Adrenaline fans... start your engines! The streets of Watkins Glen and Schuyler County are home to the birthplace of American road racing. Having played host to international automobile racing since 1948, the tradition continues annually with the Vintage Grand Prix Festival, when classic racecars (and vintage cars of all kinds) take to the streets in Watkins Glen.
The road course at Watkins Glen International hosts today's pros from NASCAR to IndyRacing Series to Vintage Cups, offering racing buffs the ultimate high-octane excitement. In fact, Watkins Glen International was votes the Best NASCAR Track in a USA Today Reader's Choice Poll.
The track is just 4 miles from downtown Watkins Glen and fans can experience NASCAR, IMSA, Ferrari, and US Vintage Grand Prix racing, as well as the Finger Lakes Wine Festival and Finger Lakes Beer Festival. Visitors can even drive their own vehicle around the actual race circuit. Watkins Glen International welcomes guests virtually every day between April and October.
- Did you know? Watkins Glen will forever have a place in racing history. On October 2, 1948, Watkins Glen hosted the first road race run since before World War II. The 6.6 mile circuit ran through the village streets, starting and ending in front of the Schuyler County Courthouse. Visitors can download the map of the original circuit and step back in time as they drive the same course that first put Watkins Glen on an international stage all those years ago.
- The story behind the speed - the International Motor Racing Research Center provides 5,000 square feet of racing history to explore. This includes a reading room, film room, exhibits, and worldwide racing archives. Famous drivers periodically give talks and a vintage race car that changes every few months is on display in the atrium.