|Location||Long Pond, Pennsylvania|
|Track length||2.5 miles (4 kilometres)|
|Banking|| Turn 1 - 14°|
Turn 2 - 8°
Turn 3 - 6°
|Major events||NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series|
|Address||P.O. Box 500, Long Pond, PA 18334|
|Owner||Pocono International Raceway|
Pocono Raceway (formerly Pocono International Raceway) is a superspeedway located in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania at Long Pond. It is the site of two annual NASCAR Sprint Cup races held just weeks apart in June and July.
Pocono Raceway has a unique design. 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 none of the three turns are identical, nor are any of the three straights identical in length. The long frontstrech often requires a gear change due to the high RPMs attained. 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 tends to make the overall speeds much lower than at other tracks of similar lengths thus restrictor plates are not needed here.
The odd design makes the setup of the car and the crews' ability to make chassis adjustments even more crucial here than at many other tracks. Often it is the difference between a winning performance and near-disaster. Drivers tend to either love the track or hate it, largely depending on how well it suits their driving style and their crews' abilities.
Many fans and drivers contend that the 500-mile races at Pocono take too long, and that they would like to see them shortened to 400 miles. Some fans would not mind seeing the track disappear from the schedule altogether, or at least reduced to one 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 owned by the Mattioli family, which also owns South Boston Speedway in South Boston, Virginia, and administers the Music City Motorplex (formerly Nashville Speedway USA) at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds in Nashville, Tennessee.
From 1971 to 1989, the CART series held a 500-mile race at Pocono. In 1989, Emerson Fittipaldi set a qualifying track record of 211.715 mph. However, after the 1989 race, the track was criticized for its roughness and lack of safety features, and was removed from the CART schedule.
Outside of the NASCAR races, Pocono is used throughout the year by sports car and motorcycle clubs as well as racing schools. The tri-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. This is the typical configuration for the Formula USA (FUSA) motorcycle race that is run on the track.
See also: List of NASCAR race tracks
- NASCAR Sprint Cup - Pocono 500
- NASCAR Sprint Cup - Pennsylvania 500
- NASCAR Camping World Truck Series - Pocono Mountains 125
- NASCAR Qualifying: Kasey Kahne 172.533 mph (277.665 km/h), 2004
- NASCAR Race: Rusty Wallace, 144.892 mph (233.181 km/h), July 21, 1996