Ben-Hur's Jack Huston to drive pace car at The Glen
WATKINS GLEN , N.Y. (July 29, 2016) -- Jack Huston, star of the upcoming epic action adventure "BEN-HUR" from Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, will drive a 2016 Toyota Camry pace car to kick off the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It™ 355 at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 7. This will be Huston’s first time serving as an Official Pace Car drive at a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. He will also be recognized during pre-race ceremonies and will greet each NASCAR driver on stage during driver introductions. "I am excited to join NASCAR and get behind the wheel of today’s modern chariot," said Huston. "BEN-HUR" is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title, separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption. Based on Lew Wallace's timeless novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. The film also stars Rodrigo Santoro, Nazanin Boniadi, Ayelet Zurer, Pilou Asbaek, Sofia Black D’Elia and Morgan Freeman. Timur Bekmambetov directed the film from a screenplay by Keith Clarke and John Ridley. Sean Daniel, Joni Levin, and Duncan Henderson served as producers, with Mark Burnett, Roma Downey, Keith Clarke, John Ridley, and Jason F. Brown serving as executive producers. "BEN-HUR" will be released in theaters on August 19, 2016. Huston previously starred for four seasons in HBO's hit series, Boardwalk Empire, as the sniper with the horribly disfigured face, 'Richard Harrow.' In 2013, Huston appeared in the critically acclaimed and award-winning film American Hustle, where he played mobster 'Pete Musane.' Additionally, he starred as 'Young Ira' in George Tillman Jr.'s film adaption of the Nicholas Sparks novel, The Longest Ride. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Watkins Glen International August 4-7 for the Cheez-It™ 355 race weekend, which also features the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Bully Hill Vineyards 100, and the NASCAR XFINITY Series Zippo 200 at The Glen . Tickets for all of the action are available by calling 1-866-461-RACE or by logging on to www.theglen.com . Fans can also watch the Cheez-It™ 355 live on USA at 2:30 p.m. ET or listen on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Located within five (5) hours (~300 miles) of 25 percent of the US population, Watkins Glen International is the premier road racing facility in North America, voted "Best NASCAR Track" by readers of USA Today. Keep up with The Glen on Facebook and Twitter. For tickets, call 866-461-RACE or visit www.theglen.com.
Keselowski wins NNS Coors Light Pole at the Glen
Driver will lead field to green in Zippo 200 at The Glen (2:15 p.m. ET, ABC)
Zippo 200 at the Glen entry list
The Nationwide Series heads to Watkins Glen for road course racing
Joey Logano wins XFINITY race at Watkins Glen
RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings WATKINS GLEN , N.Y. -- Penalty? So what? Polesitter Joey Logano shook off a pit road infraction that sent him to the back of the field early in Saturday’s Zippo 200 at The Glen . But by the end of the NASCAR XFINITY Series race, Logano’s No. 12 Team Penske Ford was comfortably at the front of the field. The only other car that was close was the No. 22 of teammate Brad Keselowski , who recovered from a pit road speeding penalty to finish second. "Everything went as planned," said Logano, who was penalized for dragging a fuel can from his pit stall after a green-flag stop on Lap 20 of 82. "It was fun to have a car that was that fast, out there racing these guys and racing your teammate there for the win. It shows a lot about our organization." Logano was 22nd when he restarted on Lap 27 after NASCAR threw the second caution of the race to retrieve the errant fuel can. With the help of two quick cautions, he drove quickly to the front, and on Lap 49, Logano passed Keselowski for the lead, drag-racing his teammate from the exit of Turn 7 to the start/finish line and clearing him through Turn 1. "I knew my car was fast enough to get there," Logano said of the quick run to the front. "I didn’t know if I was going to run them all down in that one run like that. I didn’t think that would happen, but it showed a lot of strength in our race car." It was the first road course victory for Logano in any of NASCAR’s top series. "I’ve been so close to winning with the 22 team on the (Sprint) Cup side and this XFINITY team has been close to winning here lately, so it’s nice to get Team Penske back in Victory Lane," said Logano, who had Sprint Cup crew chief Todd Gordon calling the race and his Sprint Cup crew servicing the car on pit road to gain experience for Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 at The Glen (2 p.m. ET on NBCSN), the 22nd race on the Cup schedule. If Logano and Keselowski dominated at the front of the field, leading 39 and 40 laps, respectively, behind them was chaos. XFINITY Series title contender Regan