Pocono Raceway (iRacing)
The resulting speedway poses special demands on drivers and engineer alike, for a chassis that works well on the steeply-banked Turn One will be less than ideal for the flatter Turn Two, let alone Turn Three, and the downforce necessary for maximum grip in any of the turns will slow a car on the two long straightaways. And Turn Three requires heavy braking – in some cases even a gearchange – making Pocono Raceway among the world’s most challenging speedways.
Pocono Raceway first opened for business in 1969 featuring a three quarter mile oval. The 2.5 mile speedway was completed in 1971 and immediately began hosting one of the jewels in Indy car racing triple crown of 500 mile races. Local hero Mario Andretti battled the likes of A.J. Foyt, Al and Bobby Unser, Johnny Rutherford and Gordon Johncock in USAC-sanctioned Indy car races. NASCAR was also at Pocono from the early days, as witnessed by the fact that Richard Petty won NASCAR’s inaugural Pocono 500 in 1974. Pocono also staged a number of top flight sports car races on its combination road course/oval layouts in the 1970s and ’80s, as well as various short track events on the orginal three-quarter mile oval encircling the main pit area.