Pocono to keep Cup dates

Don't place much stock in rumors about the world of stock car racing. That's the message from Dr. Joseph Mattioli, owner of Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Tunkhannock Township, PA, on Friday dismissed published reports that he is considering selling the NASCAR track or the rights to either or both of the two Nextel Cup races it hosts each year. A column published this week on the Internet in Yahoo Sports noted that Bruton Smith, owner of Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Nevada, might try to buy Pocono Raceway from Mattioli. The reasoning runs that owning two racetracks would give Smith more options to schedule races and other events. Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosts just one Nextel Cup race per year. Mattioli said no one has approached him recently and in any case he's not interested in selling the raceway. "No, I've never heard of that and no one has discussed it with me," Mattioli said Friday. "Why would I do that?" he added, chuckling. "It makes no sense." Speculation that Smith or other rival track owners might try to buy Pocono Raceway has persisted for years. Published reports from 1999 describe almost the same scenario that was mentioned in the online column this week. Renewed speculation on the future of the raceway ran rampant among the Poconos' political and business communities after the Yahoo column appeared this week. Pocono Record

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