04 Jun The Tricky Triangle – Pocono Raceway
NASCAR fans, when you hear the word ‘triangle’ what’s the first think that comes to mind? We’re guessing it’s the Pocono Raceway, nicknamed the Tricky Triangle! This weekend Clint Bowyer is heading to Pennsylvania’s Mountains for the Party in the Poconos 400, but before Sunday’s race we wanted to fill you in with some history and a few of the things that make this tricky track so unique.
Pocono Raceway is one of the very few NASCAR tracks that isn’t owned by Speedway Motorsports, Inc. or International Speedway Corporation. The track was started by Joseph II and Rose Mattioli and, despite economic hardships, has stayed in the family through present day. Groundbreaking took place in 1969 and due to errors in construction, inexperience and other factors, the Mattioli family suffered financial problems that almost caused them to go bankrupt a few different times. There was a point where the Mattiolis were going to sell the track but Bill France Sr. convinced them to keep it.
Today the Mattioli family credits Bill France Sr., his wife and son for keeping Pocono Raceway alive. Not only is Pocono the only triangle shaped track in NASCAR, but each of its three turns are different because they are modeled after turns at three different racing tracks. Turn One has 14 degree banking and mimics the long defunct Trenton Speedway. Turn Two, also known as the ‘Tunnel Turn’, features nine degree banking like Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Lastly, Turn Three has six degree banking similar to the Milwaukee Mile. Though Pocono is a 2.5 mile long superspeedway, the sharp turns and low banking causes driving speeds to be much lower than other superspeedways.
In addition to Pocono’s family ownership and one-of-a-kind track layout, another thing that makes this raceway unique is its green initiatives. In August 2010, the 3MW Pocono Solar Project, a power saving initiative that will produce more than 72 million kilowatt hours of energy over the next 20 years, launched after only three months of construction. Pocono’s solar project will offset more than 3,100 Metric Tons of carbon dioxide annually and will generate enough power to provide electricity for nearly 1,000 homes in addition to the power needs of the raceway. Pocono was also the first raceway to become a part of the PepsiCo Dream Machine program, which promotes recycling by providing bins and kiosks throughout the grandstands so fans recycle instead of throwing away their cans and bottles. A final green initiative that Pocono is a part of is the NASCAR Clean Air Tree Planting Program. As part of the program, 10 trees will be planted for every green flag that drops during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, reducing the carbon footprint of the sport while also bringing eco-friendly awareness to NASCAR fans.
From its ownership to its shape, there are many things that make Pocono Raceway a quirky, yet unique track. With a nickname like the Tricky Triangle, races are bound to be exciting and eventful which is why we can’t wait for Sunday’s race at Pocono Raceway! We want to wish Clint Bowyer the best of luck as he Parties in the Poconos this weekend!