Pocono NASCAR doubleheader set for pair of 350-mile Cup races
Pocono Raceway’s debut of a doubleheader in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series next year is tentatively scheduled for a pair of 350-mile races.
NASCAR and Pocono track officials on Saturday unveiled some of the details of NASCAR’s venture into its first doubleheader weekend, which will take place next June.
The Pocono weekend will consists of five races – an ARCA event on Thursday, June 25; a 200-mile Truck race and tentative 350-mile Cup race on Saturday, June 27; and a 225-mile Xfinity race and 350-mile Cup race on Sunday, June 28.
The length of Cup race No. 1 remains “slightly in flux” barring some final details but race No. 2 will definitely be 350 miles in length.
“We’re excited for 2020. We can’t wait to see what this looks like,” said track president Ben May. “I keep calling it a race fan’s dream – a bucket list event.”
Cup series teams will use the same car for both Cup races during the doubleheader weekend. There will be a standard single-car qualifying for Cup race No. 1 and the lineup for Cup race No. 2 will be set by an invert finish of lead-lap cars from race No. 1.
Using the last two Pocono Cup races as an example, the driver starting on the pole for race No. 2 based on the invert would be would be Bubba Wallace and J.J. Yeley.
Scott Miller, NASCAR’s senior vice president of competition, said a current Cup driver suggested the invert for the second race and it was well received.
“This is the first time we’ve really attempted something of this nature with a doubleheader weekend,” Miller said. “Obviously, there have been a lot of challenges and a lot of collaboration to get to this point.
“We still have some work to do on the rules of the competition.”
Track CEO Nick Igdalsky said he has not received any firm commitment from the IndyCar Series to continue in either the 2020 or 2021 season.
Tentative 2020 Pocono Raceway NASCAR Doubleheader schedule
Thursday, June 25
ARCA practice and qualifying
ARCA race (200 miles)
Friday, June 26
Cup Series practice
Truck series practice and qualifying
Cup Series qualifying for Race 1
Saturday, June 27
Xfinity Series practice
Truck race (200 miles)
Cup Series race No. 1 (tentatively 350 miles)
Sunday, June 28
Xfinity Series qualifying
Xfinity Series race (225 miles)
Cup Series race No. 2 (350 miles)
Erik Jones leads final Cup practice at Pocono
Kevin Harvick tops Joey Logano for Pocono pole