Pocono Raceway

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Pocono Raceway
"The Tricky Triangle"
Pocono Raceway.jpg
Pocono Raceway Logo
LocationLong Pond Road and Andretti Road
Blakeslee, PA 18610
Time zoneGMT-5
Capacity76,812
OwnerMattco Inc.
OperatorIgdalsky and Mattioli families
Broke ground1969
Opened1971
Former namesPocono International Raceway
Major eventsNASCAR Sprint Cup Series
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
IZOD IndyCar Series
ARCA Racing Series
Triangle
SurfaceAsphalt
Length2.5 mi (4 km)
Turns3
BankingTurn 1: 14°
Turn 2: 8°
Turn 3: 6°
Lap record221.377 MPH (Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport, 2013, IZOD IndyCar Series)
 
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Pocono Raceway
"The Tricky Triangle"
Pocono Raceway.jpg
Pocono Raceway Logo
LocationLong Pond Road and Andretti Road
Blakeslee, PA 18610
Time zoneGMT-5
Capacity76,812
OwnerMattco Inc.
OperatorIgdalsky and Mattioli families
Broke ground1969
Opened1971
Former namesPocono International Raceway
Major eventsNASCAR Sprint Cup Series
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
IZOD IndyCar Series
ARCA Racing Series
Triangle
SurfaceAsphalt
Length2.5 mi (4 km)
Turns3
BankingTurn 1: 14°
Turn 2: 8°
Turn 3: 6°
Lap record221.377 MPH (Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport, 2013, IZOD IndyCar Series)
An aerial view of Pocono Raceway taken from a passing jetliner in late March 2014
Al Unser Jr. (#7) and Chet Fillip (#38) racing at Pocono in 1984.
A SCCA T-1 Camaro goes clockwise on the Pocono Raceway's front stretch, 1999
John Andretti at Pocono Raceway, 1998
Victory Lane at Pocono during pre-race ceremonies at the 2005 Pocono 500

Pocono Raceway (formerly Pocono International Raceway) also known as the Tricky Triangle, is a superspeedway located in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania at Long Pond. It is the site of two annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races held just weeks apart in June and August, and one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event in August. Since 2013, the track is also host to a IZOD IndyCar Series race.

Pocono is one of a very few NASCAR tracks not owned by either Speedway Motorsports, Inc. or International Speedway Corporation, the dominant track owners in NASCAR. It is run by the Igdalsky siblings Brandon, Nicholas, and sister Ashley, and cousins Joseph IV and Chase Mattioli, all of whom are third-generation members of the family-owned Mattco Inc, started by Joseph II and Rose Mattioli. Mattco also owns South Boston Speedway in South Boston, Virginia.

Outside of the NASCAR races, Pocono is used throughout the year by Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and motorcycle clubs as well as racing schools. The triangular oval also has three separate infield sections of racetrack – North Course, East Course and South Course. Each of these infield sections use a separate portion of the tri-oval to complete the track. During regular non-race weekends, multiple clubs can use the track by running on different infield sections. Also some of the infield sections can be run in either direction, or multiple infield sections can be put together – such as running the North Course and the South Course and using the tri-oval to connect the two.

Track configuration[edit]

Pocono Raceway has a unique design. Each turn is modeled after turns at 3 different tracks. Turn One (14 degree banking) was modeled after the now defunct Trenton Speedway, Turn Two (also known as "The Tunnel Turn") is like Indianapolis Motor Speedway (9 degree banking), and Turn 3 (6 degree banking) is similar to The Milwaukee Mile. It could be said to be a tri-oval, but the turns are much more severe than those of a more typical tri-oval such as Daytona and the track is really nearly a triangle. They have been likened somewhat to the hairpin-style turns of road courses. An additional complication is that the three turns are not identical, nor are any of the three straights identical in length. The banking of each turn is considerably less than on many other long ovals. Although the track is long (2.5 miles), the sharp nature of the turns and low banking tends to make the overall speeds much lower than at other tracks of similar lengths, thus restrictor plates are not needed here. For its unique characteristics, Pocono is sometimes referred to as a roval. Others refer to Pocono as a modified road course due to the use of shifting gears to handle the range between the slowest curve and the fastest straightaway.

The odd design makes the setup of the car and the crew's ability to make chassis adjustments even more crucial here than at many other tracks. Often it is the difference between a winning performance and a poor performance. Drivers tend to either love the track or hate it, largely depending on how well it suits their driving style and their crew's abilities.

