THE NEXT Nextel Cup RACE
NEWS, STATS and INFO

the Jayski site is housed at:


THE RACE: The Pennsylvania 500

Nextel Cup Race #20 of 36 for the 2006 season

Updated: often, leading up to the race

Jumps to sections on this page:
Radio | Practice/Qual Times
Event Sched | Goodyear Notes | Local Newspapers
Weather |
Entry/Practice/Qual/Results
Track/Race Records | Track/Race Info
Driver/Team News | Paint Schemes | Odds


  • Race: Sunday, July 23, 2006 in Long Pond/Pocono, PA

  • Title Sponsor/Link: none

  • Track: Pocono Raceway [more info in the track section below]

  • TV: TNT 2:00pm/et

  • Pre-Race Show: TNT - 1:30pm/et - with host Bill Weber

  • Speed's NASCAR Raceday Pre-Race Show: 11:30am/et with John Roberts, Jimmy Spencer, Kenny Wallace

  • Green Flag Scheduled: 2:10pm/et

  • Race Re-Air: Thursday, July 20 at 2:30pm/et on Speed Channel

  • Announcers: Bill Weber, Benny Parsons, Wally Dallenbach

  • Pit Reporters: Allen Bestwick, Matt Yocum, Marty Snider, Dave Burns

  • TV Listings and Info:
    Jayski's TV Listings Page
    NASCAR on TV
    Race Fan TV

  • Radio Coverage: This Week - MRN and XM

    Motor Racing Network (MRN)

    MRN Radio Booth Announcers: Barney Hall, Joe Moore

    MRN Radio Turn Reporter: Mike Bagley, Dan Hubbard, Dave Moody, Jeff Striegle

    MRN Radio Pit Reporters: Adam Alexander, Danielle Frye, Winston Kelley, Steve Post

  • Purse/Race Awards: $4,936,658 (was $4,795,586 in 2005)


    Practice Dates/Times/TV

  • Friday Practice: Friday, July 21, 11:35am - 1:00pm/et, TV-none

  • Saturday Practice: Saturday, July 22, 9:30 - 10:30am/et, TV-none

  • Happy Hour Practice: Saturday, July 22, 11:05 - 11:50am/et on TV-Speed Channel


    Qualifying Info

  • Qualifying Draw: Friday, July 21, 10:35am/et

  • Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-43, Friday, July 21 at 3:40pm/et, TV-Speed Channel, re-air at 9:00pm/et on Speed AND live via radio at MRN Radio and XM Satellite NASCAR Radio.

    (the above times in Eastern Time / ET - schedule below is by track location)

  • NEXTEL CUP EVENT SCHEDULE for this race

    Friday, July 21, 2006
    12:05 pm -- NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Practice
    3:40 pm -- NEXTEL Cup Series WEIS Markets Bud Pole Qualifying
    6:00PM -- L.A.P.S.WALK

    Saturday, July 22, 2006
    9:30 am -- NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Practice
    11:05 am -- NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Final Practice
    1:00 pm -- Pennsylvania 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series

    Sunday, July 23, 2006
    11:00 am -- Pre-Race Activities Begin
    2:05 pm -- Pennsylvania 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series

    key
    NNCS = NASCAR Nextel Cup Series
    NBS = NASCAR Busch Series
    NCTS = NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
    SUBJECT TO CHANGE
    (Information Provided by NASCAR Statistical Services, 1-888-782-8725)


GOODYEAR TIRE NOTES

    Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials

    Number of Tires: Left-side -- 1,400, Right-side -- 1,400

    Tire Codes: Left-side -- D-4030, Right-side -- D-4032

    Tire Circumference: Left-side -- 87.4 in. Right-side -- 88.7 in.

    Technical Inspection Inflation:
    Left Front -- 26 psi; Left-Rear -- 26 psi;
    Right Front -- 36 psi; Right Rear -- 36 psi

    Minimum Recommended Inflation:
    Left Front -- 20 psi; Left Rear -- 17 psi;
    Right Front -- 34 psi; Right Rear -- 33 psi

    Estimated Pit Window: Every 36-38 laps, based on fuel mileage

    Notes: This is the first time that Goodyear has brought this specific combination of left- and right-side tires to the track this season . . . when NASCAR Nextel Cup Series teams visited Pocono Raceway last month, they ran on this right-side code (D-4032) with a slightly different left-side code (D-4028) . . . teams also ran the D-4028/D-4032 combination at Las Vegas and Bristol earlier this year . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Pocono . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.


AWARDS/BONUS INFO

  • The NASCAR Nextel Cup Leader Bonus is $110,000 at Pocono for leading the points and winning the race [only #48-Johnson and #17-Kenseth have a shot at it]. The $360,000 annual award is paid at $10,000 per race to the point leader at the end of each event if the driver is also the winner. The award increases by $10,000 each week the it goes unclaimed. If the point leader is not the race winner at the end of the year, the balance of the award is distributed among the top-10 finishers in the drivers point standings.
    2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup Leader Bonus Winners:
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, Las Vegas, 3/12/2006, $30,000
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, Talladega, 5/1/2006, $60,000
    (7-16-2006)

