When Mark Donohue continued that trend in January 1973, however, it marked the final time that a specialist won in the Cup Series, as Bobby Allison won the next race at Riverside, followed by Cale Yarborough, Richard Petty and David Pearson. Now Ron Fellows, Boris Said, Max Papis, Patrick Carpentier, PJ Jones, Brian Simo and Andy Lally all seek to become the first non-regular to win since Donohue.
Fellows has come the closest with three top-four finishes at The Glen, including seconds in 1999 and 2004, and the Canadian has three NASCAR Nationwide Series victories and a pair of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins at The Glen to his credit.
With three victories in the 2009 Cup Series to his name, however, Kyle Busch will be looking for a good road course result to help kick-start his season.
Busch could be near the top of the standings when the Chase begins at New Hampshire, but has still to make the top twelve and has only five races to go to transform his 13th place back into a qualifying spot before his early-season victories go to waste. Busch is currently 101 points behind twelfth-placed Greg Biffle, but has Brian Vickers, Clint Bowyer and David Reutimann all within 20 points of his tally, looking to leap-frog their way into the Chase.
While Reutimann knows how tenuous making the Chase can be - running in contention in Monday's event at Pocono, only to tangle with eventual winner Denny Hamlin and finish 29th, falling from 13th to 16th in the championship - Busch will be looking to make a charge in the opposite direction this weekend.
He was NASCAR's road warrior in 2008, winning both the Cup Series race at Infineon and the Nationwide Series event in Mexico City prior to his victory at The Glen, where he started on the pole after qualifying was rained out, and led four times – including the final 26 circuits.