IndyCar heads back to Pocono this weekend after a more than two decade absence
The Pocono INDYCAR 400 Fueled by Sunoco will mark the first open-wheel race at Pocono Raceway since 1989. The 2.5-mile oval hosted Indy car races from 1971 to 1989 with drivers such as A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears, Al Unser, Mario Andretti and Johnny Rutherford capturing wins.
Other past winners include Mark Donohue (1971), Joe Leonard (1972), A.J. Foyt (1973, 1975, 1979 and 1981), Johnny Rutherford (1974), Al Unser (1976 and 1978), Tom Sneva (1977), Bobby Unser (1980), Rick Mears (1982, 1985, 1987), Teo Fabi (1983), Danny Sullivan (1984 and 1989), Mario Andretti (1986) and Bobby Rahal (1988).
Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan will have more than a race win on his mind at Pocono Raceway. Should Kanaan win the Pocono INDYCAR 400 Fueled by Sunoco, he'll guarantee himself a $250,000 bonus and remain eligible for a $1 million bonus awarded by Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka for winning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Pocono Raceway and Auto Club Speedway. Al Unser is the only driver to have won all Triple Crown races (Indianapolis, Pocono and Ontario) in the same calendar year, winning in 1978.
Helio Castroneves took control of the IZOD IndyCar Series points lead with his victory at Texas Motor Speedway and carries a nine-point advantage into the Pocono INDYCAR 400 Fueled by Sunoco. The Brazilian leads the Andretti Autosport duo of Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti (55 points back). Can the Brazilian fare well in Team Penske's former home of Pennsylvania and return the team to victory lane at Pocono, where it has won seven times.
Marco Andretti will compete in a virtual hometown race at Pocono. The third generation driver, who hails from nearby Nazareth, Pa., can lean on family ties for some advice. Andretti's grandfather, open-wheel great Mario Andretti, competed in the last Pocono race in 1989 and won the 1986 race, while his father Michael won pole for the race in 1986.
James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay hope to keep their red-hot summer going at Pocono Raceway. Hunter-Reay has finished on the podium in five of the last six races and closed to within nine points of Helio Castroneves, while Hinchcliffe dominated the Iowa event to claim his third win of the season.
At-Track Schedule (all times local):
Saturday, July 6
10 - 11 a.m. - IZOD IndyCar Series practice
1:15 p.m. - IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying (single car/cumulative time of two lap)
5:30 - 6 p.m. - IZOD IndyCar Series final practice
Sunday, July 7
8-8:05 a.m. - IZOD IndyCar Series systems check
11:30 a.m. - Pocono INDYCAR 400 pre-race
12:15 p.m. - Pocono INDYCAR 400 200 laps/400 miles), ABC (Live)