News & Media

Pocono being repaved for first time since 1995

February 08, 2012, Sporting News Wire Service,

Add Pocono Raceway to the list of NASCAR tracks being repaved.

Work began Saturday on the 2.5-mile track, which was last repaved in 1995.

"From the base up will be an all brand-new track," Pocono Raceway president Brandon Igdalsky said. "It's a complete resurfacing. ... It's been 16 years since we've had that asphalt down there. We have some serious weather around here in the winter time, and we're happy we got that long out of it.

"We run driving schools and car clubs that use the road courses and also use the tri-oval. That's a lot of added use on the track and she's served her purpose, and it's time to put a new layer on there."

There will be no configuration changes to the unique, triangular track. The outer pit wall will be new and the pit stalls will be concrete.

"We thought about [a configuration change], but the more we looked at it and the more we spoke to people, it was better to leave as-is for now," Igdalsky said.

Igdalsky met with NASCAR officials to make sure the sanctioning body was OK with the plans.

After two months of work before it gets too cold, the project will resume in the spring. Igdalsky said the plan is to have Goodyear on the track in April for a tire test prior to the June race, the first Pocono race at the shorter 400-mile distance.

"If you look back to '95 when we repaved and you look at the races the following couple of years, they were some unbelievable races," Igdalsky said. "Speeds were up and passing was up. ... With going to a 400-mile race and with everybody on a level playing field because nobody is going to have any information on the track, I think it's going to make for one heck of a season of racing."

Daytona was repaved prior to this season while Phoenix has been repaved and reconfigured during this season. Michigan is being repaved before next season and Kansas will go through a repave between its two races in 2012. Watkins Glen officials also are talking about repaving that track in the next few years.