Watkins Glen is a world famous road course in the hills of New York. It has produced some of the greatest NASCAR racing in the history of the sport despite not being an oval. Over the years, the track has aged and worn out, but now improvements to the track could be delayed because of sponsorship issues.
Since 2009 the August race at Watkins Glen has been known as the Helluva Good Sour Cream Dips at the glen. However the company decided to pull out of their sponsorship of the race earlier this year.
The track President, Michael Printup, spoke with WGR 550 Sports Radio last weekend on the difficulties of finding a new race sponsor at the last minute.
“You’re always chasing and we chased all year with Heluva Good! walking away. We did have somebody really close but we decided not to pull the trigger, we just couldn’t activate it enough. We’re going with the Finger Lakes 355 because that’s the kilometer count, we’re going to hype the tourism in this area and give some branding and naming,” Printup said.
This is a huge setback for Watkins Glen International as a track and business, however it will not affect the future NASCAR races coming up in the future at the facility. However it does effect a major improvement project that was scheduled for next year.
Printup confirmed that the track had plans to repave the racing surface before next year’s Sprint Cup race, but that has now be delayed to 2014 or even 2015 if the asphalt can hold off for another two years.
There have been several upgrades at the track over the last few years that included new grandstands and safety improvements. Now, the plan for repaving will have to wait an additional year at the very least.