In 1991 some drivers (notably Mark Martin) began shifting gears down the mammoth frontstretch to try and better navigate the corners. By 1993 the entire field was using a special transmission (known as a Jerico) to shift gears without using the clutch. Though shifting was criticized by some drivers (Rusty Wallace stated it took away from ability to pass cars while Terry Labonte pointedly called it "a pain in the butt") and some called for the Jerico to be banned on ovals, the practice continued until 2005 when a new gear rule eliminated the effectiveness of shifting. In 2011 the gear rule was changed again, allowing shifting to return to the track.

IndyCar races at Pocono[edit]

From 1971 to 1989, first USAC and then the CART IndyCar World Series held a 500-mile (800 km) race at Pocono as part of the IndyCar 500-mile Triple Crown. In 1989, Emerson Fittipaldi set a qualifying track record of 211.715 mph (340.722 km/h). Following the 1989 race, however, the track was criticized for its roughness and lack of modern safety features. After continuing squabbles between the management and the sanctioning body, it was removed from the IndyCar schedule.

In the wake of a meeting between Pocono CEO Brandon Igdalsky and IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard at the 2012 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, speculation developed throughout 2012 regarding the possibility of a 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway. On the September 30, 2012, edition of Speed Channel's WindTunnel with Dave Despain, Bernard officially confirmed that the IndyCar Series would return to Pocono with a 400-mile race on July 7, 2013. Further acknowledging Pocono's place in IndyCar history, Bernard also announced that from 2013, the Indianapolis 500, Pocono IndyCar 400 and MAVTV 500 at California's Auto Club Speedway would mark a revival of IndyCar's all-oval Triple Crown. A $1 million bonus will be paid to a driver who wins all three races in a single season.

Race of Champions[edit]

From 1977 to 1991, Pocono Raceway hosted the Race of Champions Modified race. From 1977 to 1979, the race was held on the 2.5-mile (4.0 km) triangular superspeedway; from 1980 onward, the three-quarter-mile infield oval was used. Richie Evans and George Kent were the leading winners, each winning two of the fifteen RoC events at Pocono. In 1992, the Race of Champions was moved to Flemington Raceway.

Notable events[edit]

Races[edit]

The pits at Pocono Raceway

Current[edit]

Former[edit]

Records[edit]

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Records[edit]

(As of 8/5/12) [7]

Most Wins6Jeff Gordon
Most Top 5s20Mark Martin
Most Top 10s34Mark Martin
Starts55Ricky Rudd
Poles5Ken Schrader
Most Laps Completed9884Terry Labonte
Most Laps Led965Jeff Gordon
Avg. Start*4.7David Pearson
Avg. Finish*9.0Jimmie Johnson

* from minimum 5 starts.

Environmental Initiatives[edit]

In July 2010 Pocono Raceway began the installation of a 3 megawatt solar photovoltaics system. Upon completion the racetrack became the largest solar-powered sports facility in the world. The "solar farm" encompasses approximately 25 acres and consists of almost 40,000 solar modules, which satisfies the energy consumption for the entire racing complex and will help power 1,000 homes.[8] By December 2010, with less than four months in operation, the Pocono system had surpassed the 1,000,000 kilowatt hour production mark. Over the next 20 years the system is expected to produce in excess of 72 million kilowatt hours and offset 3,100 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. Sheep are used to keep the grass to a low level.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ SAFER barriers installation complete at Pocono[dead link]
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "Doc Mattioli, Pocono Raceway Patriarch, Passes". Poconoraceway.com. Retrieved 2012-08-11. 
  4. ^ [2][dead link]
  5. ^ David Caraviello, NASCAR.COM (2012-08-07). "Spectator killed by lightning strike at Pocono - Aug 07, 2012". Nascar.Com. Retrieved 2012-08-11. 
  6. ^ Bandoim, Lana (2012-10-31). "Hurricane Sandy Affects NASCAR: Fan View". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  7. ^ "By the Numbers: Pocono". NASCAR. 2013-07-01. Retrieved 2013-07-31. 
  8. ^ Pocono Raceway Takes The "Green" Flag In Solar Energy[dead link]
  9. ^ December 13, 2010 (2010-12-13). "Pocono Raceway Hits One Million kWh Mark". Limelighttimes.com. Retrieved 2012-08-11. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°03′19″N 75°30′41″W / 41.05539°N 75.51152°W / 41.05539; -75.51152