Wasn’t even sure how to title this post… “Post Card from Pocono Raceway” or “My 34th Track” or, well you can see it: “Day Trip to the Poconos” because it is exactly what it was.
It’s not often that there are events at the Pocono Raceway that take place on Friday’s. Not ones that use volunteers anyway. Although the track is quite famous with NASCAR and IndyCar, marshals aren’t used on the Tri-Oval. The inner track that is carved into this triangle has recently been repaved and improved. So it was nice not only to see how cars (this time from SCCA) run on it, but also to drive it myself at the end of the day.
I must say that at 98 mile drive from my home in New Jersey it is by far the closest circuit to me. And by-far I mean some 8 miles closer than Lime Rock which I consider my home track. Or 45 miles closer than New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) in South Jersey. The neat thing about this track is it’s location. Right off of I80 which means it’s the most direct track to me, without the necessity of snaking along on small country roads which are oh so prone to traffic.
With that out of the way I shall give my first impression of the circuit. And as one would imagine a typical NASCAR oval/tri-oval inner track to be, it is flat and fairly bland. I don’t think much impressed me from the get go. It is in a sense similar to the inner track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway or Daytona International Speedway. I couldn’t fall asleep the night before, so instead of tossing and turning I took a quick shower and hit the road at 2am. Arrived at the main entrance of the track just after 3:40am and took a nap there. It was chilly! But I didn’t feel too tired once I was on the inside. The track sort of reminded me of a visit to Manfeild in New Zealand, kind of a farm feel to it. Lots of wooden structures, barn like garages, etc.
I was stationed at Turn 1 for the practice that Friday morning with one of the local volunteers who normally works for the track manning the gate for big events. She was on comms, I was on flag and we were bored together for the day. It was a good experience overall, and I truly wish there was more happening at this track so I can visit more often. If for nothing else than the convenience of it’s location.