Pocono Raceway Announces…


Pocono Raceway Announces 2012 Race Dates

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Races Shortened to 400 Miles

Long Pond, PA (August 10, 2011) ― Pocono Raceway’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was in 1974, a second Sprint Cup Series race was added to the Pocono schedule in 1982. Sunday’s Good Sam RV Insurance 500 was the 68thSprint Cup Series at Pocono Raceway. Each race was scheduled for 500 miles and each produced its share of drama and excitement.

Starting with the June 10, 2012 Pocono Sprint Cup Series race, the scheduled distance for both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races will be shortened to 400 miles. “The 400 mile distance will make NASCAR racing at Pocono even more exciting,” stated Raceway President and CEO , Brandon Igdalsky.  “Race strategies will change, fuel mileage calculations will be altered and I firmly believe that our fans will be treated to outstanding racing at the 400 mile distance.”

“NASCAR supports Pocono Raceway’s move to two 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 2012,” stated Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR Senior Vice President, Racing  Operations . “We believe this will be a good transition for the fans and competitors. It will provide the teams with a new type of strategy and should make for even more exciting competition at a unique facility that has a long-standing history in our sport.”

Eight weeks after the Pocono 400. It will be the August 5, Pennsylvania 400. Both 400 mile races will have the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards as companion races. The August Pennsylvania 400 weekend will also feature a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on August 4.


Contact: Bob Pleban, 570-646-2300, bpleban@poconoraceway.com

About Pocono Raceway

The Tricky Triangle” is host to two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards races each year and added a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in 2010.  Pocono Raceway’s 2.5-mile triangular design makes it truly unique.  Pocono is the only track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Circuit with three turns, three different radii and three variant degrees of banking.  All that ensures our fans will enjoy some serious action, meanwhile presenting a competitive challenge to the world’s best drivers and their crew chiefs.  Pocono strives to create a family atmosphere with increased focus on the Fan Experience.  We are Pocono Raceway and this is “The Tricky Triangle.” 

In business for over 50 years, Pocono Raceway is family-owned and situated in the beautiful Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.  We are located within 300 miles of one-third of the U.S. population and within 90 miles of New York City and Philadelphia.  Pocono Raceway is and always will be an attractive option for NASCAR and race fans alike.

Pocono Raceway is the world’s largest solar powered sports facility. The Raceway developed a 25 acre, three megawatt solar farm that provides the energy needs of the Raceway as well as adding electricity to the local power grid.


  1. Tom Chipeleski |

    Apparently you people at Pocono aren’t listening to the race fan. Nobody I talked to wants the races shortened. The only thing that is true about the news report, is that it will change the race team strategies. In no way does it benefit the fan, who expects 500 miles of racing. It’s sad that NASCAR is going downhill in the last few years as far as fan support goes. But when fan opinion falls on deaf ears i guess I can see why. I’ll probably just spend my time at Dover, Del. from now on. We knew this was coming because it was hinted about for the last several years. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the rest of the NASCAR wussies who don’t want to drive 500 miles should retire or just quit.

  2. Eric |

    I’m deeply saddened by the loss of 500 miles at Pocono for both races. Pocono is by far my favorite racetrack on the nascar tour and I’ve been there 3 times in the span of 15 years. I would have been better with one of them being 500 miles and one of them being 400 miles! But the good news is that you guys still have 2 races and I’m cool with that!!

  3. Thomas A. Richards |

    Great move! For years, we’ve been saying that 500 miles at Pocono is just too long. The cars are just “logging laps” during the mid-portion of the race instead of seriously racing. I think this change will increase the competition, and heighten the excitement of watching a race at Pocono.

  4. Steve Barndt |

    I don’t know why you think the fans want 400 races sooo bad, because i can guarantee if you polled the people at the race last week atleast 90% of them would say they want the races to stay 500 miles and isn’t that what matters most, the fans who come to the races and support your facility twice a year. i see this as a big blow to the face of every nascar fan who goes to your races because now we will see shorter races next year that will not be any noticeably better but will be a fifth shorter. Nascar races are meant to be long endurance races which 500 miles is and the 2 500 mile races a year made this track more challenging and unique but now it is even more like any other race on the schedule. Doc Mattioli was right for sticking to his guns all those years because he knew what the fans who come and support his track wanted, he didn’t care about television executives and nascar officials who want shorter races. You have a whole year to change your mind and return these races to 500 miles and i hope you guys do after you see all the upset fans

