2012 EMPA Convention – Pocono Raceway Notes

Track Improvements 2011/2012

  • This is the first track repave since 1995 and only the third in the track’s existence.
  • This is the second time we’ve started repaving from the dirt foundation. The last time it was exposed was when the track was first built.
  • The 2011 project began in September and is currently on hold due to potential winter weather. The track is 90 percent repaved at this point, the final layers (leveling and wearing layers) will be added in the spring, prior to a Goodyear Tire Test (date is still TBD).
  • The mix used is the same asphalt iron slag used in all each of our three paving projects at Pocono Raceway. This unique mix actually wears in a round pattern, compared to a diamond shape seen at most asphalt race tracks.
    • This allows for a longer wear and tear lifetime period for asphalt
    • The company being used for the repaving efforts is Haynes and Kibblehouse, the same company we used in the ’95 repave project.
    • This 2011 project comes one year after SAFER Barriers were added to the inside portion of Long Pond Straight and our Short Chute (located between Turns 2 and 3) & after a catch fence was added on Long Pond Straight.
    • The 2011 project includes a new outer pit wall and new concrete pit stalls.
      • Concrete pit stall have become commonplace in NASCAR over the last few years.
      • Concrete pit stall have a longer life and assist in traction for pit crews
      • Commemorative pieces of the track will be available for sale to the general public very soon!

400 Miles

  • Should result in more competitive and exciting race in 2012 and beyond.
  • Decision was made after gathering input from the race fans, first and foremost, as well as drivers and teams in NASCAR and ARCA Racing Series.
  • The popularity of our 125-mile, 50-lap Truck Series races also played a small role.
  • Doc Mattioli played a major role in executing this decision, even though the announcement came just days after his surprise retirement. Doc had the final decision in moving both Cup race from 500 to 400 miles.
  • Our average race time should be dropped by nearly 45 minutes with a 400-mile race, so we are anticipating a race between 3 to 2 hours and 50 minutes length.
  • Possibly a record-breaking season as 2011 saw a new race record set by Jeff Gordon in the 2011 5-hour Energy 500 (Pocono 500) last June. Also, Joey Logano came within two tenths of a second from breaking the track qualifying record during our August NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Time Trials.
    • The last repave saw an increase of between six (1st Cup race) and eight (2nd Cup race) miles per hour when comparing 1995 average mph to 1996’s average mph.

Tickers & RV/Camping

  • Pocono Raceway will now allow children ages 12 and younger into our Concourse Grandstand section for just half the price of a regular Sunday tickets. An adult must accompany the children. Additionally, we will continue to admit kids 12 and younger in for Free on Friday & Saturday, with accompanying adult.
    • This is the first time, in our track’s existence, where we’re offering a child’s discounted ticket.
    • We saw success with the Jimmie Johnson Fan Q&A Ticket Package in 2011, which offered fans an up-close and personal question and answer session with NASCAR’s five-time Cup Series Champion, Jimmie Johnson.
      • June saw over 130 people attend and August we increased our numbers over 250.
      • We will be looking into this over the next few months, stay tuned for details on similar fan-friendly events at Pocono Raceway soon!
      • We are extending our Reserved Fenceline RV Sections to the exit of Turn 1.
      • Each RV/Camping site has been increased to 20 feet in area, compared to 18 feet
      • We have recycled our track’s old surface by upgrading nearly 7 miles on infield roads (not to be confused with our track’s road courses) for the 2012 season
      • Spots and new areas will be named.
      • Details about our new Infield RV/Camping info will be coming out soon!

Green Initiatives

  • Our solar farm recently hit 5 million kilowatt hours of energy produced.
    • This equals over 400,000 gallons fuel saved
    • Our Pepsi “Dream Machine” helped saved tons of recyclables from both our June & August race weekends in 2012.
    • We recycled the track’s old surface by using the milling to upgrade nearly seven miles of infield roads.

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