Tag Archives: Poconos

IndyCar at Pocono Raceway’s Tricky Triangle Volunteering in Pit Lane with Team Pocono

What is Team Pocono?

It’s a group of volunteer spectator marshals that work major events at Pocono Raceway. From my understanding they do both of the NASCAR appearances on the Tricky Triangle including Sprint Cup and NASCAR Truck series as well as IndyCar series which is what I joined them to do for the first time and absolutely enjoyed my experience.

The event was meant to last the weekend but due to rain it had spilled over into Monday which is the first time I’ve ever had that kind of thing happen to me at a Motorsport event I was volunteering. Good thing I live only 98 miles away because as soon as it started pouring with rain on Sunday I headed home and spent the night in my own bed instead of swimming around in a tent on the infield.

Monday the weather cleared up perfectly and I was pretty surprised with the crowd that showed up. Although despite the good number of people, the event felt more like a club race rather than a major US Motorsport event, especially when compared to other IndyCar event’s I’ve done this year including St. Pete, Long Beach, Barber and Detroit Belle Isle.

This time I was right in the mix of things, although other than telling people what to do I didn’t really have any hands on safety function. I did get to holler at a firefighter to get over a very smoky generator, but the Holmatro IndyCar crew responded to it quicker. I got to sweep the pit lane getting spectators off the grid just before the start of the race, and for the end I was manning one of the gates letting the correct people into victory circle. It was fun most of the time. I was impressed with home much some spectators would try to trick you or try to pull a fast one on you. I even got snubbed by Mr. Roger Penske himself. Go figure.

But I enjoyed myself, and since we weren’t allowed to take any pictures of the IndyCars I took a few shots of me in my Miata which was parked in the infield.

team pocono indycar race august 2016 rained out 6

team pocono indycar race august 2016 rained out 8

team pocono indycar race august 2016 rained out 9

The camping was right along the inner track.

team pocono indycar race august 2016 rained out 7

team pocono indycar race august 2016 rained out 0

team pocono indycar race august 2016 rained out 0a

team pocono indycar race august 2016 rained out 0b

for the drive home I put the top down, and it was perfect weather for it… I think this was the first two hour trip I took in the convertible topless and I loved it!

team pocono indycar race august 2016 rained out 3

team pocono indycar race august 2016 rained out 4

team pocono indycar race august 2016 rained out 5

team pocono indycar race august 2016 rained out 1

I have yet to do NASCAR truck series, so maybe I’ll be invited back…

Day Trip to the Poconos

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.

pocono what turn 4

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.

pocono garage

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.

pocono turn 1