Watkins Glen season preview notes

WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL PRE-SEASON PIT NOTES June 10, 1995 PHIL PARSONS FILES FIRST ENTRY Phil Parsons was the first driver to file an official entry for the June 25 Busch Grand National 200. The Denver, N.C. driver will pilot...

WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL PRE-SEASON PIT NOTES June 10, 1995

PHIL PARSONS FILES FIRST ENTRY

Phil Parsons was the first driver to file an official entry for the June 25 Busch Grand National 200. The Denver, N.C. driver will pilot the #99 Luxaire Chevy Monte Carlo in the 200 mile race.

Parsons is enjoying his best year in the BGN ranks. He was fifth in the points prior to the race at Myrtle Beach, S.C., with four 10 top finishes, including a fifth at Darlington. Parsons has two career BGN triumphs, including an impressive victory last October in Charlotte. He also has a NASCAR Winston Cup victory in the 1988 Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. 'COACH' ENTERS GLEN CONTINENTAL

The "Coach" will be a pupil at Watkins Glen International. Craig T. Nelson, star of the popular television series "Coach," filed one of the first entries for the June 24 Glen Continental.

"This will be both of our first race at Watkins Glen," explained Dan Clark, Nelson's co-driver in the Screaming Eagles Racing/Slick 50 Lexus Spice. "We figured our third driver, Indy Car veteran Ross Bently, would have Watkins Glen experience, but it turns out he never raced at the Glen, either. So it will be a learning experience for all three of us."

FORD VS. FERRARI IN GLEN CONTINENTAL

The 12th running of the Glen Continental is shaping up as a classic battle of Ford vs. Ferrari. Gianpiero Moretti, the defending winner of the three hour race in his Momo Ferrari 333 SP, will team with defending IMSA Exxon World Sports Car champion and recent Lime Rock winner Wayne Taylor. Giving Ferrari a second winning threat is the Scandia entry of Mauro Baldi and Fermin Velez, who both recently tested under the track record.

Ford recently showed it will give Ferrari a run for the money, flexing its muscle in a test session for Rob Dyson's new Ford-powered Riley & Scott Mark III. Not only were both James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger under Eliseo Salazar's year old track record, both bettered the best time turned in by the Ferrari at the Scandia test.

James Weaver ran a fast lap of 1:39.80 (122.645 mph), unofficially shattering Salazar's record of 1:43.486 (118.276 mph). Teammate Butch Leitzinger was clocked at 120.758, which bettered Scandia's testing best of 119.298 mph, turned in by Velez.

LEITZINGER SET FOR DOUBLE DUTY

Butch Leitzinger will be a busy man at the Glen during the June 23-25 NASCAR/IMSA weekend. In addition to driving one of Rob Dyson's Ford Riley & Scott Mark IIIs in the Glen Continental, the 26-year-old State College, Pa., driver will be at the wheel of Buz McCall's Caterpillar Chevrolet in Sunday's Busch Grand National 200.

No stranger to Victory Circle at the Glen, Leitzinger won in both IMSA and NASCAR at the circuit. He was GTU class winner in the 1993 Camel Continental, and won the 1994 NASCAR Busch North 125, his first stock car race.

Leitzinger's Busch North victory (which he followed up by winning at Lime Rock) was in his family car, the Fast Color Auto Art Thunderbird. The McCall Chevy, usually driven by Ward Burton, is set up to BGN specifications.

"That was the car actually run by Sterling Marlin at the Glen last year," Leitzinger said. "I know when he passed me he was flying, and I'm anxious to hop in his seat. I also think the Dyson car is really suited for the Glen's high-speed turns. I think we're going to be looking real good there." J.J. O'Malley, Watkins Glen International

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Series General
Drivers Ward Burton , Butch Leitzinger , James Weaver , Sterling Marlin , Wayne Taylor , Rob Dyson , Mauro Baldi , Phil Parsons , Fermin Velez , Gianpiero Moretti , Buz McCall