Thursday, April 05, 2012

Watkins Glen Announces Renamed Grandstands

Seneca. Argetsinger. Stewart. Riesbeck. Bodine.  

Those five names are woven into the fabric of Watkins Glen International, and all five now will have a permanent spot at the historic track. Those names will adorn five newly constructed grandstands at Watkins Glen International following an outpouring of suggestions from fans after the staff asked for help in renaming the seating areas.

In a four-week period, The Glen received hundreds of suggestions from fans, which helped track president Michael Printup and his staff make the important grandstand name decisions. 

“We felt the support of our fans over the past four weeks through the quality of suggestions we received for new grandstand names,” Printup said. “Emails, letters and phone calls came with ideas that spoke to the history of our legendary road course.” 

Formula One great Jackie Stewart
Selections were made based on both the history and the future of this esteemed road-racing facility and its place in the sport and region. The Glen would like to thank all who submitted their ideas. The thought behind each idea was evident. 

Seneca, formerly the Silver grandstand, was a popular fan suggestion in reference to the lake on the tip of which Watkins Glen International is located. Fittingly, Seneca Lake can be seen from the facility and fans in the new Seneca grandstand will undoubtedly have a more meaningful view starting this season in 2012. 

The Argetsinger grandstand, named for the man who brought road racing to the United States, Cameron Argetsinger, will replace the former Red, White and Blue grandstand. This grandstand is located at the original site off the start/finish line, at the base of the famed esses. Argetsinger designed the original 6.6-mile WGI road course, and the original 2.3-mile permanent course upon the hill.  

Famed Formula 1 driver Sir Jackie Stewart was a logical choice to have an even more permanent place in Watkins Glen International history. The newly named Jackie Stewart Grandstand in Turn 10 was one of three replaced prior to the start of the 2011 season. Stewart led 271 laps in eight F1 races at The Glen, winning twice. His first victory came in 1968 and his second, from the pole, in 1972.   

The Turn 11 grandstand has been renamed the Riesbeck Grandstand. In 1983, Tim Riesbeck spearheaded Corning, Inc.’s decision to revive Watkins Glen International. He played an integral part in restoring The Glen beyond its original stature in 1948. For many years, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners received the Steuben Glass Riesbeck Cup in Gatorade Victory Lane.

Geoff Bodine
Finally, what once was the Green grandstand will now be known by a name that speaks to the region where Watkins Glen International is located, The Glen’s more recent history and a trio of brothers who play a part in each element. The Bodine Grandstand was a frequent fan suggestion and an easy selection for the staff at The Glen.  

The Bodine brothers have competed in a combined 40 races for 3801 laps at Watkins Glen International in the top three series of NASCAR. Geoff Bodine recorded the final win of his 18-win NASCAR Sprint Cup career in 1996 in The Bud at The Glen. He held off Terry Labonte by a mere 0.44 seconds to claim the checkered flag. After competing in 480 races over 18 years, Brett Bodine maintains his presence in NASCAR as the pace car driver in Sprint Cup events. Todd Bodine, currently driving the No. 11 Toyota Tundra for Red Horse Racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, made his Sprint Cup series debut in the 1992 Budweiser at The Glen. He is a two-time NASCAR Camping World Truck series champion, wearing the crown in 2006 and 2010.

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