The current Bill Milliken-designed road course is the third circuit to have been used in this area of New York State.
The current Bill Milliken-designed road course is the third circuit to have been used in this area of New York State. The first 6.6-mile temporary road course was founded by Cameron Argetsinger and opened on October 2 1948. It was used until fatal accidents in two successive years forced it to close. A transitional 4.6-mile circuit in the hills was used from 1953 until the permanent venue on a hilltop near Watkins Glen village was opened in 1956. The Glen became the home of Grand Prix racing in the United States in 1961 and was a regular end-of-season highlight until 1980. However, it fell into disrepair after the race moved to the unsatisfactory street circuits of Detroit and Phoenix. It was acquired by Corning Enterprises and the International Speedway Corporation in 1983 and they set about restoring it to its former glory. A NASCAR race has been held since 1986 and the Indycar Series visited from 2005 to 2010.