  • Bank of America Card Service Mid-Race Leader Award: The Bank of America Card Service Mid-Race Leader Award is worth $10,000 to any eligible NASCAR Nextel Cup driver who leads a race at the halfway mark and displays the Bank of America Card Service Mid-Race Leader Award decal on their race car. An additional $5,000 is earned if that driver also wins the race. If the race-win bonus is not earned, the $5,000 rolls into the next week’s award. Eligible drivers earn two points for winning the Bank of America Card Service Mid-Race Leader Award and another point if they also go on to win the race. The driver who earns the most points during the season will win the Bank of America Card Service Mid-Race Leader Award Championship.
    Winners for 2006 so far:
    Daytona: Dale Earnhardt Jr., $10,000
    California: Greg Biffle, $10,000
    Las Vegas: Matt Kenseth, $10,000
    Atlanta: Tony Stewart, $10,000
    Bristol: Tony Stewart, $10,000
    Martinsville: Tony Stewart, $40,000*
    Texas: Matt Kenseth, $10,000
    Phoenix: Mark Martin, $10,000
    Talladega: Jeff Gordon, $10,000
    Richmond: Dale Earnhardt Jr., $30,000*
    Darlington, Matt Kenseth, $10,000
    Charlotte: Kasey Kahne, $30,000*
    Dover: Matt Kenseth, $20,000*
    Pocono: Tony Stewart, $10,000
    Michigan: Carl Edwards, $10,000
    Sonoma: Jeff Gordon, $25,000*
    Daytona: Tony Stewart, $15,000*
    Chicago: Dale Earnhardt Jr., $10,000
    New Hampshire: Reed Soresnon, $10,0000
    (* won race and bonus)
    Bonus for leading at halfway and winning at Pocono: $15,000

    NOTE: the award goes to the eligible driver leading on the 5th consecutive green lap following a mid-race caution if one occurs.
    2 points for leading the most laps, 1 points for winning also
    #48-Jimmie Johnson and #29-Kevin Harvick are not on the program.
    Capital One does Lowe's Credit card and doesn't wish to have MBNA on the #48
    The #29 has the GM Card (Household Bank) as an associate sponsor on the B-post.
    Bank of America Card Service Mid-Race Leader Award Standings:
    #20-Tony Stewart, 12
    #17-Matt Kenseth, 9
    #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 7
    #24-Jeff Gordon, 5
    #9-Kasey Kahne, 3
    #16-Greg Biffle, 2
    #6-Mark Martin, 2
    #99-Carl Edwards, 2
    #41-Reed Sorenson, 2
    (7-16-2006)


LOCAL NEWSPAPERS, WEATHER, TRACK/FAN INFO

  • Local Newspaper and other Sites that cover the Pocono/Long Pond, PA Area:
    Citizens Voice
    Express Times
    Morning Call
    The News Eagle
    Philadelphia Daily News
    Philadelphia Inquirer
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Pocono Record
    Reading Eagle
    Scranton Times-Tribune
    Times-Leader
    Times News, Lehighton, PA

    Weather Forecast Links for the race area:


    Raceweather.net


    The Weather Channel
    Accuweather
    Accuweather - Current Radar
    National Weather Service
    Weather Underground

  • Track/Travel/Camping/Reviews/Info for Fans:
    www.800poconos.com
    This Week in the Poconos
    Pocono Review by ARS Racing
    Laid Back Racing (lots of info)
    Go RVing
    RV USA

  • AREA DRIVER APPEARANCES:
    any I know of are listed on my Driver Appearances/Chats page with info and links

  • Scanner Frequencies - sponsored by Racing Electronics:
    see my Scanner Freq/Equipment Links Page

  • Satellite/Backhaul Listing's Links:
    Satellite/Backhaul Listing's: Stutzman Computer Service/Sales - Racing Feed Locations
    Gofastmotorsports.com


    QUALIFYING, PRACTICE and RESULTS
    news and links

    • Hamlin Sweeps Pocono: #11-Denny Hamlin won the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway for his second career win, following up his first win at the track in June. Hamlin dominated the entire race, leading 151 laps and never running far out of the lead. #2-Kurt Busch was 2nd (he was also second to Hamlin in the June Pocono race) followed by #24-Jeff Gordon, #25-Brian Vickers, and #29-Kevin Harvick. Points leader #48-Jimmie Johnson ran near the front most of the day and finished in sixth. His points lead is now 97 over #17-Matt Kenseth. #20-Tony Stewart overcame an early rough driving penalty to finish in seventh and move back into the top 10 in points. #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was involved in an accident near the midway point of the race and spent several laps behind the wall. He finished in 43rd and fell out of the top ten in points. There were 9 leaders with 13 lead changes and 7 cautions for 29 laps.
      Race Results on my Pocono Race Results/Awards Page.
      Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Pocono page.(7-23-2006)

    • Unofficial Driver Points Standing after Pocono [20 of 36 races]:
      #48-Jimmie Johnson 2939
      #17-Matt Kenseth 2842 -97
      #31-Jeff Burton 2621 -318
      #5-Kyle Busch 2582 -357
      #29-Kevin Harvick 2563 -376
      #6-Mark Martin 2557 - 382
      #9-Kasey Kahne 2515 -424
      #11-Denny Hamlin 2514 -425
      #24-Jeff Gordon 2512 -427
      #20-Tony Stewart 2477 -462
      and fighting for 10th
      out of 10th and the chase
      #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. -15
      #16-Greg Biffle -44
      #2-Kurt Busch -166
      #99-Carl Edwards -235
      For drivers/owners points, see my Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points Page.(7-23-2006)

    • Rumblings - Pocono Race Notes:
      Denny Hamlin's raced at Pocono Raceway twice....and he can't get any better no matter how hard he tries. Two races, two poles, two wins....not bad for a guy who hadn't even seen this joint six weeks ago. Hamlin led early and often today to sweep to the Pennsylvania 500 victory for his second career win....he's now tied for 94th on the all-time win list. Win #51 for Joe Gibbs Racing was worth $230,100 from the over $4.8M in posted awards.
      Tony Stewart and Clint Bowyer get together and Carl Edwards pays the price....we've seen this story before, haven't we? They just change the names of the players....
      Bobby Labonte (8th) had his best finish since he was 8th at Phoenix in April.
      Martin Truex Jr (10th) had his best finish since he was 8th at Texas in April.
      Robby Gordon (13th) had his best finish since he was 13th at Darlington in May.
      Joe Nemechek (17th) had his best finish since he was 16th at Darlington in May.
      STREAKIN....Kevin Harick has 4 Top-10's in a row. Jimmie Johnson has 9 Top-10's in the last 10 races.
      Kurt Busch has 6 Top-10's in the last 7 races.
      This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is NOBODY! It takes a 20 position move to nab this coveted award....honorable mention goes to Bobby Labonte (+19). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Kasey Kahne (-28 ), followed by Clint Bowyer (-27) and Carl Edwards (-23).
      Ken Schrader led today for the first time since he once for 17 laps at Martinsville Speedway last October. He's the 43rd driver to lead a lap this season....last year we had 51 different leaders.
      Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart move back into the "Chase" this week while Dale Earnhardt Jr and Greg Biffle fall out. We've hung up our first "Magic Numbers" of the season this week.....that's the spot where a driver can finish to clinch a spot in the "Chase". In leader Jimmie Johnson's case, that number is 17th. Hamlin sweeps everything this week as he advances the most spots in the standings (12th to 8th) while Dale Earnhardt Jr falls the same number of positions (7th to 11th).(Stock Car Fans)(7-23-2006)