Smith suffered the brunt of the damage, getting the short end of run-ins with both Ty Dillon and Brendan Gaughan . Smith came home 20th and lost 18 points to XFINITY Series leader Chris Buescher , who finished third. After stopping by Gaughan’s car for a few words post-race, Smith headed for Dillon. The argument started to get physical, before NASCAR officials and crew members separated the drivers. Dillon admitted making two mistakes during the race, the first of which spun Smith’s JR Motorsports Chevrolet after a restart on Lap 40. What Dillon didn’t countenance was a threat from Smith. "He said he was going to wreck me -- we’ll see," Dillon said. "I took the blame for it, but he came down here picking a fight. That’s a different game." After the altercation, Smith repeated the promise to reporters. "I got dumped in Turn 1," Smith said. "It was pretty plain and simple. I don’t think I’m the only one he dumped today … I guarantee you, I might have lost the championship today, but he did, too. There’s no chance that 3 car wins the championship, and I’m going to make sure of it." Substituting for Kyle Busch , who opted not to run the race in favor of staying fresh for Sunday’s Cup race, road course ace Boris Said finished fourth, followed by Dillon and Brian Scott . Buescher extended his series lead to 24 points over Dillon and seventh-place finisher Chase Elliott . Smith is fourth in the standings, now 57 points behind Buescher. Information provided by NASCAR Wire Service
Smith, Ty Dillon get physical post-Watkins Glen
WATCH: Different view of scrap " Contact that started scuffle WATKINS GLEN , N.Y. -- There was no mistaking Regan Smith 's purposeful stride down pit road or the look in his eyes following Saturday's Zippo 200 at the Glen XFINITY Series race. Sure that he had been manhandled on the famous road course, Smith, 31, stopped at competitor Ty Dillon 's car, leaned in and grabbed Dillon, 23, by the front of his uniform, confronting him about an incident between the two in Turn 1 on a Lap 40 restart. The two championship contenders pushed and shoved and shouted angrily at each other, promising retaliation down the road before NASCAR officials and various team members stepped in to separate them. Both Dillon's father, Mike, and his grandfather and team owner, Richard Childress, came to the scene. Smith eventually was pulled away and made his way back to the garage area still fuming. Because of their championship points position, Smith's JR Motorsports hauler was parked only two spots away from Dillon's Richard Childress Racing hauler. Dillon's older brother, Sprint Cup Series driver Austin, stood outside while his brother went into change out of his race uniform. "I got dumped in Turn 1, it's pretty simple and I'm not the only one he dumped today," Smith said of Ty Dillon. "I may have lost the championship today, but he sure as hell did, too," Smith told reporters walking away from pit road after the race. "There's zero chance the 3 car (Dillon) wins the championship. And I'm going to make sure of it." Both Smith, a former Sprint Cup Series race winner, and Dillon, in his second year in the XFINITY Series, had other run-ins during the race -- with their teammates. Smith was hit by fellow JRM driver Chase Elliott early in the race. And Dillon spun out RCR teammate Paul Menard . "I wanna say, first, I'm sorry to my RCR teammates and the 7 guys (Smith's team) for my mistakes, I'm truly embarrassed, I deserve anything said," Dillon said on Twitter after the race. "I will not take anyone pushing me around after a race; that takes it to another level. All that said, another top 5 -- gotta keep up the finishes." See Ty's tweets: Dillon tweets after brawl with Smith The damage from Smith's incidents relegated him to a 20th place finish, while Dillon finished fifth. Dillon explained the accident with Smith and assumed the blame. "I got a good run, cut to the inside; it's the first time I've done that here at this race track," Dillon said. "I've seen people ... do it. I just didn't complete it. It's as simple as that. I made a big mistake, got to wheel-hopping and there's no saving it. I did it two times in a row; I'm very disappointed in myself for doing that. "Not only did I tear up everyone else's car, but I tore up mine as well. Very apologetic about that, but not about after the race." Told that Dillon had been remorseful about hitting Smith, the veteran responded, "Of course he was, he came out of all of them [accidents] unscathed." MORE: NXS drivers points standings The eventful day was costly in the standings for Smith. Dillon is now tied with Elliott in second place, 24 points behind leader Chris Buescher . Smith remains in fourth place but now trails Buescher by 57 points after being only 39 behind before the race. Smith trailed third-place Dillon by 18 points entering the weekend and is now 33 points behind his rival headed to next week's road course event at Mid-Ohio -- the second of three road course races in August for the XFINITY Series.
