Learn About the Pocono Raceway

The Surprising History of the Pocono Raceway

Few attractions warrant as much buzz as the Pocono Raceway. This historic institution has become a symbol of pride in the Poconos. Whether you’re a resident of the Poconos or a longtime fan that likes to watch the races year after year, everyone can find something to appreciate about the Pocono Raceway. Take a trip down memory lane and learn about the surprising history of one of the country’s most notorious raceways.

Hard Times and Insurmountable Odds

The Pocono Raceway wasn’t always a must-see destination in the world of NASCAR. The raceway hosted its first Indy 500 race back in 1971 and its first NASCAR 500 race in 1974, but things quickly took a turn for the worst. The raceway was considered one of the worst tracks on the racing circuit, with its outdated infrastructure. The track lacked any catch fencing, which helps protect racers from losing control of their vehicles and going off road. The track itself also featured extremely rough and uneven terrain. These insufficiencies led to the track’s eventual dismissal from the IndyCar World Schedule in 1989. After losing some of the biggest events of the season, the owners fell on hard times and considered filing for bankruptcy. But things took a turn when a wealthy businessman and long-time fan of the raceway met with the owners in New York and convinced them to stick it through to the end, believing that the Pocono Raceway was an indelible part of the community.

Designing a Brighter Future

Beginning in 1990, the owners spent over 30 million dollars revitalizing the Pocono Raceway, investing in all kinds of new features for fans and racers alike. They redesigned and repaved the track, creating a smooth surface that’s ideal for cruising at unbelievable speeds. They also poured their money into a new press room, thousands of new bathroom stalls for fans, and a massive motor home park with running water and electricity for all the season’s tailgaters. Once all these renovations were complete, the IndyCar commission decided to give the Pocono Raceway another chance at glory. In 2012, the track was re-added to the official NASCAR racing schedule.

A Lasting Monument to the Spirit of Racing

Today, the Pocono Raceway is a vibrant hotspot for racing fans up and down the East Coast. With its centralized location, people travel from New York, New England, and Philadelphia to see the roster of high-profile races every year. The track also hosts a variety of local talent, including musicians, foodies, and circus performers, giving fans a fun-filled experience that they won’t soon forget.

Experience the history for yourself and make sure to stop by the Pocono Raceway during your next Poconos vacation to Mountain’s Edge Resort.