Pocono Raceway, home to the next race on the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule, will remain on the calendar through 2018.
Dubbed 'The Tricky Triangle', the 2.5-mile triangular 'oval', will host the ABC Supply 500 over the weekend of 20-21 August, while race dates for 2017 and 2018 will be announced at a later date.
"We are thrilled to share this great news that we will host the Verizon IndyCar Series through 2018," track president and CEO Brandon Igdalsky said, "Our track was originally designed for open-wheel cars and our fans really enjoy the action on the track. When you see these cars going six and seven wide, it is incredible. We also received positive feedback from teams and drivers and worked together with IndyCar to make sure Pocono Raceway stays on the schedule."
Indycar racing enjoys a storied history at Pocono. This year's race will be the 23rd in the Pennsylvania track's history, with previous events run from 1971-89 and every year since 2013. AJ Foyt, the all-time leader in Indy car wins with 67, also holds the record for most Pocono victories with four, while other winners at the three-turn oval include the likes of Mario Andretti, Rick Mears, Bobby Rahal, Johnny Rutherford, Danny Sullivan and Al Unser.
"We're thrilled to announce today's two-year extension with Pocono Raceway, an iconic oval track with a long history of hosting great open-wheel racing events," said Jay Frye, IndyCar president of competition and operations. "It's very clear that Pocono is one of the favourites amongst the drivers, teams and fans of the Verizon IndyCar Series and we look forward to competing there for the foreseeable future. We'd also like to thank Brandon Igdalsky and his entire team for all their efforts to make this event a success and we look forward to our race there on 21 August."
Ryan Hunter-Reay, the defending race champion, was happy to hear news of the extension.
"The on-track show, the product we put on here last year was phenomenal," he said, "Lead changes throughout the race, six wide throughout the straights, passing throughout the field. You couldn't ask for a better product and hopefully we can do it again for the fans."
The extension news takes on added meaning for fellow Andretti Autosport driver Marco Andretti, who hails from nearby Nazareth.
"This is my home track so, selfishly, this is great news," the third-generation driver admitted, "There is a great, long history of racing here at Pocono Raceway and I am excited we will continue to come back. I think our cars were made for this track."