It if the first unofficial week of summer and that means that NASCAR visits Long Pond, PA and the Pocono Race Track. There are a few changes at the track this year. One of the first signs you see of the change is when you come through the tunnel to the infield and a reference to Doc Mattioli, who, along with his wife, Dr. Rose, founded and built the Pocono race track.
In speaking to several of the family members who run this facility, the idea came from one of Doc’s great grandchildren who said that the infield was one of Doc’s favorite places at the track. Thus a sign was erected and it is clear that it has a feel and energy of Doc’s place.
The other major change to Pocono was that the track and pit road were repaved since last year. The cost to repave this 2.5 mile, three turn unique track is unknown and when I asked the new president of the track what it cost to rip up the old pavement and repave, he would only say “it cost a lot, Really, really lot”. Since a little bit of Google searching tells us that to repave 1 mile of highway is between $800,000 to $3,000,000, it is a pretty good bet that with the drainage work to try to cure some of the weepers and the tunnel turn, the cost was someplace north of $3,000,000 for this important change.
So far there are no lights at Pocono, but under Doc, this track was the first to go install one of the largest solar fields in the Pa/ NJ/ NY area, upgraded the track, parts of the grandstand and always looking for ways to get the fans involved in more, can night racing be far behind?