< Back to News Home The Sahlen's Sports Car Springfest kicks off the racing season at Watkins Glen International

Posted (04/05/2018) -

For the 3rd year in a row, the Sahlen’s Sports Car Springfest will kick off the racing season at Watkins Glen International on April 20th  and 22nd.   For the weekend, Sports Cars of all types and speed will be competing in the American Endurance Racing event.  At the 1st two years of the event in 2016 & 2017, a full grid of 75+ race cars took the green flag.  For 2018, the entry list has exploded with over 90 race cars set to take the green flag,  driving under the Sahlen’s bridge just before the start/finish line at this historic sports car circuit.


The race weekend will kick off with Sahlen’s hosting the Friday night tailgate party.   Sahlen’s Hot Dogs and Sausages will of course be the highlight to the evening’s festivities.  Then on Saturday, the 1st of the weekend’s 9 hour Endurance races will commence at 9 am.  Sunday will see the American Endurance Racing series line up again for another 9 hour Endurance Race.  At the conclusion of Sunday, Winners in each of the series 3 classes will be announced for their combined finishes for the weekend’s 2 races. 


Joe Sahlen of Sahlen Packing shared his thoughts on returning as both a sponsor of the event and as a competitor in the series. “I have been coming to Watkins Glen since the 1970s.  It was always one of Anita’s  and my favorite summer destinations.  And I know that this still holds true for so many race fans today.   This is why I am so proud to be able to continue to present the 3 Longest Races at Watkins Glen International each year.   Sponsoring the American Endurance Racing event is extra special because each year it is the 1st race of the season for Watkins Glen International.  Ironically, this weekend will be the 1st event of the season for Team Sahlen.  Our last race was way back in October at National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park for American  Endurance Racing’s season finale.  The competition and racing at the season finale was both fun and intense.  At the conclusion of the weekend, we secured 1st overall in Sunday’s 9 hour endurance event.  We are geared up and ready to return to the Glen this coming weekend to repeat our overall victory here at last year’s event.   We know it won’t be easy, but having tough competition will make securing the overall top spot even more special.”


John Kolesa, President of American Endurance Racing shared his thoughts on the partnership with Sahlen’s Packing Company, - “American Endurance Racing is so excited to have Sahlen’s returning as our partner for our annual event at the historic Watkins Glen International.  Sahlen’s long history with The Glen and racing will surely continue to evolve this into a fantastic event for all to experience this year and in the years to come.”


Also for the 3rd year in a row, Sahlen’s will also be presenting the ChampCar Endurance Series event held at the end of May.  The May 26th and 27th event is titled as “Sahlen’s Champyard DOG at the Glen”.  The Sahlen’s sponsored event has become a Memorial Day classic for ChampCar Endurance Series.  The event is one of the most popular destinations for ChampCar racers with over 100 entries each year.   The event will feature a Sahlen’s Tailgate Party on Friday night featuring grilled up  Sahlen’s Hot Dogs.  The race weekend will feature a 7 hour enduro on both Saturday and Sunday.   Always close racing; last year’s race saw the margin of victory being only 7 seconds after 7 hours of racing.


The capstone to Sahlen’s involvement with Watkins Glen International will be the 16th edition of the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen held on July 1st.  This partnership, dating back to 2002, is the longest running entitlement sponsorship at the Glen. The Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen event hosts the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship series.  Additionally, this event is 1 of 4 races that encompass the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Championship.  The additional 3 events include the ROLEX 24 Hours at Daytona, the Sebring 12 Hours and the Petit LeMans at Road Atlanta.  These 4 events combined are part of the elite top Endurance races that are held worldwide each year.


There will be many activities and events for all the family to enjoy at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.  These events will include the Fan Midway, Driver Autograph Session and the Sahlen’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.


In honor of those who currently serve our country, and those who have served in the past, Watkins Glen International will again be offering complimentary tickets to active duty military personnel and veterans of the United States Armed Forces for the Sunday, July 1st IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.


“Watkins Glen International is proud to again pay tribute to those who serve and those who have served the United States of America,” said WGI President Michael Printup. “We are all very grateful to these men and women for their sacrifices that they make, and we’re honored to have them as our guests for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.”



Sahlen Packing Company

Sahlen Packing Company, a leading producer of premium quality meat products in Western New York, is known for their high quality hot dogs, sausages, and deli meats. Founded in 1869 in Buffalo, New York as a family business, Sahlen’s continues to be the name behind Western New York’s favorite hot dogs.


Watkins Glen International

Located within five (5) hours (~300 miles) of 25% of the US population, Watkins Glen International is the premier road racing facility in North America, recently voted “Best NASCAR Track” by readers of USA Today. Keep up with The Glen on Facebook and Twitter. Download The Glen’s free mobile app from the App Store or Google Play.



American Endurance Racing

The American Endurance Racing series enters their 5th season in 2018 with a 7 event schedule throughout the Midwest.  The series features 5 classes of racing for different levels of Sports Cars. The top class features purpose built Porsches, BMWs, Ferraris and Corvettes competing for the Overall Victory. Each weekend features a Saturday and Sunday race format.  Each day’s race is typically 8-9 hours each. 



ChampCar Endurance Series presented by RVA Graphics & Wraps

The ChampCar Endurance Series enters its 10th season in 2018 with a 28 race schedule across North America.  The series features affordably built race cars from multiple decades and formats of street cars. 

Events range from 7 hours to 24 hours. 




IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

The WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is the premier Endurance Racing series in North America.   The series features an 11 race schedule.  Additionally, within the schedule is 4 events (ROLEX 24 Hours at Daytona, the Sebring 12 Hours, Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen and the Petit LeMans at Road Atlanta ) that encompass the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Championship.  The series consists of 3 classes. The top class is the purpose built prototype racers.  There are 2 classes of production based sports cars that compete in the GT divisions (GTLeMans and GTDaytona).




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