    • Walter Mruz |

      Ahhh Yes, The Money making machine of NASCAR, Well, I already have my tickets for 2012 already, so I guess I will go, but I think I do want a discount of, lets say 1/5th of the price since I am getting 1/5 less of the race ! I have been camping in the infield of POCONO for 15 years and it is one of my favorite weekends of the year with the exception of last year when my Mom passed away. I travel 5 hours with my truck and 5th wheel trailer to see your races, and with the price of gas now, and the other costs involved with this weekend, I think this will be my last year ! Its the only 500 miler within travel distance of my home, and I do enjoy the day to sit back and watch the race. Now You change the legnth of the race AFTER I purchase my tickets for a 500 mile race….is this even legal ? I paid to see a 500 mile race and now you are only giving me a 400 mile race, I should sell you a 2012 Ferrari and when you pay me I will deliver to You a 1974 Ford Pinto….Think about the Fans before You lose them ! Next year I think I will save $1500 and bbq & watch on TV.

    • |

      I bet many fans do not even reply to this Bulletin Board. Someone should make this board available to all Nascar Fans. Those who attend POCONO Races and those who do not. I wonder if other ticket buyers respond to this Bulletin Board as we have? Because it does not appear that they have as yet. I hope they get moving and tell the track management how they feel, as the few of us have done to date. Review my posting, if you choose to.

      Bob Lecato

  5. George Androsiglio |

    Last year buying tickets for races at Pocono. Drivers been complaining for years, the sport is dying, same price for less racing….keep it!

  6. Daniel Ghanayem |

    Im not very happy about this. Ive been pleased with 500 miles. I cant help It doesnt fit well with the TV time slots. Im debating on renewing my tickets for next year. Unless the drop the price 20% since the race was shortend 20%??????????????????????????

  7. Not so saintly nick |

    As a long time fan and ticket holder I am deeply disappointed in your shortsighted decision to offer less than a whole Pocono NASCAR race. I don’t even want to pay for a lesser product. Five hundred miles on a fast 2.5 mile track is the gold standard. I will vote with my pocketbook and not renew my ticets for the first time in twenty plus years for the second race. Since I have already renewed my first race tickets under conditions subsequently changed by Pocono management, am I to receive an adjustment or do I need to file a formal complaint with the track and/or consumer authorities? I quess its good that Doc M retired before the next generation of his family screwed his loyal race fans.

  8. Wendell Kennan |

    1 vote for the new 400 mile race. (Brandon Igdalsky,CEO)
    80,000 votes for the old 500 mile race. (The Fans, but who cares about us.)

  9. Phil Reynolds |

    I have had reserved infield tickets for 15 years. We were not told of the shortened race untill after we had to send in the money for this years race. Seems like bait and switch to me! Lets just make the race 1/4 mile and really make it exciting. BAD MOVE DOC!!

  10. Tim Starin |

    This is by far my favorite NASCAR track. I have been anticipating these races going to 400 miles, and when I found out that they are I had nothing but negative thoughts about this. I know some drivers have been public about not wanting 200 laps here, but one of them, Ken Schrader, was never much of a competetor in the first place, and another one, Greg Biffle, won here a year after complaining about it. Now that the track is FINALLY being repaved, why not give the 200 laps a try before shaving 40 laps off? I’ve been coming here for years, and I can tell you that the first 160 laps sets up the drama and fight for the last 40.

  11. Maurice |

    You really think shortening the race is what fans want? Are you decreasing costs by 20% also? Sadly I think you are listening to each other to much and not the fans, so sad. I have been camping in the infield for 8 years, not missing a June race travelling all the way from Michigan. This year coupled with the gas prices you will not see me, my family or our money. As far as shortening it so drivers don’t lo laps, I don’t see Daytona or any other track doing that. If you had been listening you would have added some banking with the repaving effort and then you would have seen the fans respond, but I guess you are not really looking for more people there. In this the next phase of greening effort for Pocono, stage two after the solar farm? Keep it up and you can just plant grass over the entire place and be done with it. Folks you are going in the wrong direction……

  12. james loomis |

    Well it’s been along time coming I have been coming to the races for 15years and camping also we have always thought the drivers have been doging. thanks see you in Aug.

