For periods of time, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart dominated the competition at Watkins Glen International. Stewart owns a track-record five wins (2002, 2004-05, 2007, 2009), while Gordon comes in second with four (1997-99, 2001).
Both could use a return to their winning ways at the Central New York road course on Sunday. Stewart needs a visit to Victory Lane in the next five races to make the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. At 12th on the Chase Grid, a comfortable 83 points above the cutoff line, Gordon will likely make the postseason. Still, a win would give him momentum. Also, if/when Kyle Busch makes the top 30, Gordon’s cushion shrinks. A DNF could doom him.
While Gordon’s loop stats at The Glen are mediocre by his standards (10th-best driver rating, 85.4; 12th-best average running position, 17.075) Stewart’s are elite by any measure. The No. 14 Chevrolet driver boasts series-best totals in average running position (5.661), driver rating (120.4) and average green flag speed (120.785 mph).