LONG POND — Pocono Raceway announced Friday their 2014 IndyCar Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race lengths have been extended. The IndyCar Seriesrace will expand from a 400 mile race to a 500 mile one while the truck race expands by 25 miles to 150.
The Pocono IndyCar 500 Fueled by Sunoco will be run at the Monroe County track on Sunday, July 6. The Pocono Mountains 150 will be run on Saturday, Aug. 2.
“I’m very excited about these changes for 2014,” said Pocono Raceway President and CEO Brandon Igdalsky. “After last year’s IndyCar Series race, droves of open-wheel fans immediately took to our social media channels, sent emails, called us to let us know they wanted more. Over the last four years, diehard Truck Series fans have continued to tell us they wanted more. The fans spoke, we listened and we made some changes. The one thing not changing next season, however, will be the ticket prices to see these great, competitive events.”
The historic return of the open-wheel racing to Pocono Raceway this past year started with a Pennsylvania-native breaking the track qualifying record and saw a race featuring daring passes, average lap speeds surpassing 196 miles per hour and a late-race strategy which paid off in victory. Scott Dixon won the long anticipated 400-mile race and kicked off a mid-season reawaking, which eventually led to his third IndyCar Series championship.
“I think this is really exciting for Pocono, the drivers and all the Indy car fans out there,” said Dixon, 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series champion and driver of the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing machine. “It will certainly change the race strategy at Pocono next year, for sure. This year’s race was highly competitive and the addition of 100 miles is going to make it even better. I’ve also been a huge fan of the (Fuzzy’s) Triple Crown races, and we now have a more defined title with three 500-mile events with history and prestige on the line.” Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka will award a $1,000,000 bonus if one driver can win each of the three “Fuzzy’s Triple Crown” races in 2014, which will feature the Indianapolis 500, the Pocono INDYCAR 500 and the Auto Club Speedway INDYCAR 500.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will return to Pocono Raceway for the fifth-straight season. The race length of the first two Truck races at “The Trick Triangle” were extended past the advertised distance, due to late-race accidents, and resulted in green-white-checkered finishes. The winning truck owner for those extended races, in 2010 and 2011, was former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner, Kevin Harvick.
“I think the fact Pocono is extending the Truck Series race is a good thing for the fans,” said Harvick, 2011 Pocono Mountains 125 winning driver/owner, “because the Truck Series race has been so good there over the years. I’m excited about it and looking forward to watching it.”