Since the IndyCar Series returned to Watkins Glen, Team Penske had won all five pole awards but hadn't scored a win. On Saturday, Penske's Will Power won the pole and on Sunday finally broke through for Penske by passing his teammate Ryan Briscoe with 17 laps to go for the win.
With the victory, Power extended his points lead to 32 over third-place Dario Franchitti, who was passed by Briscoe on the first turn of the last lap for second place.
Sunday's race may have been the final race at the 3.37-mile road course. (The IndyCar Series uses "the boot," a section of the track just past the chicane off of the backstretch. The Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series bypass the boot and instead make a looping righthand turn after the chicane).
There have been many rumors about the IndyCar Series dropping all ISC tracks from the 2011 schedule (Watkins Glen is an ISC track, along with Chicago and Kansas). According to Chris Gill at the Corning Leader, Watkins Glen president Michael Printup says that it's not an all-or-nothing proposition when it comes to the IndyCar Series and ISC in 2011.
But given the attendance at Sunday's race, it seemed that many fans believed the IndyCar Series had stopped racing at ISC tracks in 2010.
The grandstands on the frontstretch and below turn one were maybe at 20 percent capacity, and the RV parking overlooking turn one had many empty spaces. The weather wasn't an excuse, as it was a picture perfect Fourth of July in northern New York.
Despite that, IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said that he'd like to keep the date at Watkins Glen and also expressed interest in holding the series' last race of the season at Las Vegas. Homestead, the current location of the final race of the season, is an ISC track. Las Vegas is owned by SMI. (The potential $20 million bonus for the winner of the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 is the brainchild of SMI CEO Bruton Smith)