NASCAR won't need restrictor plates at Pocono Lap times are wicked fast at Pocono Raceway since the 2.5-mile track was repaved last year. However, Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, doesn't anticipate the need for restrictor plates this weekend. On Thursday, drivers flirted with a total lap speed of 180 mph and cars topped 212 mph entering Turn 1 at Pocono Raceway during the second day of testing. "No, absolutely not," Pemberton said of the prospect of implementing restrictor plates.
"We're well within reason here. Average speed is going pretty good, so we're happy. There's a lot of grip here, so there's no reason for that."
Denny Hamlin and Pemberton expect the track qualifying record of 172.533 mph set by Kasey Kahne in 2004 to be obliterated Saturday. Pemberton predicted the time will be at least two seconds faster. Kahne led all drivers in Thursday's test session with a top lap of 179.490 mph. And Hamlin, one of the first drivers to experiment with tandem drafting at restrictor-plate track Talladega Superspeedway, anticipates some form of drafting down the straightaway at Pocono. He also believes the corners will be treacherous. However, the latest wrinkle - the distance of Sunday's race was changed from 500 miles to 400 - could have the greatest effect of all. Fox Sports
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