By Walker Polivka
The NASCAR Cup Series continues today with the Go Bowling at The Glen at Watkins Glen International. Read on below to see our prediction for who will win the race, as well as our top 10, dark horse, and driver to fade predictions.
Driver to Fade: Loris Hezemans- One of the premier drivers of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, Hezemans has made quite a name for himself over the last several years, with 11 race wins and 2 Championships since 2018. Racing part-time for Team Hezeberg in the Cup Series this season, Hezemans has been far from impressive, with a best finish of 34th in 3 starts. Hezemans was one of the slowest in both Practice and Qualifying yesterday and we predict that his lack of success will continue this afternoon with another finish outside the top 30.
Dark Horse: Chris Buescher- Buescher has put together a solid 2022 season so far, with 2 top 5’s and 7 top 10 finishes. Watkins Glen isn’t Buescher’s best track, but it certainly isn’t his worst either, with 2 top 15’s and 4 top 20’s in 6 career starts. Buescher had turned into a bit of a road course ringer of late, with 2 top 5’s, 4 top 10’s, and 10 top 20’s in his last 11 road course starts. A win isn’t out of the realm today, but a top 10 finish is certainly within reach for Buescher.
Top 10: Tyler Reddick- Reddick is in the midst of a career year, with 2 wins, 7 top 5’s, and 9 top 10 finishes. Reddick has only 1 prior start at Watkins Glen, but he finished in 10th place, which leaves room for more success. Reddick has also become one of the drivers to beat on road courses this season, winning each of the last 2 road course races and earning 3 top 5’s across the 4 road course races held so far this season. Reddick will definitely be in the mix for the win today, but a top 10 finish is a lock.
Winner: Chase Elliott- Leading the regular season Driver Standings, Elliott is in the midst of a Championship campaign, with 4 wins, 9 top 5’s, and 16 top 10’s in 24 starts. Elliott has long been one of the road course kings, with 7 career road course wins, but he has not won on a road course since his win at Road America last July. Elliott has 2 runner-up finishes and 4 top 5 finishes in the 7 road course races since his last win and is long overdue for a road course victory. Elliott has 2 wins, 1 runner-up finish, and 141 laps led in 5 career starts at Watkins Glen and showed great speed yesterday in Practice on his way to earning the Pole for today’s race. With rain in the forecast and a ton of heavy hitters lined up right behind him, we predict that Elliott will pick up his 5th win of year and 8th career road course victory with a win at Watkins Glen today!