• Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series preview: Watkins Glen

ByMichael Manny

Aug 20, 2022
Xfinity cars racing at Watkins Glen

Photo courtesy of Sean Gardner | Getty Images

After two weeks off, the NASCAR Xfinity Series hits Watkins Glen International in upstate New York for the Sunoco Go Rewards 200 at The Glen. 

Hendrick Motorsports Cup regular William Byron is on pole, posting a lap time of 70.548 seconds, an Xfinity Series track record. Byron also had the fastest time of Group B in the first round of qualifying. 

Byron is one of four regular Cup drivers pulling double duty at the 2.45-mile course this weekend, along with Ross Chastain, Kyle Larson and Cole Custer. 

 Ty Gibbs, who starts opposite of Byron, is again filling in on Sunday for Kurt Busch, as he will do for the rest of the Cup regular season. Gibbs, who posted a qualifying time of 70.840 seconds, is the only former Watkins Glen Xfinity winner in the field. Last season, he became the youngest driver to ever win at the track, according to NASCAR media news and notes (18 years, 10 months and three days old). 

Gibbs is coming off of his fifth win of the season two weeks ago at Michigan International Speedway, and will look to make it two straight victories. The 19-year-old has already won at a road course once this season, out-dueling the defending Cup Series champion Larson on the final laps at Road America July 2. He sits third in points, with 807. 

Larson originally qualified third, but will start from the rear due to unapproved adjustments.

Kaulig Racing No. 16 driver AJ Allmendinger starts in the second row, in fourth. No matter where he starts, the series’ road course king is a contender for the victory. All three of Allmendinger’s wins this season are on road courses (Circuit of the Americas, Portland and Indianapolis). 

Though Allmendinger holds the series record for road course wins, and nine of his 13 victories are on them, Watkins Glen is one track he has not won at this level. However, he does have two runner-up finishes in three starts, as well as a 2014 Cup win. 

With five races to go in the regular season, Allmendinger leads the points standings with 835, 19 ahead of JR Motorsports’ Justin Allgaier. 

Custer rounds out the top five, once again driving the No. 07 car for SS Green Light Racing. He has one win in the car this season, at Auto Club Speedway in February. 

Austin Wayne Self (No. 32), Spencer Pumpelly (No. 6) and Stanton Barrett (No. 47), did not qualify. 

The race will begin at 3 p.m. ET, with coverage on USA Network, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The stages will run through laps 20, 40 and 82.

NOTE: The Nos 08, 4, 5, 7, 38, 66, 78, & 88 will drop to the rear at the start of the race for unapproved adjustments.


Starting lineup:

Glen lineup

Pit stall assignments:

Glen pit stalls

Goodyear tire notes:

NASCAR Xfinity Series – Race No. 22 – 82 laps / 201 miles

Watkins Glen International (2.454-mile road course) – Watkins Glen, N.Y.

Fast Facts for August 20, 2022

Tire: Goodyear Eagle 15-inch Road Course Radials

Set limits: Xfinity: 5 sets for the event

Tire Code: D-6122 (same on all four tire positions)

Tire Circumference: 2,240 mm (88.19 in.)

Minimum Recommended Inflation: Left Front — 26 psi; Right Front — 24 psi; Left Rear — 21 psi; Right Rear — 21 psi

Notes – Fifth race on this road course tire for Xfinity teams: Being on 15-inch bead diameter tires, NASCAR Xfinity Series teams will run a different tire set-up than those in the Cup Series at Watkins Glen this week . . . Xfinity will run the same tire on all four positions at Watkins Glen . . . this tire debuted at COTA in March and was subsequently run at Portland, Road America and Indianapolis . . . as on all NASCAR road courses, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Watkins Glen.

Wet Weather Tires – White-lettered tires on hand: Goodyear will bring its 15-inch wet weather radials to the road course at Watkins Glen for use by Xfinity Series teams, should NASCAR decide that conditions warrant . . . teams will have 5 sets of wets available for the event, with a maximum of 4 sets for the race . . . Xfinity teams last ran in wet conditions at Portland in June . . . in addition to the obvious difference of a tread pattern versus Goodyear’s dry weather “slick” tires, the “Goodyear” and “Eagle” lettering on the sidewalls of the wet weather tires is white, not the standard yellow.

— Goodyear Racing —