About the track
When Formula One visited Watkins Glen in 1961 for the first Watkins Glen U.S. Grand Prix, it was the beginning of what would become a tradition at the circuit through 1980. Innes Ireland won the inaugural running, with drivers such as Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda, Emerson Fittipaldi and James Hunt among the winners of the grand prix. In 2004, the Verizon IndyCar Series announced that it would compete on the historic 3.4-mile, 11-turn long course at Watkins Glen International on Sept. 25, 2005. The circuit included "the boot," which is part of the traditional grand prix circuit. Scott Dixon won the first Verizon IndyCar Series event at the track – the first of three straight wins at the track for the Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver – and donated his laurel wreath from Victory Lane to nearby Seneca Lodge to hang among the wreaths of the previous race winners at Watkins Glen, a tradition that dates to the United States Grand Prix Formula One event. Justin Wilson claimed the first-ever win for Dale Coyne Racing at the track, when he won the race in 2009.