WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WETM) – The Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International (WGI) was truly international, with seven different countries represented, the most in NASCAR history. However, crews and fans say, of all places, they aren’t surprised this record took place at The Glen.

“Watkins Glen is a track where it attracts a lot of these different road racers from around the world,” said Jake Seminara, front tire changer for Joey Logano.

One racer, in particular, had the attention of almost all fans. Former F1 world champion, Kimi Raikkonen, coming to The Glen all the way from Finland, made his Cup Series debut at Watkins Glen International.

Racetracks that have been on the regular season circuit for decades are now having to prove themselves as NASCAR has been putting an emphasis on road courses. With the added benefit of being a road course, Seminara also says WGI is too classic to lose.

“This place is a staple…When you think of road courses and NASCAR, it’s Watkins Glen,” he said.

Ultimately, it comes down to the fans and the environment of the racetrack, which fans say isn’t a sector they are worried about either. Niagara Region Porsche Club of America driving school chairman, Bert Xander, says the WGI fanbase is a culture that is deeply rooted.

“The race is one thing but it’s the whole fan experience for the whole weekend that people really come out for. It would take other tracks a long time to build up that loyal following that they have already established here,” said Xander.

One WGI fan, Robin Charles, reiterates this sentiment, saying ever since she attended her first race at WGI many years ago, she vowed to never miss it ever again.

“I think all the people working for NASCAR, they know the fans are the heart of it all…The whole experience is amazing, the fireworks, the concerts you name it,” said Charles.