    • Pocono Race Notes: • Denny Hamlin won the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway, scoring his second NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 27th career start.
      • Hamlin also won the June race at Pocono, six races ago, and became the first rookie to sweep both races at a track since Jimmie Johnson won both races at Dover in 2002.
      • Hamlin won both Pocono races from the Bud Pole. The last driver to sweep both races from the Bud Pole in a single season was Jeff Gordon at Martinsville in 2003.
      • Hamlin’s two victories at Pocono in 2006 marked the sixth time that a driver has swept both races at Pocono Raceway. Hamlin joined Jimmie Johnson (2004), Bobby Labonte (1999), Tim Richmond (1986), Bill Elliott (1985), and Bobby Allison (1982).
      • Hamlin scored his eighth top-10 finish in 20 races this season. He has posted top-15 finishes in 14 of the 20 races.
      • Hamlin climbed from 12th to eighth in the point standings, the highest points position of his 27-race career.
      • Hamlin led the most laps for the second time in his career. He also led the most laps at Pocono in June when he scored his career-first victory, leading 83 laps.
      • Hamlin led five times for 151 laps including the final 20 laps in the Pennsylvania 500, a career high.
      • This was team owner Joe Gibb’s 51st NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory. Gibbs has scored six NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victories at Pocono Raceway: Bobby Labonte (three), Denny Hamlin (two) and Tony Stewart (one). It was Gibbs fourth victory in 2006.
      • Joe Gibbs Racing has won at least one race each season 1993-2006, 14 consecutive years.
      Notebook Items
      • Kurt Busch (second) scored his eighth top-10 finish in 2006 and his sixth top-10 finish in 12 races Pocono Raceway. Busch has finished first, second and second in his last three races at Pocono.
      • Jeff Gordon (third) scored his ninth top-10 finish in 2006. It was his 19th top-10 finish in 28 races at Pocono Raceway. He remained ninth in the point standings and is now 50 points ahead of 11th-place Dale Earnhardt Jr.
      • Brian Vickers (fourth) scored his fifth top-10 finish in 2006. This was his third top-10 in six races at Pocono Raceway - all topfives.
      • Kevin Harvick (fifth) scored his 11th top-10 finish 20 races in 2006, including the last four races. It was his fourth top-10 finish in 12 races at Pocono. Harvick extended a 32-race streak of running at the finish that began at California last September, the longest current streak.
      • Jimmie Johnson (sixth) posted his 16th top-10 finish in 2006, the most of all drivers. He remained first in the point standings, now 97 points ahead of second-place Matt Kenseth. Johnson has been ranked among the top 10 for 89 consecutive races. He has scored 10 straight top-15 finishes in 10 races at Pocono Raceway.
      • Jeff Burton (ninth) scored his 13th top-10 finish in 2006. It was his 14th straight top-15 finish extending a streak that began at Texas in April. It marked his 13th top-10 finish in 26 races at Pocono Raceway.
      • Kyle Busch (12th) extended a streak of six straight top-15 finishes that began at Michigan in June.
      • At least one of the Raybestos Rookie-of-the Year contenders has scored a top-15 finish in all 20 races this season. Hamlin has been the highest finishing rookie in 11 races in 2006.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(7-23-2006)

      Pocono Race Rundown

    • The Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway:
      The UNOFFICIAL Top Ten (start pos in parens), lap leaders, cars out, cautions, lucky dogs and some notes
      after 200 of 200 laps:

      car#, driver-manu, (starting spot)(laps led)
      #11-Hamlin-c (1-r) (151 laps led) +1.510 second margin of victory
      #2-Busch-d (7) (4 laps led)
      #24-Gordon-c (5) (3 laps led)
      #25-Vickers-c (4)
      #29-Harvick-c (12)
      #48-Johnson-c (15)
      #20-Stewart-c (13)
      #43-Labonte-d (27) (2 laps led)
      #31-Burton-c (6) (23 lap led)
      #1-Truex Jr.-c (17-r)

    • Cars on the lead lap: 28 (of 43 starters)

    • Drivers down only a lap [and still running]: #'s 40,14,9,38,90,49,66,78,19

    • Drivers down more then one lap [and still running]: #'s 4,99,55,07,45,8

    • Cars on the track: 43 (of 43 starters)

    • Off track/out of race (0) and reason:

    • Laps Leaders Unofficial (9 leaders with 13 lead changes):
      #11-Hamlin (ople, most, halfway 151);
      #31-Burton (23);
      #12-Newman (12);
      #2-Busch (4);
      #24-Gordon (3);
      #88-Jarrett (3);
      #43-Labonte (2);
      #21-Schrader (1);
      #38-Sadler (1);

    • Lap leaders: #11-Hamlin - pole; #11-Hamlin 1-33; #12-Newman 34-44; #31-Burton 45-67; #38-Sadler 68; #24-Gordon 69-71; #12-Newman 72; #11-Hamlin 73-89; #88-Jarrett 90-92; #11-Hamlin 93-151; #21-Schrader 152; #11-Hamlin 153-174; #2-Busch 175-178; #43-Labonte 179-180; #11-Hamlin 181-200

