Tricky track awaits drivers at Watkins Glen

By Travis Eldridge

August 8, 2014 Updated Aug 8, 2014 at 11:09 PM EDT

Watkins Glen, NY (WBNG Binghamton) It's always a unique weekend for NASCAR at Watkins Glen International. It's one of only two road courses on the Sprint Cup circuit, which means some different drivers are expected to perform. One of those guys is Marcos Ambrose.

He's won two of the last three here at WGI, but also knows just how difficult this course can be. It poses a unique set of challenges to these drivers, which as we've seen in the past can lead to some wild wrecks and some crazy finishes.

As one of the favorites, along with Brad Keslowski and last year's winner Kyle Busch, Ambrose spoke about the challenges on Friday.

"You know that it's not going to be easy, you know that there's going to be 10-12 guys out there that have a serious shot to win the race," said Ambrose. "You just know going in that it is not going to be a cakewalk, it's just going to have to be a big grind to get the victory. I've been here in Victory Lane lucky, I've been here deserving it, and I've lost races deserving to win as well."

"You know I went to Sonoma, I woke up Sunday morning thinking we've really got a shot at this thing if everything works out right," said AJ Allmendinger, who is also looking for a much-needed win this weekend. "There's a lot that has to work out right though. I don't even think about it. I'll take it as it comes and like I said. I don't want it to define our race weekend."

Both Ambrose and Keselowski are running in the Nationwide Series Zippo 200 at WGI on Saturday. Along with them on the will be a guy with plenty of history at the Glen.

Regan Smith was born in Syracuse and was raised in Cato, NY. He's been watching races at the Glen since he was just a little kid.

Smith finished fourth here a year ago, so he's certainly thought about what it would mean to win upstate New York.

"This place would be almost as big as the Daytona to me to win at," said Smith. "You know, it would be cool with this many friends and family in the area that still live up here and everybody that is in Cato. It would be a big deal for me."

Smith finished practice on Friday afternoon with the ninth fastest car on the track.

The Zippo 200 begins at 2:15 p.m. on Saturday at Watkins Glen International, with the Cheez-It 355 taking over the track at 1 p.m. on Sunday.