In 1948, Watkins Glen became the site of the first postwar road race in America on a 6.6-mile course through the village and surrounding highways; the present-day road course was built in 1956 and held its first race the same year. The circuit presented its first professional race in 1957 when NASCAR made its first appearance. NASCAR returned to the Glen in 1964 and 1965 and found a permanent spot on the Watkins Glen calendar beginning in 1986. Today, the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in August ranks as the largest spectator event in the state of New York. In addition to NASCAR and Formula One, Watkins Glen race fans have enjoyed America's greatest race series, including Indy car, Can-Am, Trans-Am, six-hour endurance for prototypes, and amateur sports car racing.
Author Bio: A former race car driver, Michael Argetsinger is an award-winning author of four previous books on motor racing, including the recent Formula One at Watkins Glen: 20 Years of the United States Grand Prix 1961-1980. Bill Green, a lifetime resident of the Watkins Glen area, is the historian for the International Motor Racing Research Center and has authored two previous books.