How to follow this week's Watkins Glen races
At home or on the go, keep tabs on Cup and Nationwide races this weekend RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today This weekend brings the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series to Watkins Glen International . The Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at the Glen is on Sunday, Aug. 10, at 1 p.m. ET with coverage on ESPN. The Nationwide Series ZIPPO 200 at the Glen is on Saturday, Aug. 9, at 2:15 p.m. ET with coverage on ABC. For more information on track times, press conferences and GarageCam, you can check out this weekend's schedule . For TV times see this week's TV schedule . We know you may not have the time to watch the race action without any interruptions, so if you're on the go, here's how to keep up at Watkins Glen . NASCAR.com's live Sprint Cup Series leaderboard and Nationwide Series leaderboard update in real-time and offer constant text updates of lead changes, cautions, strategies, strong runs and everything in between. On the go? Download the NASCAR Mobile app to follow the leaderboards live from your device. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series RaceBuddy is back on NASCAR.com and NASCAR Mobile . Get 10 live high-definition feeds, including views of pit road and battle cams. Lap-by-Lap will keep you caught up even if you can take a peek here and there. Check in now and then to read back through all the laps you've missed, or keep an eye on the feed for real-time race updates. We'll also send race updates via Twitter through the official @NASCAR and @NASCARStats handles. Haven't tried RaceView yet? If you sign up, you'll get virtualized video of cars on the track from various angles and hear what your favorite team is saying over the radio. Use it as a second screen or as your only screen. Just want to scan the radios? You can have that too with RaceView Audio . On a mobile device? Get RaceView Mobile here . If you want to be more involved in the on-track action, you can manage your fantasy team on NASCAR.com and follow your team's performance in NASCAR Fantasy Live . Mobile users can also download NASCAR Connect , a game from OneUp Sports that allows users to play other fans with race predictions, for some off-track competition while drivers battle it out on the track. Live Press Pass streams will keep the NASCAR action rolling even after the winner goes in and out of Victory Lane. Catch interviews with the top finishers immediately following the checkered flag for the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series, and stay tuned to NASCAR.com throughout the week for the latest news. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news WATCH: Latest NASCAR video PLAY: NASCAR Fantasy Live FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Marcos Ambrose wins Zippo 200 at the Glen
Sprint Cup regular now has sweep hopes going into Sunday's event
Nationwide Watkins Glen pit stall assignments
See where each driver will pit during the Zippo 200
Nationwide Series hits the road course at Watkins Glen
Series will be at road course back-to-back weekends
Hard tires, reworked curbing present challenges at repaved Watkins Glen
RELATED: Before and after: Watkins Glen repave WATKINS GLEN , N.Y. -- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams wrapped up a two-day organizational test Wednesday at newly repaved Watkins Glen International, emerging with better ideas of the challenges they'll face when the series returns for the Aug. 4-7 race weekend. Among those challenges: reworked curbing, a fast circuit and a harder-compound tire that has made grip elusive. A total of 16 Sprint Cup teams -- one permitted from each organization -- tried to unlock the novelty of the $12 million resurfacing project, using a Goodyear tire that emphasizes durability at the expense of traction and wear. The rubber compound chosen is similar to that used July 9 at Kentucky Speedway, site of the Sprint Cup Series' most recent race on a repaved track. At Kentucky, the tire selection made for treacherous conditions in certain spots and made passing a delicate process. Though road courses don't lend themselves to the multi-groove racing seen at several well-aged oval tracks, Watkins Glen might still be a tricky place to maneuver when the series reconvenes for the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen . " The main thing we've learned so far is how hard the tire is," said Jamie McMurray, driver of the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 1 Chevrolet. "It just seems to be no wear at all or lap time fall-off right now. This place didn't ever wear tires like Sonoma, but it seems like the tire is pretty hard." Sonoma, the other road course where the Sprint Cup Series races, is a much more intricate circuit with qualifying speeds roughly 30 mph slower than at Watkins Glen's open, free-wheeling layout. The Goodyear tire compound designated for both the Watkins Glen test and the race weekend is the same used for right-side tires in XFINITY Series competition at Iowa Speedway. Those Iowa right-sides will be used at all four corners for the Sprint Cup event at the 2.45-mile road course. Racing with a softer tire with more adhesion would potentially introduce the threat of excessive wear or blistering. It's