Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Fast Track Facts: Pocono Raceway

credit: NASCAR Media
Pocono Raceway is known as the “Tricky Triangle” in part because of its shape, but also because its three distinct turns, modeled after three other tracks around the country. Here are a few more “fast facts” about one of NASCAR’s largest speedways.
  • Groundbreaking for Pocono Raceway occurred in 1969, with the track opening in 1971 as Pocono International Raceway. The track was designed by two-time Indy 500 winner Roger Ward.
  • The three tracks Pocono’s turns were modeled after are the now-defunct Trenton Speedway (Turn One – 14 degrees of banking), Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Turn Two – nine degrees of banking) and The Milwaukee Mile (Turn Three – six degrees of banking). These different turns and different straightaways make set-ups difficult for crews.
  • Pocono Raceway is one of the few independently owned tracks in NASCAR. Brothers Brandon and Nicholas Igdalsky run the track for Mattco Inc., which has owned the track since 1968; the men are third-generation members of the Mattiolli family, and Mattco Inc. also owns South Boston Speedway in Virginia.
  • The Verizon IndyCar Series returned to Pocono Raceway in 2013 after a 20-year-plus absence of IndyCar racing at the track. The facility also once housed a 3/4-mile track, which was used for the Race of Champions Modified race from 1980-1991.
  • Pocono Raceway currently hosts two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup weekends each year, along with the ARCA Racing Series as a companion race on each weekend. In 2010, the Camping World Truck Series joined the schedule for the second weekend, and in 2016, the Xfinity Series was added on to the first weekend.
  • The NASCAR qualifying record at the track is currently held by Kyle Larson (183.438 mph set in Aug. 2014). Jeff Gordon has the most career wins at the track (six) and Ken Schrader has the most career poles (five). The overall track record belongs to former NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya, who put down a lap of 223.871 mph during IndyCar qualifying in July 2014.
  • Pocono Raceway installed nearly 40,000 photovoltaic modules at the track in 2010, and upon completion of the project, Pocono became the largest solar-powered sports facility in the world; the project will produce over 72 million kilowatt hours of energy over the next 20 years.
  • Find out more about Pocono Raceway at www.poconoraceway.com.

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