NASCAR Rookies Prepare To Take On Watkins Glen

By Christy Valdez
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sport

It’s time to turn left and right for the second time in the 2013 NASCAR season, and it also happens to be the latest challenge for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookies.

After making their first start in a road course in the Cup Series, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Danica Patrick prepare to take on their next challenge. Heading into Watkins Glen, both drivers are looking to improve from their latest results. With 21 races into the year, both Stenhouse and Patrick head into the Glen not only making their second cup road course start, but to race at a track they have been before — this time in a new series.

During their time in the Nationwide Series, both drivers made starts at the Glen. In two starts, Stenhouse captured a 15-place finish in 2011 and improved his performance the following year to a fourth. Meanwhile, Patrick finished in 43rd in her only Watkins Glen start.

Between both rookies, Stenhouse has raced on the road courses more than Patrick. Each made starts at the Glen, Road America and Montreal back in the Nationwide Series. Patrick’s best finish was 12th at Road America. Upon making their move to the Cup Series, both drivers made their first Cup road course start at Sonoma, and both finished outside of the top-25.

Heading into Watkins Glen, both Stenhouse and Patrick have a chance to improve their road course skills and to improve from a slow week at Pocono. With a chance to improve their rookie statistics and their previous results at the Glen, both drivers will have to do it while starting from the back.

Both Stenhouse and Patrick qualified for the Cheez-It 355 at the Glen outside of the top 30, in 33 and 35th respectively. The Glen is not another race in the 2013 season, but is their latest rookie challenge to surpass.

Christy Valdez is a NASCAR writer for Rant Sports. Follow her on Twitter @knowursports and on Facebook at On The Sidelines With Christy 

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