      Cautions: 7 for 29 laps

      Caution 7 - Laps 181 - 184: #4-Wimmer cut a tire down, throwing debris on the track
      Caution 6 - Laps 151 - 155: Debris on the short shoot, possibly from #26-McMurray.
      Caution 5 - Laps 89 - 92: #22-Blaney got into the back of #8-Earnhardt on the backstretch. Junior spun around and hit the outside wall.
      Caution 4 - Laps 77 - 79: Debris on Backstretch
      Caution 3 - Laps 67 - 71: #45-Kyle Petty cut a tire in turn 1 and hit the wall.
      Caution 2 - Laps 32 - 37: #20-Stewart got into the rear of #07-Bowyer on the frontstretch, sending Bowyer into #99-Edwards. Bowyer and Edwards spun around suffering minor damage.
      Caution 1 - Laps 22 - 24: NASCAR competition caution.

    • Who got a lap back on each caution at Pocono in the Lucky Dog Pack: (and their finish)
      Caution 7: #32-Kvapil, 27th
      Caution 6: #7-Gordon (2), 13th
      Caution 5: #40-Stremme, 29th
      Caution 4: #5-Busch, 12th
      Caution 3: #7-Gordon, 13th
      Caution 2: none, no one a lap down.
      Caution 1: none, no one a lap down.

    • PENALTY REPORT:
      Car#, Penalty, Reason, Issued
      20 OL Rough driving 34
      07 TE Pitting too soon 35
      99 TE Pitting too soon 35
      5 TE Too fast exiting pit road 35
      45 TE Pitting too soon 66
      07 TE Pitting too soon 67
      99 TE Pitting too soon 67
      99 OL Aggressive driving 67
      07 TE Pitting too soon 77
      07 TE Pitting too soon 89
      9 TE Too fast exiting pit road 151
      07 TE Pitting too soon 151
      12 TE Too fast exiting pit road 151
      26 TE Too fast exiting pit road 151
      43 TE Too fast exiting pit road 151
      4 TE Pitting too soon 180
      45 TE Too fast exiting pit road 181
      55 TE Pitting too soon 181
      44 TE Too fast exiting pit road 181
      PT - Pass through
      TE - Tail end of the longest line
      SG - Stop and Go
      OL - One lap
      ND - NASCAR discretion
      MCI - Must come into pits
      (NASCAR Statisical Services)(7-23-2006)

    • RACE/PIT NOTES: (as noted heard on TV or Radio)

      ---- #4-Wimmer had another tire go down on lap 194, but was able to get to the pits
      ---- #11-Hamlin pit on lap 175 while leading the race. He was followed down pit road by #24-Gordon, #20-Stewart, #48-Johnson and the remainder of the leaders.
      ---- Green flag pit stops continued for many of the front runners around lap 172.
      ---- #29-Harvick pitted for gas under green on lap 168 for his final stop of the day.
      ---- #12-Newman pitted under green on lap 160. The team doesn't plan on pitting again in the race. Severl other teams, including #88-Jarrett, #5-Busch, and #9-Kahne did the same a few laps later.
      ---- Several drivers, including #12-Newman, #43-Labonte, #9-Kahne and #26-McMurray, were too fast on pit road under the sixth caution and had to go to the back of the field for the restart.
      ---- All cars pitted on the sixth caution. Hamlin again came on pit road first, and off first.
      ---- On Lap 150, #11-Hamlin saw something fall off the #99 in front of him and hit the car, but the team thinks it was just tape
      ---- #43-Labonte spun coming into his pit stall and had to have the crew work on the car with the nose facing the pit wall
      ---- Green flag pit stops started on lap 125
      ---- #7-Gordon pitted on lap 121 with a flat left rear tire
      ---- #16-Biffle pitted under green on lap 108 with what he thought was a possible right front tire going down. He lost a lap and the tire checked out ok.
      ---- #99-Edwards hit #20-Stewart as they both came into the pits during the third caution. Stewart spun around. Edwards wasa black flagged
      ---- #12-Newman pitted under green on lap 59 since he didn't pit under the second caution. #24-Gordon did the same a couple laps later
      ---- One of #48-Johnson's crew members accidentally ran into a NASCAR official during the second caution pit stop, causing the team to have a slow pit stop
      ---- #99-Edwards remains on the track, but the car is still out of alignment from the earlier wreck
      ---- #20-Stewart raced his way back onto the lead lap
      ---- A variety of pit strategies during the second caution as some drivers stayed out and other only took 2 tires to gain track position
      ---- #5-Busch down a lap early as the team chose to change shocks
      ---- NASCAR black flagged #20-Stewart for rough driving and held him for one lap because he caused the second caution
      ---- #55-Waltrip hit the wall on the first restart but continued on.
      ---- #24-Gordon's pit crew had a lug nut hang up during the first pit stop and they lost several positions
      ---- all drivers came into the pits during the first caution. Reed Sorenson's crew climbed under his car to check a problem.
      ---- green flag at 2:15pm/et
      ---- command to start engines at 2:03pm/et by Pennsylvania State Treasurer Bob Casey and U.S. Senator Rick Santorum
      ---- NASCAR will throw a competition caution at lap 20 so teams can check their tires
      ---- To The Back [0]: none


    • Race Coverage of the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway is scheduled to run Sunday, July 23, 2006.
      TV: TNT at 1:30pm/et [green flag around 2:10pm/et].
      Pre-Race: NASCAR Raceday, Speed Channel, 11:30am/et
      Radio: MRN Radio and XM Satellite NASCAR Radio
      Internet: NASCAR.com [Pit Command/Trackside - paid]
      Jayski: on my Jayski's Semi-Live Race Coverage/Narrative Page.
      Race Re-Air: Speed Channel, Thursday, July 27th at 2:30pm/et

