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50th anniversary of the USGP at Watkins Glen (merged)


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#951 Keir

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 19:33

The track looks strangely silent. That whole area is just a great bit of eye candy. I remember a few years ago when my son and I came up to see the IRL race, we drove through the town of Watkins Glen and he saw Lake Seneca for the first time. Quite a sight.

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#952 275 GTB-4

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 02:54

The track looks strangely silent. That whole area is just a great bit of eye candy. I remember a few years ago when my son and I came up to see the IRL race, we drove through the town of Watkins Glen and he saw Lake Seneca for the first time. Quite a sight.


How often does the track get used these days? Once per year or on a regular basis?? Might call in sometime...

#953 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:16

Originally posted by Keir
The track looks strangely silent. That whole area is just a great bit of eye candy. I remember a few years ago when my son and I came up to see the IRL race, we drove through the town of Watkins Glen and he saw Lake Seneca for the first time. Quite a sight.


It is indeed...

Though I feel a lot of people new to Bathurst would say the same thing, but it's a very different setting.

#954 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:19

Originally posted by 275 GTB-4
How often does the track get used these days? Once per year or on a regular basis?? Might call in sometime...


Presumably you mean the present day circuit?

As Mike explained it, from about April to the end of October or so it's in use full time. It closes for the colder months. There are major historic events, NASCAR events, all sorts of other days where the circuit is in use. So those new grandstands are not for nothing.

#955 B Squared

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 12:51

How often does the track get used these days? Once per year or on a regular basis?? Might call in sometime...


Whenever I've been to Watkins Glen, post Grand Prix era, there has always been on track activity, whether it be professional or club events. The track is packed on opening day each season, when you can pay a nominal fee to drive your road car around the circuit. The track activity brings many to the region annually and brings a lot of money to the business owners of the community. I've seen it at the Seneca Lodge, which is usually packed for dinner with racing people and fans with many diverse racing experiences. Aside from the track, the beauty of the Finger Lakes is enough to draw many others into the community and they may experience racing for the first time.

After all of these years, Cameron Argetsinger's vision of racing being an economic engine for the community of Watkins Glen and the surrounding area still holds true.


#956 RA Historian

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 14:25

This past weekend when we (Brian Brown, Ray Bell, Michael Argetsinger, me, others) were there the track was in use for a low key, non-spectator vintage event along with a very low level SCCA pro Formula Ford race.
Tom

Edited by RA Historian, 19 October 2012 - 14:26.


#957 dbltop

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 18:20

The nominal fee is $25.00 US dollars for 3 laps. The speed limit is 50mph and you are paced by a track employee in a vehicle at the head of the line.

#958 275 GTB-4

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 22:15

Whenever I've been to Watkins Glen, post Grand Prix era, there has always been on track activity, whether it be professional or club events. The track is packed on opening day each season, when you can pay a nominal fee to drive your road car around the circuit. The track activity brings many to the region annually and brings a lot of money to the business owners of the community. I've seen it at the Seneca Lodge, which is usually packed for dinner with racing people and fans with many diverse racing experiences. Aside from the track, the beauty of the Finger Lakes is enough to draw many others into the community and they may experience racing for the first time.

After all of these years, Cameron Argetsinger's vision of racing being an economic engine for the community of Watkins Glen and the surrounding area still holds true.


Thanks B, thats interesting and good information...I will file that away for trip prep :wave:

#959 vashlin

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 22:41

The track looks strangely silent. That whole area is just a great bit of eye candy. I remember a few years ago when my son and I came up to see the IRL race, we drove through the town of Watkins Glen and he saw Lake Seneca for the first time. Quite a sight.




I'll never forget my first sight of the village of Watkins Glen so many years ago now.
I was able to duplicate that first vision in this grab shot from the passenger seat of the car, taken through the windshield.
This was taken on Oct. 4, 2008 as we were coming in to town for the Research Center open house that day. Pete Lyons was in fine form. Anyone else there that day?

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:wave: LinC

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#960 VWV

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 00:23

I'll never forget my first sight of the village of Watkins Glen so many years ago now.
I was able to duplicate that first vision in this grab shot from the passenger seat of the car, taken through the windshield.
This was taken on Oct. 4, 2008 as we were coming in to town for the Research Center open house that day. Pete Lyons was in fine form. Anyone else there that day?

Posted Image

:wave: LinC


I was there. It was a privilege to talk to Pete & Lorna and to get him to sign my copy of Can-Am.

#961 Catalina Park

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 07:20

This past weekend when we (Brian Brown, Ray Bell, Michael Argetsinger, me, others) were there the track was in use for a low key, non-spectator vintage event along with a very low level SCCA pro Formula Ford race.
Tom

I bet Ray was very excited to see the Formula Fords, I know how much he appreciates the fine engineering that went into the Ford Kent engine.


#962 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 01:17

Were you listening in while I was talking to Mike?

Some of those FF2000s, though, looked like pretty nice machines...

#963 watkins

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 02:17

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Ray Bell is standing on the exact camping site I reserved, a few days ago, for next years September Vintage weekend. The same area I've been watching racing at Watkins Glen since the Boot was added in 1971.

The track is in use most days from April through October. Here's a link to this year's (2012) track schedule:
http://www.theglen.c...919.ashx?#Track Rental Schedule


#964 Catalina Park

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 04:28

Were you listening in while I was talking to Mike?

Some of those FF2000s, though, looked like pretty nice machines...