  13. |

    I have been buying tickets for thirty(30)years. I vote for ONE 400 mile race.
    And ONE a 5oo mile race with a restricter plate, to keep the fans involved with enthusiasm.
    I used to buy 7 tickets for BOTH races @ POCONO for 20 YEARS. Until 10 years ago; at which time I began buying 2 tickets. One reason is YOUR VENDORS PRICES ARE TOO EXPENSIVE. All Vendors have rights to Profit BUT Let’s get real!!
    That stopped (5) five of my family members from going to (BOTH) POCONO RACES.
    Until 10 years ago; at which time I began buying 2 tickets. The other reason was NOT the length of the races nor the getting home late. But; Why are the races starting @ 1 or 2 pm instead of @ 12:00(noon)as in YESTERYEAR, OLDEN-TIMES, back in the 80’s. THIS MAKES for A LONGGG DAY for BOTH FANS & DRIVERS. Not the race milage.
    These decisions made by the NEW management are to be seen,& ONLY time will tell.
    As for the “Bucketseats” you installed a few years ago in the Concourse Vista Section were not really confortable. ANOTHER vital upgrade would be to improve & direct the speakers downward towards the Concourse Vista Section so we can hear what goes on during the race, too.
    THANK YOU for listening to my thoughts,
    Bob Lecato, Mercerville, N.J. 08619

  14. Bert Smith |

    Deal with it , change is the only constant . Pocono is still Pocono and I’m still a fan , so we will be there a little less sunburned . We hope Ward will race the truck in August. Let’s go RACING not whining !

  15. nick hudson |

    obviously TV exec, not fans, rule Pocono. Even TV fans at home want 500 miles.
    Came to Pocono last year, not likely to come for a measly 400 mi. At least when it is 500, on tv, I can go mow the lawn in the middle and come back for the last 20 laps…when it is interesting..so why not make it a 20 lap shoot out..Tv will love a 30 min show..with lots of commercials..and I can get more done in they yard.

  16. Samuel Kluck |

    I will spend half of the money I normally do by just Going to the June Race.
    Yes, I had heard Dale Earnhardt Jr comment about the race doesn’t need to be 500 miles. I don’t know what made him say that. I know he doesn’t like Pocono because of the steve Park crash with JR. I go Every year to Pocono. I know how the race can seem to long to someone that doesn’t like Pocono. I am disappointed that they shortened it. Please change it back. I will not Go to the August race aces in Protest. Nascar Loses 50% of the money from me.

  17. George Matterl |

    Well less miles for me, means less action,less break downs and less time spent at the track with my family.. If anything I would have switched to a 600 mile race so we could see some real action.. I guess I will be going to Dover,Delaware this year..

  18. joel price |

    As a local This is my home track and where I started watching these races in person,going twice a year to all the events and untill now I could’nt ask for more but to shorten the races is like a punch in the stomach. As for the drivers saying the fans dont have the attention span to watch these long races any more is just wrong,if we can watch a 24 hour race we can watch a 3 hour race.

  19. William J. Pearson |

    I,for one, am not happy about shortening the race. I have been coming to Pocono every year since 1974. I never talked to anyone while tailgating, in all those years, I want the race shortened. The drivers have complained for years, not us fans. If the drivers want a 400 mile race, let them park on lap 160. The 500 mile event should stay. Most of us fans are of modest means. We spend a great sum of money for overpriced hotel rooms and all else that goes with the weekend. Give us, the fan, a FULL day of racing. Will ticket prices and hotel rooms go down 20% too? I doubt it! Dr. Joe Mattioli had it right. He listened to the fans who supported him. Rest in peace Dr. Joe.

  20. Bud D'Ginto |

    With the Race going to 400 Miles how about we put that Solar Farm to work and put up some lights and have a Saturday Night Race in August !!

    • Pocono Raceway |

      Bud – we are strong advocates that Saturday night races should be left to local short tracks for up-and-coming drivers to enhance their skills. Additionally, we do not produce enough energy during the evening to generate power for lights around our 2.5-mile Raceway.

  21. aaron |

    watching the race. what a wrong thing to do shortening the race.just ruined the pocono races. listen to us fans for once bring pocono back to 500. make california and kentucky 500. make the brickyard and summer daytona 500 have more night races but not this. no fan likes this!!!

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