    • Saturday Practices for the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway has been cancelled due to heavy fog, then rain. Most of the drivers doing double duty at Pocono and Martinsville have left the track for Martinsville so they can qualify their Busch cars.(11:00am/et 7-22-2006)

    • Hamlin wins pole at Pocono: #11-Denny Hamlin won the Budweiser Pole for the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway with a speed of 169.827mpg for his 2nd pole of 2006, 2nd in a row at Pocono and 3rd of his career, Hamlin won the race in June at Pocono from the pole. Starting on the outside pole is #12-Ryan Newman followed by #9-Kasey Kahne, #25-Brians Vickers and #24-Jeff Gordon. #44-Terry Labonte qualified 37th. The non-top 35 teams that made the race were: #49-Lepage, #90-Leicht [for his first career start], #44-Labonte, #55-Waltrip, #32-Kvapil, #4-Wimmer [who missed Pocono in June], #40-Stremme and #78-Spencer grabbed the final spot after #61-Chaffin's speed was disallowed for the car being too low. Missing the race were: #74-Cope, #52-Barrett, #34-Sacks and #61-Chaffin. See qualifying speeds, starting lineup, pole progression and more on my Starting Grid/Qualifying results page.(7-21-2006)

    • #61 car being looked at UPDATE disqualified: NASCAR is looking at the #61 Front Row Motorsports car as it supposedly failed the height sticks and is too low, no decision on if their qualifying time will be disallowed by NASCAR. If so, #78-Jimmy Spencer could end up in the race as both are out of the top-35 in owners points and Chaffin would go to the slowest qualifier and miss the race.
      UPDATE: the #61 team's qualifying speed was disqualified and the team will not race, so #78-Jimmy Spencer gets into the race as the #78 Chevy was next to make the race, Spencer will start 43rd, Chaffin was to start 38th.(7-21-2006)

    • Pocono Qualifying Notes:
      • Denny Hamlin won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the Pennsylvania 500, lapping Pocono Raceway in 52.995 seconds at 169.827 mph. Kasey Kahne holds the track-qualifying record of 52.164 seconds, 172.533 mph - set June 11, 2004.
      • This is Hamlin’s third career Bud Pole in 27 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races. His most recent Bud Pole came at Pocono in June, six races ago. Hamlin posted his 12th top-10 start in 2006, including three of the last four races. This was his second qualifying attempt at Pocono.
      • Hamlin became the first Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year contender to sweep both Bud Poles at a track in a single season since Davey Allison did so at Rockingham in 1987.
      • Hamlin became the sixth driver to score multiple Bud Poles this season.
      • Hamlin became the first repeat Bud Pole winner at Pocono in the last 21 races at Pocono. Qualifying was canceled in June 2002 due to weather.
      • A Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year contender has won a Bud Pole in each of the past 11 seasons (1996-2006). Hamlin actually posted his first Bud Pole last season, before his official rookie year.
      • Ryan Newman posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 53.123 seconds, 169.418 mph – and will join Hamlin on the front row for the Pennsylvania 500. This is Newman’s eighth top-10 start this season and the only time this season that he has had back-to-back front row starts. Newman won the Bud Pole last week at New Hampshire. It is his fifth top-10 start in 10 races at Pocono.
      • This is the sixth Bud Pole for Chevrolet in 2006. Dodge has nine Bud Poles and Ford has four. Qualifying was canceled at Bristol.
      • Kasey Kahne (third) posted his 12th top-10 start in 2006 and his third in six races at Pocono. Kahne also started third here in June.
      • Brian Vickers (fourth) has posted a top-10 start in all six of his appearances at Pocono. It is his eighth top-10 start this season. Vickers also started fourth here in June.
      • Jeff Gordon (fifth) posted his ninth top-10 start of 2006. It is his 16th top-10 start in 28 races at Pocono. Gordon started sixth here in June.
      • Four drivers failed to qualify for the Pennsylvania 500: Chad Chaffin, Derrike Cope, Stanton Barrett, and Greg Sacks. Chad Chaffin’s time was disallowed following post time trial inspection.(NASCAR Statisical Services)(7-21-2006)

    • Ramblings - Qualifying Notes - Pocono: Denny Hamlin returned to Pocono Raceway today and it was like he never left. When we were here six weeks ago, Hamlin won the pole and won the race....well, he's halfway home again. He took the Bud Pole today for Sunday's Pennsylvania 500 with a time 52.995 (169.827 mph) over Ryan Newman as he attempts to duplicate his June feat. This was the second top-spot of the season for the Virginia driver....and third of his brief NEXTEL Cup career.
      Scott Riggs (9th) has his best starting spot since he had the pole at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May.
      Carl Edwards (16th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 7th at Darlington in May.
      Welcome Stephen Leicht (36th). He'll make his first-ever NEXTEL Cup start on Sunday for Robert Yates....and you might say this is step one in his audition for one of those open RYR seats at the top-level of NASCAR.
      STREAKIN....Brian Vickers has 3 Top-5 starts in a row. Jeff Burton has 3 Top-10 starts in a row.
      The Trouble Train had some changes today. Derrike Cope, Stanton Barrett, Greg Sacks and Chad Chaffin were the cars missing the race, but it's not as straightforward as it seems. Chaffin was origially qualifed for the event in 38th spot, but the car flunked post-qualifying inspection (too low) and he was replaced in the lineup by Jimmy Spencer.(Stock Car Fans)(7-21-2006)

    • Qualifying Order List for the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway is up, 47 drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, #49-Lepage is due out first on Friday, July 21st at 3:40pm/et on Speed/MRN/XM, last driver due out is #44-Labonte. For the Qualifying order, see my Pocono Qualifying/Grid Page.(7-21-2006)

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway is scheduled for Friday, July 21, 2006 at 3:40pm/et.
      TV: Speed Channel - 3:30pm/et
      Radio: MRN Radio and XM Satellite NASCAR Radio
      Internet: NASCAR.com [Pit Command/Trackside - paid]
      Jayski.com: Jayski's FREE Semi-Live Qualifying Page.
      Qualifying Re-Air: 9:30pm/et on Speed Channel

