Monday, August 8, 2011

Pocono: Day 3

Today was the third, and final, day of racing at Pocono Raceway.  There was a full slate of racing for today.  Yesterday's postponed Truck Series race was scheduled to restart at 9 a.m., with the ARCA race to follow as soon as the Trucks finished.  Then the Cup Series would go on at their scheduled time of 1 p.m.

My mom and I left the hotel around 8 o'clock.  We've been to Pocono before, so we knew traffic would not be a problem.  This is where I'd like to speak directly to the folks at Kentucky Speedway.  Pocono literally shuts down the road, and makes both lanes go toward the track.  And the people working there are actually parking the cars.  So take note Kentucky Speedway; if Pocono can do it, you should be able to do it.  Just sayin'.

When we got to the track, the Trucks had already restarted their race.  Only a few laps had passed, so we quickly found our seats for the day and plugged in the scanner.  Soon we were listening to Mark Martin talking to his Crew Chief Doug George.  Mark Martin could only get a 7th place finish out of the race, but his Crew Chief was very optimistic.  "Let's see what we can do for Michigan," said George.  Mark Martin's next Truck race for Turner Motorsports is August 20 at Michigan International Speedway.  Kevin Harvick was the class of the field today and yesterday, and ran away with the victory.

Next was the ARCA race, but we decided to do some shopping at the haulers before heading down to catch some of NASCAR Raceday.  One thing I noticed while walking around the haulers was that there was a bigger line for the Kyle Busch hauler than the Dale Earnhardt, Jr. hauler.  Maybe the Junior fans weren't up yet.  Or maybe they just spent all their money on beer. (I'm kidding, my mom's a Junior fan, so I can make fun!)

We walked into the infield and went to Raceday.  I had bought a little Mark Martin flag earlier, and I whipped that out to try to get noticed.  So if you noticed a little Mark Martin flag shaking behind Kyle Petty's head whenever they talked to him, that was me.  My mom even answered a trivia question and got a SPEED Channel Can Koozie!

So we went to our seats after that to watch Driver Introductions.  The race had been pushed up by 5 minutes to try to beat the rain.  The sun was shining when the drivers took the green flag.  We got to lap 50 without rain.  Then lap 100.  But the rain eventually did come, and halted the race at lap 124.  It poured for about 10 minutes, then it was over.  I walked out from under the cover and said, "Mom, lets go back to the seats.  It's nice out again."  And it was.  The sun was shining and the rain had stopped.  Between the sun, the breeze and the jet dryers, the track was dried very fast.  After a 1 hour, 48 minute rain delay, the engines were refired.  And by the end of the race, Joey Logano had went from being the possible winner to finishing 26th.  On the final restart, Brad Keselowski jumped under Kyle Busch to take the win.

Brad Keselowski celebrates his 2nd win of the season.
 Mark Martin finished a solid 13th, which bodes well heading toward the Chase.  The pit crew had great stops all day, and the car was fast and solid all day long.  Mark moved up 3 spots to 15th in points.  He is now tied with the future driver of the 5 car, Kasey Kahne.

Mark Martin drives by in the No. 5 Chevrolet.
 After the race, we headed out to the haulers one last time so I could get another Mark Martin hat and a Travis Pastrana shirt.  Then we got in our car and waited to get out of the track.  And, unlike Kentucky, the lines of cars moved fast, and we were soon back at our hotel.  Again, take note Kentucky.  These other tracks can do it, not sure why you can't.  Oh, and Pocono is allowing people who couldn't attend the rain-postponed races today to get FREE tickets to the same races next year.  Yes, FREE.  I know the word doesn't exist in Bruton and Smith's English Dictionary, but it's something the race fans like.  Say it with me; F-R-E-E.

This weekend was absolutely amazing.  It was the most fun I've had at a race weekend ever.  I really hope I can come back next year.  The racing at Pocono may not be as good as Daytona or Bristol, but the people here are very nice and the location is wonderful.  But tomorrow I have to head back to Pittsburgh, and start getting ready for college.  I hope you've enjoyed my Pocono adventure as much as I have.  Be sure to follow along for more blogs to come!


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