April 27, 2018
By: Tom Meikrantz
Pocono Raceway last year started hosting a Media Day and the 2nd one was held April 25th with the focus on the upcoming season and enhancements to the Tricky Triangle. Nick Igdalsky, grandson of Rose and Doc Matiolli, was elevated from COO to CEO and Ben May was named president of Pocono last July and seem to have the right mission statement in mind when it comes to making the track one of the top tier ovals on the Verizon IndyCar series circuit. They outlined how important the fan experience should be all about fun on race weekends and making the stops special for the drivers.
Igdalsky highlighted some additions to the grounds including a new playground for youngsters in the infield now being constructed, WiFi hotspots and Long Pond Township plans to widen Route 115 in their continuing effort to lessen the time it takes to leave the parking lots after a race. May emphasized that Pocono also offers other family-oriented events during what is a short season June through September. They believe that taking in a race can be the perfect complement to a vacation in the scenic Pocono Mountains.
The addition of Josef Newgarden at Media Day spoke plenty about the respect the IndyCar drivers have for Pocono. What better an ambassador to pump up the track and the sport than the reigning series champion who comes off as engaging, smart as a whip and funny. He stuck around to give some of us a taste of the track giving us rides down through turn one and into the road course where he took the pace car to the limits in the turns while it rained, but hey, the Nashville native won 9 times since 2012 and has 20 podiums, I think I can trust what he does with a car. New garden was runner-up in 2 of the last 3 ABC Supply 500s at Pocono.
Key dates this summer: NASCAR Pocono 400 June 3rd, NASCAR Gander Outdoors 400 July 29th, and the Indy ABC Supply 500 August 19th.