    • Friday Practice for the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway is over, the fastest:
      #9-Kahne 167.358
      #11-Hamlin 167.358
      #7-Gordon 166.586
      #10-Riggs 166.405
      #48-Johnson 166.340
      slowest: #34-Sacks 159.202 and #52-Barrett 159.253
      most laps run: #10-Riggs 22; #25-Vickers 21
      Best average speed [all laps averaged]
      (from NASCAR.com's leaderboard service)
      #7-Gordon 165.258 [3rd fastest lap], 7 laps run
      #5-Bucsh 164.035 [20th], 6 laps
      #11-Hamlin 164.011 [1st], 9 laps
      See speeds on my Pocono Practice Speeds Page.(7-21-2006)

    • How did the non Top-35 teams do in practice?
      Eight in and four out [47 entered for 43 spots]:
      if things stayed the same, these 8 make the race:
      #4-Scott Wimmer, 31st
      #32-Travis Kvapil, 32nd
      #40-David Stremme, 33rd
      #55-Michael Waltrip, 34th
      #90-Stephen Leicht, 35th
      #44-Terry Labonte [CH], 36th
      #49-Kevin Lepage, 40th
      #78-Jimmy Spencer, 41st
      if things stayed the same, these 4 miss the race:
      #74-Derrike Cope, 44h
      #61-Chad Chaffin, 45th
      #52-Stanton Barrett, 46th
      #34-Greg Sacks, 47th/last
      CH = has a past champ provisional to use if needed
      See speeds on my Pocono Practice Speeds Page.(7-21-2006)

    • Entry List for the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway is up, 47 drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including these drivers who need to get in on speed and are NOT in a 2006 Top-35 Owners Points Position:
      #4-Scott Wimmer
      #32-Travis Kvapil
      #34-Greg Sacks
      #40-David Stremme
      #44-Terry Labonte [CH]
      #49-Kevin Lepage
      #52-Stanton Barrett
      #55-Michael Waltrip
      #61-Chad Caffin
      #74-Derrike Cope
      #78-Jimmy Spencer
      [CH] has champ prov to use if needed
      added to the list, after initial list posted:
      #90-Stephen Leicht [3rd RYR Ford]
      withdrew after initial list posted
      #04-Bobby Hamilton Jr.
      #64-Damon Lusk
      If qualifying is rained out, the making the race would be: #'s 44,40,32,55,4,49,61,78
      missing the race would be #'s: 34,74,52,90.
      see entry list on Jayski's Pocono Entry List Page.
      (7-17/19-2006)

    • Determining Race Line-Ups - Top 35 Guarantee: At the start of the 2005 seaspn, NASCAR instituted a new procedure for establishing the starting race field in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series [NNCS]. NASCAR revamped the system by simplifying the procedure with teams no longer accruing provisionals throughout the season to gain entry into the starting fields. While starting positions one through 42 in the NNCS still will be determined by qualifying speed, the new system will assure the highest-ranked 35 positions of the NNCS OWNER [not Driver] championship points that have entered the event prior to the entry deadline [usually 13 days before the day of the race] one of those starting positions in the field, providing they have made an attempt to qualify [which usually means the team at least practiced and made an effort to qualify].
      The remaining seven positions [36-42] will be assigned to those drivers with the fastest qualifying speeds whose car owners are not among the top 35. The final starting position [43rd] – the champion’s provisional – can be utilized by a car owner whose driver is a current or past NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion who participated as a driver during the current of previous season and was entered in the event for that owner in that car prior to the entry deadline.
      If there is more than one series champion vying for the position, it will be given to the most recent series champion. If the final provisional starting position – 43rd in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup – is not filled by a current or past series champion, it will be assigned to the next eligible car owner according to qualifying results.
      Through the first five races of the season for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, the top 35 in the NNCS of the previous owner championship points entered in the event prior to the entry deadline will be assured one of the 42 starting positions in the field, provided they have made an attempt to qualify. From the sixth race on, the current owner championship points will be used to determine the top 35 each race week. In the event that conditions prevent qualifying from being run, starting positions will be assigned according to the respective series’ current Rule Book.(NASCAR PR)
      Simple: so the field is set by speed to where the 7th fastest non-top 35 driver is on speed. The any drivers in the top35 of OWNERS [not drivers points] are placed to the 42nd spot. The 43rd spot is used for the most recent past Cup champion NOT already in the field from being in the top-35 in owners points or one of the seven no top-35. If their is not past champ for the 43rd spot, it goes to the next fastest [8th fastest driver]

    • see my Final 2005 Owners Points with the 2006 teams listed page

    • What happens if qualifying gets rained out?

      If it is the first 5 races of the season, the previous season OWNERS points are used:

      #1) - Previous season Owner Points [position 1-35]
      #2) - Race winners from the previous and current season not already in the field
      #3) - Past Nextel Cup Champions not in by 1 or 2
      #4) - Current season Owner Points [Top 35][not in by rules 1-3]
      #5) - Current season race attempts ties broken by current owners points standings [not in by rules 1-4]
      After the 5th race of the season, the current season OWNERS points are used:
      #1) - First 35 by current Owner Points
      #2) - Last Years Cup Champ or the Event Champion if not already in the field
      #3) - Car Owners whose team has won in the previous and current season not already in the field
      #4) - Drivers who have won in the previous and current season not already in the field
      #5) - Past Nextel Cup Champions not in by 1 thru 4
      #6) - Qualifying Attempts with Owners points as the tie breaker
      #7) - Qualifying Order Position
      (all above apply as long as the team was entered by the entry deadline - usually 7-13 days before the race)

    • No Racing to the Caution Rule and Q&A/Lucky Dog

    • for race results and current drivers/owners points, see my Jayski's - 2006 Nextel Cup Race Results Page

    • How to Calculate Track Speeds: use the formula Speed = Distance divided by Time. Distance is Track Length, and Lap Time into Hours. Once hour is 3600 seconds, so the calculation for a 48 second lap at Daytona(2.5 miles) would be: Speed = 2.5 x (3600/48), = 2.5 x 75 = 187.500mph. For a 19 second lap at Bristol(.533 miles): Speed = .533 x (3600/19), = .533 x 189.474 = a speed of 100.990mph

    • How to break a tie during qualifying? (same speed/time) When drivers are tied for a starting spot during qualifying, it is broken by owners points standings(not drivers).


