IndyCar to Pocono rumour

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    In his IndyCar Q&A (a must-read, by the way) Curt Cavin mentions the Pocono Raceway president and CEO has been in discussion with IndyCar:

    IndyCar last raced at the oval track in 1989 before safety considerations moved them elsewhere. I think NASCAR has two races a year there.

    Here’s the start of the 1989 Pocono 500:

    And here’s how the track looks today:

    First thought: wouldn’t they have to get rid of the grass? I thought they preferred paved run-offs after Greg Moore’s crash.

    Second thought: IndyCar needs more ovals so if it happens I’m all in favour.

    Adam Tate

    Not sure about the grass Keith, but it would be great if they could race there!


    I like Pocono, it’s very unique in shape, with just the 3 corners, with minimal banking, and it’s nice and long too, 2.5 miles


    A few months ago I watched some footage of races there and thought how cool it’d be to see them return. Obviously as long as it’s safe enough (because I think this would unfortunately be a VERY fast oval for these cars) I’m all for it.


    That’s an oval I’d love to see them at! Bring it on.


    Wow there was some old guys racing in Indy Car in 1989.


    @KeithCollantine the track actually looks like this today (well as of a few days ago).

    After the fall NASCAR Cup series race last year the track started a re-pave/upgrade. Banking/configuration has stayed the same, however there has been an apron added in Turn 1 (as seen in that picture), the grass on the inside of the back straight (by the new SAFER Barrier that was added for last year) has been paved (Turn 1 & Turn 3 still have grass on the inside of the apron), catchfence around the entire exterior of the track (believe that was up for the Fall Cup race), there is also a catchfence added to the inside of the back straight (not sure if it’s all the way around the inside or just on the back straight with the new SAFER Barrier).

    Here is a picture of the exit of turn 1 looking down the back straight.

    Pit road got a new outside wall and because it got rid of the old weird double wall that was there it has made pit road a bit wider. Pit road got repaved and the pitstalls are now concrete also.

    As far as what the track host racing wise (both Cup races were 500mi in the past but have been dropped to 400 starting this season).
    2 NASCAR Weekends.
    — NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 400mi (Fri = Practice, Sat = Qual, Sun = Race)
    — ARCA Series presented by Menards 200mi (Fri = Practice/Qual, Sat = Race)

    — NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 400mi (Fri = Practice, Sat = Qual, Sun = Race)
    — NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 125mi (Fri = Practice, Sat = Qual/Race)
    — ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards 125mi (Fri = Practice/Qual, Sat = Race)

    Those are the only races currently held on the Oval. Several times throughout the year the various infield Road Course layouts are used for by some smaller touring/sports car series (mostly SCCA regional stuff) with the biggest name series (atleast that I’m aware of) being the “Dodge SRT Viper Cup”.

    The tracks Facebook page has been posting a bunch of pictures relating to it’s Openwheel days this week. Not sure if it’s a hint or if they’re just playing-up the rumors to try and generate interest in the track.

    I live about 15mi from the track and while I haven’t gone to any of the NASCAR events in the past few years (just haven’t had the extra money) I’m already saving up to go to the Indycar race if it does indeed happen next year. The track doesn’t have lights (and likely won’t anytime soon due to the fact that the roads in the area are extremely dangerous to drive at night especially for drunk racefans) so it’ll have to be a day race. I’m not sure if a Stand-Alone weekend will draw enough fans though so I could see them maybe piggy-backing on the June NASCAR weekend. Move the ARCA race back to Friday along with Indylights & Indycar Qual (have both ARCA & Indy come in on Thursday for opening practice) and then have the Indy Race (300-500mi?) on Saturday along with NASCAR Qualifying.

    There have been some rumors in the area that the track is planning on upgrading it’s infield road courses within the next few years with atleast one of them being brought up as an FIA Grade-2 “GP track” with hopes of getting Grand-Am or ALMS there (which as an endurance racing fan I would love to see those cars, even the crappy Grand-Am DP’s, up close & personal in my backyard). I would guess that if the road course does get done then that could also possibly lead to an Indycar race on said road course (1 on the oval is great, but 1 on the oval + 1 on the road course would be amazing).

    If I hear anything in the local news I’ll be sure to pass it along.


    @Fisha695 Thanks for the very detailed info! The track certainly looks in a better state now.

    Do you know anything more about the catch fencing? Obviously it’s been a major topic after Las Vegas.


    Most US Ovals (from the local short track level on up through the big NASCAR ones & Indianapolis Motor Speedway) have the fence setup where it’s “Fence, Cable, Pole” with the Pole being on the outside of the track. However Vegas for some reason (and the other handful of Speedway Motorsports Inc tracks may be like this too I’m not sure) have it setup as “Cable, Pole, Fence”. Here is a picture from the Cup race at Vegas a few weeks back where you can see their setup.

    Pocono around the Spectator area has it setup as “Fence, Cable, Pole” as seen in this picture.

    The backstretch section however which was added in 2010 after a Cup car almost went over the wall appears to be nothing more then “Cable, Pole” with no actual fence. Which is fine to keep the Cup cars from going over the wall, however I would hope that if they do in fact get an Indycar race that they add a layer of fencing infront of the cable. You can see that section here.


    @Fisha695 Again, very useful, thank you.


    Yup, no problem.


    This would be great if they can race there safely. I wonder if it could bring back the ‘triple crown’ of 500 mile races, with Fontana back on the schedule as well.


    Looks like there’s plenty of interest from fans:

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