WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WETM) – NBC Sports NASCAR Analyst Steve Letarte knows a thing or two about success at Watkins Glen International. Prior to working for NBC, Letarte worked with Jeff Gordon starting as a tire specialist and moving up to becoming crew chief.
“It’s a track that I loved as a crew chief, said Letarte. “Going up there being on Jeff Gordon’s crew, that was a great place to go racing. He was so good there.”
Now in the booth, Letarte can’t wait to return to Watkins Glen International after last year’s race was canceled due to COVID-19.
“I think last year’s lack of Watkins Glen makes this year even more special. The track has been on the schedule for a very long time, I know drivers look forward to going up there, the race fans look forward to having us, NBC looks forward to going up there to cover the races.”
Letarte says the fans are what make the race so great and that even when there were races last year during the pandemic, it became clear to him that the fans make the race.
“In my mind it was disappointing not to deliver a NASCAR race to that region of the country that has become accustomed to one and more than just accustomed to one, they come out and support it. The fans are everywhere.”
Now that the race is back, Letarte says he can’t wait to return to a place where racing history is entrenched in the fabric of the community. Like Daytona and other tracks across the country, Letarte says Watkins Glen is a classic racing community through and through.
“Watkins Glen is an amazing place to race. The history of the racetrack, the town gets fired up, the state gets fired up, you know, when you look at the Finger Lakes region this is kind of a big moment, the big NASCAR weekend.”
With his racing analyst hat on, Letarte describes the track at Watkins Glen International as a “perfect mix of technical and speed” on the road course with drivers coming back from a two week break.
“The carousel and the bus stop, that combination’s pretty technical. The rest of the track is really a lot more about trying to carry speed, car momentum, and it allows for some great passing zones… it always seems to deliver just great racing.”
18 Sports has full coverage of Go Bowling at The Glen both on-air and online with The Glen All Access. For all information regarding race weekend, including How to Watch Go Bowling at The Glen, Betting Odds for Go Bowling at The Glen, and 5 places to visit during Go Bowling at The Glen NASCAR weekend, visit our website MyTwinTiers.com.