LONG POND, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s the end of an era at Pocono Raceway. One of the track’s two NASCAR races will hit the road next year.
The news shocked many after decades of racing at the Tricky Triangle. For nearly four decades, Pocono Raceway was home to a pair of NASCAR weekends, and up until last year, there were still two Cup Series races per season in Long Pond.
But starting in 2022, there won’t quite be as much thunder in the Poconos.
NASCAR first came to Pocono Raceway in 1971, and since 1982, two Cup Series races have been run at the Tricky Triangle. For most of that stretch, there were two weekends. The last two years, the two races were condensed into a single weekend.
But NASCAR announced Wednesday, that for the first time in 40 years, Pocono Raceway will only host one Cup Series event on Sunday July 24th. Pocono is losing one race and World Wide Technology Raceway just outside St. Louis is joining the Cup Series schedule.
Representatives from Pocono declined an on-camera interview to discuss the schedule change, but the Mattioli and Igdalsky families did issue a statement. It reads in part: “Although we are disappointed NASCAR has chosen to eliminate one of the two NASCAR Cup Series races at Pocono Raceway, we will continue to persevere and provide the best family-friendly experience and value to our guests. This change does not affect our resolve, our legacy and how we will approach promoting NASCAR races and hosting our guests. We have thrilled millions of spectators and thousands of the world’s greatest racecar drivers over the past 47 years and, alongside NASCAR, we will host millions more.”
Ben Kennedy, NASCAR’s Senior Vice President of Strategy and Innovation, had this to say regarding the subtraction of a Pocono race: “We’re always looking at our existing tracks and our new tracks, and as we shifted to St. Louis, ultimately those shifts come from somewhere. Last year, Chicagoland and Kentucky came off the schedule. What I will tell you, is we have great racing at Pocono and the Mattioli and Nick Igdalsky and the entire family have been great partners for us for several decades and they’ll continue to be.”
When asked about whether Pocono Raceway was given any financial consideration by NASCAR for losing a date, Kennedy said he couldn’t get into the details or share any information regarding that.
So again for the first time since 1981, there will be only one NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono in 2022.