When NASCAR announced the Pocono super weekend last season a number of fans likely looked at the schedule and thought “that’s the perfect time for a summer vacation.” Missing a Pocono weekend for a NASCAR fan is much like a game against the Bengals in football or a series against the Marlins in baseball. You’re not missing anything.
Until this season.
Pocono’s Super Weekend Was Actually Exciting
Five races in three days, an unplanned and unprecedented triple-header on Sunday gave NASCAR fans all the Pocono action they could want.
Friday night’s ARCA race was the most uneventful race of the weekend. If we forget about that race and focus on the other three national series, this was a bit of a Pocono renaissance.
The Cup Series doubleheader went off without a hitch. Saturday’s winner Kevin Harvick finished second on Sunday, and Sunday’s winner Denny Hamlin finished second on Saturday. The best cars won their races, and the invert created excitement while not feeling like a gimmick. A lot of fans will moan about the races being strategy races but honestly, they’re incredibly exciting. The number of strategies each team was using, who was on what strategy all of that creates an exciting race. Toss in a race against the sun and Pocono’s Cup races this season were actually entertaining. The downforce package still hurts racing at Pocono.
On top of all the good the Cup Series gave fans on Saturday and Sunday the Xfinity and Truck Series gave everyone something to watch as well.
Sunday morning’s Truck Series marathon featured 9 cautions, 2 green flag laps in the first stage, and a last lap pass for the win by Brandon Jones. The leader wrecked at one point, the third place truck wrecked himself, Matt Crafton was done by 9:47 a.m. Sunday’s Truck race was forgettable from a composure standpoint but highly entertaining from a chaotic standpoint.
The Xfinity Series race decided to copy what the Truck Series did a couple hours prior when they’re race got underway after noon. Much like the truck race, the Xfinity Series race also had 9 cautions. It saw the leader spin in the tunnel turn like the truck race. Multiple big names were taken out in bizarre wrecks. To cap it all off a great late race battle between Chase Briscoe and Ross Chastain left everyone entertained.
If Pocono is on the 2021 NASCAR schedule the new weekend schedule is to show up and race. No practice, one lap of qualifying and then send it.
Pocono is an excruciatingly boring race track. Give teams 3-4 hours of practice and you can ensure a very expensive parade of Mustangs, Camaros, and Camrys around the tricky triangle. Take away practice and everyone loses their mind. Lets keep doing that.