I think I was listening to a slightly scratched record, I just kept hearing the same thing over and over.

I am very jealous of your trip! Keep us updated. :wave:

#965 dbltop

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 07:39

The "Glen" to me is always a nice place to visit even if there is nothing scheduled at the track. We often visit the area for a Blue Grass music festival in nearby Lodi a week or two after the NASCAR event. The scenery and the wineries along both the east and west side of Senica Lake make it an enjoyable time. One of the few places i miss when i get home.

Edited by dbltop, 21 October 2012 - 07:40.


#966 B Squared

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 09:51

A CNN piece about the "spiritual home of the US Grand Prix" in the lead up to Austin. It features Vic Franzese, owner of the Glen Motor Inn:

http://edition.cnn.c...-history-us.cnn

#967 E1pix

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 18:39

Fantastic Brian, Thanks! :up:

#968 Ray Bell

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 22:45

Originally posted by Catalina Park
.....I am very jealous of your trip! Keep us updated. :wave:


Check it out in the Paddock:

http://forums.autosp...w...178804&st=0

I read Mike's book from cover to cover a couple of weeks ago. I think it's fantastic the way he's kept the personal touch going through the book, things like naming the girls who kissed the winner (most being his sisters!) and going into Cameron's relationship with the Board as things got rough.

That Mike, who detests saying anything untoward about anyone, could do all of this shows his maturity as a writer and that he really cares that the story gets told in its entirety.

How galling it must have been for him to see the finished product with the photo of the Kendall Centre reversed, and the page where a paragraph of body text has become a part of a photo caption! These are the things serious authors truly hate.



#969 Kvadrat

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:17

I'll never forget my first sight of the village of Watkins Glen so many years ago now.


I'll never forget my first sight of the village of Watkins Glen too. Being awake for 48 hours as I came from Siberia to WG via Moscow, NYC and Rochester I drove last 50 miles in the dark. Every couple of minutes I fell asleep momentarily. It was very dangerous but I felt I would be too late if I took some rest. I was so happy to see Watkins Glen sign by the road. When I came to Seneca Lodge I was told I was lucky because they would stop serving in 15 minutes.

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#970 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 18:03

I get a bit confused when I look at old track maps of Watkins Glen (the 1959-1970 version). In some there is a straight line from the Big bend down to the last corner. But wasn't there a left hand kink? Or was it rebuilt some time during this period?

#971 LittleChris

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 21:25

Definitely had a left kink Thomas, as can be seen on this footage from 1969 / 70 even though the map they show doesn't have it !?!



Chris

#972 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 22:29

Yes, thanks Chris. I found that one yesterday too. It's funny but to me it looks like a third version.
The oldest maps shows a completely straight stretch from the Big bend to a 90-degree last corner. See:
http://www.na-motors...atkinsGlen.html
Later maps shows a left hand kink halfway down from the Big bend. There's an example on this site:
http://en.wikipedia....n_International
While the films and photos I have seen shows a left hand kink rather close to the last corner... :confused:
(I am a professional cartographer, that's part of the reason for my confusion.)

Edited by Tomas Karlsson, 16 March 2013 - 22:32.


#973 LittleChris

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 22:51

The first map I ever saw of Watkins Glen ( In the Grand Prix Gift Book circa 1969 ) showed the kink and I've always assumed that map was correct. We could do with Mike Argetsinger to read this and confirm whether the kink was always there or a later addition .

#974 B Squared

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 13:20

We could do with Mike Argetsinger to read this and confirm whether the kink was always there or a later addition .


From Michael Argetsinger:

"The map he is referring to was wrong -- I have seen maps like that and he is correct that they leave out the final left kink before the 90 degree right hand corner ( the last turn on the track). The configuration of the track in that respect did not change from 1956 through 1970."

#975 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 16:00

Great! Thanks! :up:

#976 LittleChris

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 22:37

Thanks from me too Brian ( & Mike )

#977 B Squared

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 12:29

Michael Argetsinger has collaborated with Watkins Glen historian Bill Green on a new book for Arcadia Publishing. Michael was in Watkins Glen this past weekend for its introduction. I was unable to attend, but will be in Chicago Thursday for it's local introduction.

http://www.odessafil...rts-WGIbook.htm

“Watkins Glen International” was released on May 6 by Arcadia Publishing as part of its NASCAR Library Collection. The 127-page, pictorial format book, with more than 200 photos, is the second in Arcadia’s series on NASCAR tracks.

The book begins with Frank Griswold earning the checkered flag on Franklin Street on Oct. 2, 1948 and takes the reader through 64 years of competition, right up to Marcos Ambrose in the winner’s circle at the 2012 Sprint Cup race. Many of the photographs are from the authors’ own collections, and the staff at the Racing Research Center assisted Argetsinger and Green throughout the book’s production.

“This book is an excellent review of history at Watkins Glen in pictures, over the many, many years, bringing the track to the forefront of world-class racing,” Green said.

“The opportunity to collaborate with my friend Bill Green made this book a particular delight," Argetsinger said. "Bill and I felt a responsibility to make this an important historical record as well as an entertaining read."

#978 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 12:04

I'm sure it will be a first class publication...

Mike and Bill are obviously very keen on getting things straight, that helps a lot. That they've been able to draw on such a huge library of photos and information only serves to make it better.

I hope they sell out quickly.

#979 E1pix

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 02:30

Thank You Brian, sounds great.

And Raymond, spot on. :up: