News - #Fast: High Speeds Highlight Test Session At Re-Paved Pocono
June 6, 2012
Mark Martin Leads The Field On Day 1 Of Two-Day Test Session
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 6, 2012) – A new surface was on full display today at Pocono Raceway, where 36 NASCAR
Sprint Cup Series cars were on track during a test session in
preparation for Sunday’s Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR. Today’s test
was the first full-field opportunity for the series at Pocono; seven
drivers took part in a Goodyear tire test in April.
distinct venue nestled in the Pocono Mountains – three different turns
and three straightaways at varying distances around its 2.5 miles –
received a new coat of asphalt for the first time since 1995 during a
paving project that began last September and ended this spring.
in for a really good race come Sunday,” said John Darby, NASCAR Sprint
Cup Series director. “Goodyear’s done an excellent job at matching the
tire to the new surface. Basically all the way up and down through the
garage we’ve heard zero complaints which is a good feeling. It will only
continue to get better throughout the weekend, because more of the
racing surface gets rubbered in, grooves get wider and offer the ability
to the competitors to turn into some multiple lane racing, especially
through corners where it counts come Sunday. So we’re pleased.”
for the first time in the track’s history, the race is scheduled for
400 miles, down from 500. That also will be the case for the second race
at Pocono in August.
did a great job; (the) track was really nice and smooth (with) good
grip,” said four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon, a
five-time winner at Pocono. “We have had some repaves where it is a
handful and pretty slick. That was not the case at all today.”
never know what to expect when a race track gets paved,” said Jeff
Burton. “This pavement is unbelievably just nice, smooth. The quality of
racing is going to be improved a great deal. [But] it’s still Pocono.
It still has the same characteristics and the personality of Pocono, but
just has more grip”
Martin was the fastest in today’s session with a speed of 175.380 mph,
which bettered the top practice speed from last August’s race at Pocono –
170.026 mph by Ryan Newman. In all, 33 drivers eclipsed Newman’s 2011
number. Paul Menard put down 61 laps, most among all drivers.
A brief rain shower shortened the originally-scheduled four-hour session by 35 minutes.
weekend also marks the launch of the one-of-a-kind NASCAR hashtag
product on Twitter throughout the race weekend in Pocono. Media and fans
can log onto NASCAR.COM and visit www.Twitter.com/#NASCAR,
where the brand new, complementary live event experience will provide
users with a unique behind-the-scenes look at a race weekend. This new
product, which will live on the Twitter platform, will showcase the most
activity on Sunday for the Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR.
will give fans a viewing experience supplemented with strong interplay
between Twitter and TNT, and will feature the “best-of-the-best” tweets
from industry stakeholders including drivers, pit crew members, NASCAR
executives and even fans.
Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono concludes Thursday, June 7 with two
sessions from 9 a.m.-noon and 1-3:30 p.m. Driver media availability
begins with A.J. Allmendinger at 12:15 p.m. in the media center followed
by Denny Hamlin at 12:30 p.m. and Carl Edwards at 12:45 p.m. Robin
Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition, closes out the
interview opportunities at 3:30 p.m.
of Sunday’s Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR begins at noon eastern time
on TNT. This is the first of six consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
race broadcasts during the “NASCAR on TNT Summer Series.”