    TRACK RECORDS, NOTES, RULES and NEWS

    • Heading to Pocono:
      • There have been 19 different Bud Pole winners in the 20 races at Pocono, since July 1996. Qualifying was cancelled there in June 2002.
      • Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett and Bobby Labonte lead all active drivers, each with three victories at Pocono.
      • Ken Schrader leads all active drivers with five Bud Poles at Pocono Raceway.
      • Rick Hendrick is the winningest car owner at Pocono Raceway with 10 victories.
      • Kurt Busch has started third or better in his last four races at Pocono Raceway.
      • Jamie McMurray has posted four straight top-10 starts at Pocono Raceway.
      • Brian Vickers has started all five of his races at Pocono Raceway from a top 10 starting position.
      • Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch have each posted top-10 finishes in the last two races at Pocono, the longest current streak there.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(7-16-2006)

    • Who's Hot - Pocono:
      • Jimmie Johnson has scored a top-15 finish in 17 of the 19 races in 2006. His other two finishes were 30th or worse.
      • Jeff Burton has posted 13 straight top-15 finishes since Martinsville.
      • Greg Biffle has scored more points in the last 10 races than any other driver.
      • Kasey Kahne has won four races in 2006, the most of all drivers.
      • Matt Kenseth is the only driver to score 10 top-five finishes in the 19 races this season.
      • Jimmie Johnson is the only driver to score 15 top-10 finishes in the first 19 races of 2006.
      • Greg Biffle is the only driver to lead at least one lap in 15 of the 19 races this season.
      • Greg Biffle has scored top-15 finishes in nine of the last 10 races.
      • Matt Kenseth ranks second in the point standings. After 19 races one year ago, he ranked 16th.
      • Kyle Busch has scored five straight top-15 finishes.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(7-18-2006)

    • Track Qualifying Record: Kasey Kahne, June 2004, 172.533mph
    • July 2005 Pole Sitter: #42-Jamie McMurray, 168.761, finished 11th
    • June 2006 Pole Sitter: #11-Denny Hamlin, 169.638, finished 1st
    • July 2005 Race Winner: #97-Kurt Busch, 125.283mph, started 2nd
    • June 2006 Race Winner: #11-Denny Hamlin, 131.656mph, started 1st
    • 1st Race Record: Alan Kulwicki, June 1992, 144.023mph
    • 2nd Race Record: Rusty Wallace, July 1996, 144.892
    • Slowest Race Record: Jimmie Johnson, June 2004, 112.129mph

    • Worst Starting Spot to Win: Carl Edwards, June 2005, started 29th

    • Up front is best at Pocono: In the 57 Cup races held at Pocono the winner has started in the front row 19 times and the top ten 41 times.

    • Most Wins: 5 - Bill Elliott
    • Most Poles: 5 - Bill Elliott, Ken Schrader
    • Most Top 5s: 19 - Mark Martin
    • Most Top 10s: 27 - Mark Martin

    • Oldest Winner: Harry Gant, 50 years, 5 months, 7 days, 6/17/90

    • Youngest Winner: Jeff Gordon, 24 years, 10 months, 12 days, 6/16/1996

    • Most Lead Changes: 56 - 7/30/79
    • Fewest Lead Changes: 10 - 7/26/1998
    • Most Leaders: 16, Three times, most recently 6/13/2004
    • Fewest Leaders: 4 - Twice, most recently, 6/9/1985

    • Most Cautions: 13 - 6/17/90 and 7/24/05
    • Fewest Cautions: 1 - 7/30/78
    • Most Caution Laps: 57, 6/13/04
    • Few Caution Laps: 3, 7/30/78

    • Most Finishers on a lead lap: 26, 7/28/02 and 7/24/05
    • Fewest Finishers on a lead lap: 2 - twice, most recently 6/6/82

    • Most Running at the Finish: 39, 7/29/2001
    • Fewest Running at the Finish: 18, 7/25/1982

    • Most Laps Led: 164, Jeff Gordon, 7/26/1998
    • Fewest Laps Led by a Race Winner: 4, Bobby Labonte, 7/29/2001

    • Most Wins by Manufacturer: 21 - Chevy

    • Races won from starting pos 1: 11* [of 57 races] 19.3%
    • Races won from starting pos 2: 8
    • Races won from starting pos 3: 8
    • Races won from starting pos 4: 7
    • Races won from starting pos 5: 3
    • Races won from starting pos 6: 1
    • Races won from starting pos 7: 1
    • Races won from starting pos 8: 2
    • Races won from starting pos 10: 1
    • Races won from starting pos 11: 3
    • Races won from starting pos 12: 1
    • Races won from starting pos 13: 3
    • Races won from starting pos 14: 2
    • Races won from starting pos 15: 1
    • Races won from starting pos 16: 2
    • Races won from starting pos 22: 1
    • Races won from starting pos 23: 1
    • Races won from starting pos 27: 1
    • Races won from starting pos 29: 1
    • Races won from the pole: 11 of 56 events (19.3%)
    • Races won from in top 10: 41 of 57 events (71.9%)
    • Races won from outside top 10: 16 of 57 events (28.1%)

      * Darrell Waltrip won the pole in July 1985 and started 1st
      Bill Elliott started 2nd and won, 18 days later NASCAR disallowed
      the pole due to illegal fuel additive.

