IndyCar » 26 October 2013
Pocono extended to 500 miles
IndyCar's return to Pocono will be extended to 500 miles in 2014, bringing the Pennsylvania venue in line with its fellow Triple Crown events.
The announcement of next season's IndyCar schedule hinted at a longer race at Pocono, and the 'Tricky Triangle' has confirmed that it will now join the select group of venues hosting a 500-mile race.
The Pocono IndyCar 500 fuelled by Sunoco will add 100 miles - 50 laps - to the race distance originally slated on the venue's return to the calendar in 2013, putting it alongside the likes of Fontana and Indianapolis in the longer race bracket.
"I'm very excited about these changes for 2014," circuit president and CEO Brandon Igdalsky admitted, "After last year's IndyCar Series race, droves of open-wheel fans immediately took to our social media channels, sent emails, called us to let us know they wanted more.
"The fans spoke, we listened and we made some changes. The one thing not changing next season, however, will be the ticket prices to see these great, competitive events!"
The historic return of Indy car racing to Pocono Raceway in 2013 started with Pennsylvania-native Marco Andretti breaking the track qualifying record and saw a race featuring daring passes, average lap speeds surpassing 196 miles per hour and a late-race strategy which paid off in victory.
Newly-crowned IZOD IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon won the long-anticipated 400-mile race to kick off a mid-season reawakening, which eventually led to his third title.
"I think this is really exciting for Pocono, the drivers and all the Indy car fans out there," the Kiwi said. "It will certainly change the race strategy at Pocono next year, for sure. This year's race was highly competitive and the addition of 100 miles is going to make it even better."
It also means that the three 'Fuzzy's Triple Crown' races - Indianapolis 500, Pocono INDYCAR 500 and MAVTV 500 - will all be the traditional 500-mile events.
Any driver who wins all three races - a feat only accomplished by Al Unser in 1978 - will earn a $1m bonus from Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka. A driver who wins two of the three will receive a $250,000 bonus.
"I've also been a huge fan of the Triple Crown races," Dixon added, "And we now have a more defined title with three 500-mile events with history and prestige on the line."
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