Monday, June 4, 2012

Why I Love NASCAR: Pocono Raceway by Chief 187™

Last June, Jeff Gordon made it rain champagne in Victory Lane.
Credit: Karel Zubris/Skirts and Scuffs
The Pocono 400 is one of my favorite races of the year for the simple fact that Pocono Raceway is my home track. It is located about an hour and fifteen minutes away from my front door.

And, much to my delight, I have spent many weekends at Pocono Raceway. For the most part these weekend races were not NASCAR events, but those of the Vintage Sports Car Club of America (VSCCA).

For those who may not know, tracks rent their space to groups of all sizes and import. I’ve written about how my cousin Steve races his Corvette at Texas Motor Speedway, and now you understand that my club, the VSCCA, races at Pocono Raceway.

My husband will once again be chairing an event at Pocono Raceway, this time in July, for the VSCCA. That happening is a wonderful way to explore the track without throngs of people.

Whether at the track for a NASCAR race or any other event, it is a true treat to visit. Set in the picturesque Pocono Mountains, Pocono Raceway is a racer’s gem in Pennsylvania.

During a NASCAR event, the two lane road to get to the track is so congested that hours go by before you get to the parking lot! But there is so much to see, so many race fans to watch, that the time melts away.

I’ve only been to Pocono as a spectator, never as media, so I cannot speak to those accommodations, but as a fan I was happy with my seats, the restrooms, and the overall experience.

It always impressed me that the Mattioli Family stayed true to their vision of what racing at their facility should be.

Pocono Raceway, also known as the “Tricky Triangle”, is classified as a superspeedway at two and a half miles long. The three turns were all patterned after turns at different tracks.

Turn One with 14 degree banking was modeled after Trenton Speedway which is no longer in existence.

The Tunnel Turn or Turn Two sports nine degree banking like Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The Milwaukee Mile gets credit for Turn Three which has six degree banking mimicking the Wisconsin track.

This set up creates a true triangle with no angle the same and no straight the same length. Because of this configuration restrictor plates are not needed nor used.

I also enjoy the fact that the NASCAR Sprint Cup races are not titled with the sponsor name; instead each race is the Pocono 400 or the Pennsylvania 400. This harkens back to a time when race names were super cool – the Southern 500, World 600, Firecracker 400 – and not a crunch of sponsors’ products with a number behind them. Of course I understand the business aspect of the renaming of races, but I personally feel that naming races the “old-fashioned” way would bring some of the fans back to NASCAR in droves.

So that is why Pocono Raceway is still so special to me. Its triangular shape, non-sponsored named events, and family-friendly atmosphere all add up to a venue that I enjoy immensely.

Having Pocono Raceway on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit is yet another reason why I love NASCAR.




Chief 187™ is a writer, columnist, and blogger as well as creator of the widely popular Chief 187™Chatter. Her column “Why I Love NASCAR” and other articles are featured on Skirts and Scuffs. She can be reached via Twitter by following @Chief187s. To find out more please visit http://Chief187.com.



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