a trade-off that Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Chase Elliott says he's willing to accept. "I think a lot of it is just having a fresh surface like this, you've got to have a tire that's pretty hard," said Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports' driver representative for the two-day test. "It's fast, and to ask a tire to hold up, you've got to bring something that's durable. It puts Goodyear in a tough spot, but I think they do a good job of trying to make the most of tough situations. There's been a lot of repaves here lately and I know they're working hard." David Groseclose, NASCAR's lead tire engineer, said Wednesday that the benefits of competing with a more rigid rubber compound outweighed the potential drawbacks. "As with all repaves -- same thing as Kentucky -- if you don't have a hard tire, you're going to blister them up," Groseclose said. " The way that works is if you've got a soft compound and you use it, the soft compounds tend to retain heat. It's just the nature of a soft compound. But on a repave, it's not going to wear so that heat's not going to be dissipated out of the tire. It has nowhere to go, so it stays in the tire, so that's why it blisters up. That's what we saw at Kentucky with the XFINITY and Truck Series." In addition to the surface itself, the track features new concrete for the rumble strips that border the circuit's turns and run-off areas. Some drivers found the differences barely noticeable, but Kurt Busch discovered a distinction the hard way with an early Tuesday spin as he bounded over the apex points in the backstretch chicane on one of his initial laps. "It's a lot different," said Tony Gibson, Busch's crew chief on the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Chevrolet. "Kurt's like, 'I've got to learn all the curbs again.' The curbs over in the bus stop (chicane) are probably the biggest change. They're way more aggressive, and they've tightened up, so it's a lot tighter lane through there." Said Elliott, who will race here in Sprint Cup for the first time next weekend: "Some of the curbs may be a little different here or there, some a little rougher, a little smoother just depending on how they laid the asphalt in or however it worked. It's as close as you could make a track from an old surface to a repave, for sure." Five Sprint Cup teams participated in a Goodyear tire test May 10-11, and another 16 were present for this week's organizational test. For the remaining half of the field, the work toward finding the proper handle begins with opening practice on Friday, Aug. 5. "If you get your balance right, it'll be a no-drama," Gibson said. "Man, I told Kurt earlier, 'I'd hate to know I had to come here next Friday and hit the track for the first time and try to figure out these curbs and how much the race track has changed.' It'll be a handful in the short amount of time we get to practice. "It'll be interesting to see when we come back who has issues and who doesn't. But it's definitely going to be a plus to come and learn the race track, even if your car is not right or whatever, just getting here and getting behind the wheel and getting time on the race track is going to mean more." Pit notes: -- The full roster (in alphabetical order) of drivers and teams participating in the test: AJ Allmendinger (JTG Daugherty Racing), Ryan Blaney (Wood Brothers Racing), Clint Bowyer (HScott Motorsports), Chris Buescher (Front Row Motorsports), Kurt Busch (Stewart-Haas Racing), Kyle Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing), Austin Dillon (Richard Childress Racing), Chase Elliott (Hendrick Motorsports), Brad Keselowski (Team Penske), Michael McDowell (Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing), Jamie McMurray (Chip Ganassi Racing), Casey Mears (Germain Racing), Brian Scott (Richard Petty Motorsports), Regan Smith (Tommy Baldwin Racing), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Roush Fenway Racing), Martin Truex Jr. (Furniture Row Racing). -- Casey Mears turned the fastest lap in the two-day test, which was divided into four sessions of four hours apiece. Mears pushed the Germain Racing No. 13 Chevrolet in the closing session to a best lap of 126.7 mph, a good bit slower than the track qualifying record of 129.491 mph set by Marcos Ambrose in August 2014. -- Brad Keselowski returned to the track Wednesday, one day after his severe, nearly head-on crash in Turn 1. He turned 74 laps over both sessions in a reserve Team Penske No. 2 Ford. -- Two teams -- Furniture Row Racing (driver Martin Truex Jr.) and Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing (driver Michael McDowell) -- were absent from testing's opening day, arriving in the Watkins Glen garage Wednesday in time for the two closing sessions. -- Wednesday's final session was extended 30 minutes to a 5:30 p.m. ET close because of a nearly hour-long clean-up for fluid on the track. After Chase Elliott's No. 24 Chevrolet suffered a broken axle, Clint Bowyer's No. 15 Chevy ran over the part, damaging the car's transmission. -- NASCAR XFINITY Series teams are scheduled to turn their first laps on the new Watkins Glen surface next Thursday. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will stage a support race the following day on the 2.45-mile course.