Guest Author - Debra Lamb
This past weekend, the Sprint Cup Series race was brought to the Pocono Raceway in Eastern Pennsylvania. This year is the first time after 37 years that the race will be for a 400-mile distance rather than its usual 500-mile races.
Also playing a key factor in this race is the full repaving of the racetrack. This is the first full repaving of the triangular 2.5 mile Pocono track since 1995.
Teams began to practice the Wednesday before race day and soon reported unofficial speeds that were far above the track’s record. The two days of testing gave the drivers an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the newly paved surface of the track. It is up to the crew chiefs to learn how to adapt to the changing features at Pocono.
Each driver wants a chance to figure out a way to dominate on what is essentially a new racetrack. Whoever learns to master this track will have a better chance at coming out ahead of the pack on race day.
With the race being 100 miles shorter than in the past, a lot of drivers and fans felt that it made for a more intense race.
Carl Edwards, a two-time Pocono winner, was eager to get a feel for the track and learn what it takes to master it. Halfway through the season, Edwards is ranking at 12th place.
Now, the fight is on to make it into one of the coveted top-10 spots in order to qualify for the Chase for the Cup.
Also this past weekend was the Camping World Truck Series at Texas Motor Speedway. This was the first of two visits for the current season with the WinStar World Casino 400 on Friday night.
This season of the Truck Series has seen seven different winners after the weekend’s race crowned Johnny Sauter the latest winner. The previous race was won by driver Todd Bodine.
It was believed by many that Bodine would be the first repeat winner of the season at Texas Motor Speedway. He has won six races at TMS during his NASCAR career. Before that race, Bodine was struggling to end his 38-race winless streak.
The win in Dover pushed Bodine up to sixth place in the standings, putting him 37 points behind the leader, Justin Lofton, coming into the WinStar World Casino 400.
Driver Ty Dillon was in third place before the start of the race and went into TMS with six consecutive top-10 finishes for the season and earned his seventh with that race; an impressive record for a rookie in the truck series.