Watkins Glen International

Watkins Glen to host 50th anniversary of Woodstock Music & Arts Festival

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Two weeks after it plays host to the NASCAR Cup Series on Aug. 4, Watkins Glen International will host the 50th anniversary celebration of the Woodstock Music & Arts Festival — also known as Woodstock 50 — from Aug. 16-18.

Yes, it’s been 50 years since Woodstock, whose “3 Days of Peace & Music” in mid-August 1969 captivated the world with musical acts including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jefferson Airplane, Joan Baez, Santana, Joe Cocker and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

Co-producer and co-founder of the original Woodstock 1969 and now Woodstock 50, Michael Lang, announced Wednesday that the 1,000-acre WGI will host Woodstock 50, the only authorized commemoration of the original fest. Tickets are expected to go on sale first for college students ages 18-25 by the end of January.

“The original festival in ‘69 was a reaction by the youth of the time to the causes we felt compelled to fight for – civil rights, women’s rights, and the antiwar movement, and it gave way to our mission to share peace, love and music,” Lang said in a media release. “Today, we’re experiencing similar disconnects in our country, and one thing we’ve learned is that music has the power to bring people together.

“So, it’s time to bring the Woodstock spirit back, get involved and make our voices heard.”

The musical lineup for Woodstock 50 will be announced in the coming weeks, Lang said. The festival will have three main stages and is expected to host a wide swath of artists of various musical genres from rock, hip hop, pop and country music. In additional to contemporary artists, several tribute performances honoring those who played at the first Woodstock will also be held.

WGI has nearly twice the space as the upstate New York farm owned by Max Yasgur, which hosted the original Woodstock Aug. 15-18, 1969. WGI is about 150 miles northwest of the original Woodstock site.

“The original site in Bethel (New York) is wonderful, but much too small for what we’re envisioning,” Lang said. “Watkins Glen International gives us the ability to create something unlike any other commemorative event and something uniquely Woodstock.”

Lang added that when he first saw WGI as a potential host site, he felt “an immediate emotional connection to the land. It’s a beautiful location and an ideal site.”

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Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman ‘clear the air’ about All-Star incident

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CONCORD, N.C. — Five days after Clint Bowyer threw several punches at Ryan Newman as Newman sat in his car after the All-Star Race, the two sat side by side during an autograph session at a Bass Pro Shops near Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Bowyer was upset with Newman for contact that led to Bowyer crashing after last weekend’s race. After Bowyer drove to pit road, he ran to Newman’s car while still wearing his helmet — earning a rebuke from his team owner for not removing his helmet. After reaching Newman’s car, Bowyer unleashed a number of punches.

Both drivers talked this week before they got to the autograph session.

“It was good to have a conversation about it,” Bowyer said Thursday night after qualifying eighth at Charlotte Motor Speedway for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600. “At the end of the day there were a lot of things that escalated very fast and obviously got out of hand.

“There’s one thing I can always promise you about something like that and it is unfortunate, and you hate having things like that happen, (but) that’s probably the best attended autograph session at Bass Pro Shops that I’ve had in a long, long time.

“Obviously I don’t want to do that every weekend. At the end of the day we all love this sport, we are all passionate about this sport and every now and then that shows a little brighter.”

Bowyer was asked if he thought Newman would retaliate.

“I don’t know,” Bowyer said. “Hopefully it’s behind us. We both have a little better understanding of how it escalated into that and you’ve just got to get stuff like that behind you.”

Newman said it was good to talk to Bowyer about what happened.

“It was good to kind of clear the air,” Newman said. “It is what it is. It’s the past. Just something you always remember. You learn about somebody in a situation like that.”

Newman was asked if he’ll race Bowyer differently.

“I try to race everybody the same way and that’s hard because that’s what I get paid to do,” said Newman, who qualified 18th for the Coca-Cola 600. “I try to give-and-take when I came. The way it works anymore with stage points, especially in the All-Star race, you don’t give and take. You take.”

Starting lineup for the Coca-Cola 600

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William Byron will start first and Aric Almirola will start second for Sunday’s 60th running of the Coca-Cola 600.

Byron, 21, is the youngest pole-sitter in the race’s history.

The top five is completed by defending race winner Kyle Busch, 2017 race winner Austin Dillon and two-time 600 winner Kevin Harvick.

Click here for the starting lineup.

William Byron wins pole for Coca-Cola 600

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CONCORD, N.C. —  William Byron won the pole for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Byron claimed the top spot with a qualifying speed of 183.424 mph. At the age of 21, he’s the youngest Coca-Cola 600 pole-sitter.

It’s Byron’s second career Cup pole, joining his pole in this year’s Daytona 500.

He beat out Aric Almirola (183.069 mph), Kyle Busch (182.933), Austin Dillon (182.766) and Kevin Harvick (182.741).

“This is awesome, a dream come true,” Byron told FS1. “Obviously, I grew up in Charlotte so I came to this race every year. It’s a dream come true to qualify on the pole next to Hendrick Motorsports across the street over there. … Can’t think of a better way to start the weekend.”

Byron has qualified on the front row five time this year and four times in the last seven races.

The pole is the 12th for Hendrick Motorsports in the 600, which leads all teams.

Busch has qualified in the top three for the last three 600s.

Corey LaJoie‘s No. 32 Ford failed pre-qualifying inspection twice, resulting in the ejection of an engineer.

Click here for qualifying results.

Joey Logano and family mourn their dog

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CONCORD, N.C. — Joey Logano provided a sobering update Thursday night about the family’s lost dog, Luigi.

The dog had been missing since Tuesday.

Logano’s wife Brittany wrote on a Facebook post for lost and found pets in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area that the family’s French Bulldog got out of their fence Tuesday night.

“Our little Luigi I believe he’s stolen, I think,” Joey Logano said earlier Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “We can’t really put a match to anything. We put a bunch of signs up and things on social media and we watched the cameras at our house and we see him running around the backyard and then you don’t see him again. Not really sure what happened there.”

“We’ve learned that Frenchies are one of the most stolen dogs around. It’s kind of sad that someone does that. It’s a member of your family. It’s a jerk move. Hopefully, we can figure it out.”