It's a road course! It's an oval! Nope, it's just Pocono, a "Roval"
Reaction to Kurt's suspension has been mixed. Some say that NASCAR is negating the "Boys have at it" attitude they implemented. In this case, I believe NASCAR is right. We have media to report on the goings on, of and on the track. Those personnel are paid to ask the "right" questions. They are paid to get answers. Yes, the media is often ridiculed for being too "in your face", but a driver always has the option of refusing comment and walking away, just as anyone does in live. Kurt chose not to do that, and instead swore at two media members. The punishment is justified in my opinion.
However, it's now time to look at what we will see this coming weekend at Pocono. That is anyone's guess. The "Tricky Triangle: was repaved since the last race, and Denny Hamlin, who has been very successful at the track, has said that any advantage he and his team might have enjoyed in the past is completely gone. The fastest qualifying time prior to the repaving was Kasey Kahne's speed of 172 mph, back in 2004. No one in the test sessions posted a speed lower than that.
Because of the repaving, drivers do not have to brake so hard going into the corners and they can get out of the corners faster as well. This means we should see some decent racing. However, we've been saying that all year, and the races have been less exciting than expected. However, the track is huge. It will take some time for a leader to lap other cars, but with so much track to race on, the cars will undoubtedly spread out, meaning we won't see much "racing". The good thing is, as Denny said, any advantage is gone, and all the drivers are experiencing the track the same way. There is no benefit to any one driver.
Crew Chiefs will be trying to gather data from the test sessions, and the practice sessions to make sure their car has the best setup possible. So far, teams seem to be racing in the lower groove, with no one really venturing out. The teams are happy with the tire Goodyear has brought and the grip it has afforded the cars. With the ARCA race running before the Sprint Cup race, the track should have some rubber down in some of the higher grooves.
Finally, the Annual Prelude to the Dream ran earlier this week (competing with Game 4 of rhe Stanley Cup playoffs) and Kyle Busch pulled off the win, beating host, Tony Stewart, but just over 2 seconds. The race, filled with competitors from every type of racing, benefits Feed the Children, and Kyle was able to provide a trasporter filled with food to the town of his choice. It's an excellent opportunity for drivers to have a lot of fun and do a lot of good.
I'm holding off on my prediction until I see the second practice, but for now, I'll say GO DALE JR!