Pocono Pre-Race Thoughts

Indycar makes a bittersweet return to Pocono this weekend. Many are still feeling the sting of Justin Wilson’s fatal accident last year, compounded with last week’s loss of Bryan Clauson. This is the first race since Mid-Ohio three weeks ago, so it’s great to be racing again. Pocono begins the season’s final stretch of 3.7 races.

This week and next week at the resumption of the Texas race are Honda’s last two best opportunities to get victories this year. The ABC Supply 500 will also determine if Will Power has any chance at catching Simon Pagenaud for the series title. Simon struggles on ovals, while Will usually finishes well. Last year at  Pocono  Graham  Rahal’s title hopes were crushed when he was involved in a crash.

Rain is in the forecast for Sunday afternoon. Will some teams have a half race strategy? This race really needs to get in officially this weekend, Monday at the latest. With the Texas postponement to next weekend, there is really no place to resume this race within the season. Would a resumption at a future date end up being the actual season finale? Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

I was as surprised as everyone else that Pocono has renewed for two more years.  Attendance has not been great since its return to the schedule. I’m glad it happened though. Keeping Pocono and adding Gateway next year means there will likely be two consecutive ovals on the schedule in August. I can definitely live with that.

Next Wednesday I plan to go to Kokomo Speedway for the Bryan Clauson Celebration of Life and stay for the racing program that evening. If you’re going, Chevy Clauson is asking that you bring towels and blankets to donate to the humane society in Kokomo. I will report on the events later next week. I’ll be back Monday with a race review. Enjoy the race.