Bama Buggies/Textron Off Road Toyota)
• Sits third in the championship standings with four top fives and six top 10s in 10 races this season, and is the only rookie ranked in the top five in the standings.
• Sits atop the K&N Pro Series East Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings with a ten point lead over Chase Cabre.
• Won four straight poles, beginning in Memphis and ending at New Hampshire.
• Has four runner-up finishes in 2017, including in his most recent start at Iowa.
• This will be his first series start at WGI.

Ryan Truex (No. 11 Gunma Toyopet Toyota)
• The 2009 and 2010 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion has five career wins with 15 top fives and 17 top 10s in 23 career series starts.
• Making his first series appearance since Bristol in April, which was his first K&N Pro Series start since Dover in 2010.
• Won at Watkins Glen in 2009, his only career start at the track.
• Currently sits seventh in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings with seven top 10s in 12 races this season.

Up To Speed:
• The 2017 season is the 31st for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
• The 2017 East schedule features 14 races at 13 different tracks across the United States.
• Ronnie Bassett Jr. earned his first career East win in the season opener at New Smyrna.
• Point leader Harrison Burton earned his first career win at Bristol and became the series’ first four-time winner this season with a victory at Thompson.
• Todd Gilliland has won three of the last four races, including two straight at New Hampshire and Iowa.
• Chase Purdy won four straight poles beginning at Memphis and ending at New Hampshire.