Celebrating the Spirit of Competition

Watkins Glen


The first serious attempt to revive sports car racing in the U.S. after WWII was at Watkins Glen, NY in 1948. Here the cars lined up, side-by-side, on the main street of this Finger Lakes resort town for the start of the race on public streets. For the first few years, the race was run on a 6.6 mile course through the town. Many of the ARCA competitors came there to race and formed the Sports Car Club of America to sanction events. After a spectator fatality in 1952, a new course was set up outside of town, also using existing roads.

In 1956, a permanent course was unveiled and the track is one of the premier racing facilities in the world. Watkins Glen is still used today as a major road course race on the NASCAR circuit.