    • Pocono Nuggets:
      Pocono Milestones
      Greg Biffle is expected to make his 125th consecutive NASCAR NEXTEL Cup start at Pocono.
      Starting Up Front May be Important at Pocono Raceway
      Five of the last 11 races at Pocono Raceway have been won from a front-row starting position including the June race won by rookie Denny Hamlin from the Bud Pole.
      Pocono Bud Pole Winner
      Ken Schrader leads all active full-time drivers with five Bud Poles at Pocono. Schrader has not had a top-10 start in his last nine races at Pocono. His last Bud Pole came there in June 1995. Bill Elliott also scored five Bud Poles at Pocono.
      Pocono Streaks
      • Brian Vickers has posted five straight top-10 starts at Pocono Raceway, the longest current streak.
      • Jamie McMurray has posted four straight top-10 starts at Pocono Raceway.
      • Kurt Busch has posted four straight starts of third or better at Pocono Raceway.
      • Jimmie Johnson has posted nine straight top-15 finishes at Pocono Raceway.
      • Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch have each posted top-10 finishes in their last two races at Pocono Raceway, the longest streak among active drivers.
      Owner Dominance at Pocono Raceway
      Rick Hendrick has 10 victories at Pocono Raceway, the most of all car owners. Those 10 victories were scored by five different drivers led by Jeff Gordon (three), Tim Richmond (three), Jimmie Johnson (two) and Terry Labonte and Geoffrey Bodine (one each).
      Leading The Way
      Jeff Gordon has competed in 27 races at Pocono Raceway. He has led 841 laps in those races, the most of all drivers.
      Pocono Starters
      Only Ricky Rudd (53) and Terry Labonte (51) have competed in more than 50 races at Pocono Raceway. Kyle Petty has competed in 48 races at Pocono Raceway, the most by any active full-time driver.
      Bud Pole Winners Galore
      There have been 19 different Bud Pole winners in the last 20 races at Pocono, since July 1996. Qualifying was cancelled there in June 2002.
      Would You Believe?
      Mark Martin finished second at Pocono six times in 39 races but has never visited victory lane at the Pennsylvania superspeedway.
      Pocono Raceway Standouts
      • Bill Elliott leads all drivers with five victories at Pocono Raceway. Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte and Jeff Gordon lead all active drivers with three wins at the Pennsylvania superspeedway.
      • Mark Martin leads all drivers with 19 top-five finishes in 39 races at Pocono Raceway.
      • Mark Martin leads all drivers with 27 top-10 finishes at Pocono Raceway, the most among all drivers.
      • Denny Hamlin leads all drivers with a 1.0 starting average at Pocono Raceway. Hamlin won in his first race there in June.
      • Brian Vickers has a 4.6 starting average at Pocono posting top-10 starts in all five of his races at Pocono Raceway.
      • Jimmie Johnson has a 8.33 finishing average in his nine races at Pocono Raceway, the best of all drivers with more than one start there.

      Season Nuggets
      • Current point leader Jimmie Johnson was the point leader at the mid-point of the season. He was also the point leader at the mid-point in 2004 and 2005 and also was the point leader after Race No. 19 in 2004 and 2005.
      • All 19 victories in 2006 have been scored by drivers ranked in the top-14 in the point standings.
      • Greg Biffle is the only driver who has led at least one lap in 15 of the 19 races in 2006. Biffle has earned 95 lap leader bonus points, 60 more than point leader Jimmie Johnson who has 35.
      • Greg Biffle, currently 10th in the point standings, has earned 1,508 points in the last 10 races, more than any other driver. Jeff Burton is second in points earned in the last 10 races earning 1,439, 69 less than Biffle. Point leader Jimmie Johnson ranks fifth during the last 10 races earning 1,395 points, 113 less than Biffle.
      • Two drivers that ranked in the top-10 after Race No. 19 in 2005 failed to make the Chase. Elliott Sadler was ninth and finished 13th and Dale Jarrett was 10th and finished 15th.
      • After 19 races in 2006, eight drivers are within the 400-point window. One year ago there were nine drivers within the 400-point window.
      • In 2005 five of the top-13 drivers were separated by nine points or less with two drivers tied (Busch-fifth and Newman-sixth each scoring 2,347 points).
      • After 19 races in 2006, five of the top-12 drivers are separated by 11 points or less and eight are separated by 25 points or less. Ninth-place Jeff Gordon and 10th-place Greg Biffle have each scored 2,342 points.
      • Just 18 points separate 12th to ninth in the point standings.
      • Greg Biffle, currently 10th in the point standings, is 11 points ahead of 11th-place Tony Stewart and just 18 ahead of 12th-place Denny Hamlin.
      • Just 113 points separate 10th-place Greg Biffle and fourth-place Kyle Busch. That is the difference between a first to a 32nd-place finish (lap leader points not considered).
      • After winning only three races in all of 2005, Dodge has won five of the first 19 races in 2006. Chevrolet has 11 victories while Ford has just three. One year ago Ford had eight victories at this point of the season.
      • Ken Schrader remains the only driver that has competed in every race and has yet to lead in 2006.
      • Four of the top-10 drivers have been running at the finish in every race in 2006: Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin, Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick.
      • Kasey Kahne (sixth), Dale Earnhardt (seventh), Jeff Gordon (ninth) and Greg Biffle (10th) are the only drivers among the top 10 in the point standings with more than one DNF. Gordon leads all drivers in the top 10 with four DNFs. That is the most DNFs of any driver ranked in among the top 24.
      • At least one rookie has scored a top-15 finish in every race this season.
      • Nine of the top-11 drivers changed point positions at New Hampshire.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(7-18-2006)


    TRACK/RACE NEWS

    • Track Specs:
      Superspeedway: 2.5 mile tri-oval
      Track/Race Length: 2.5 tri-oval, 200 laps, 500 miles
      Banking: turn 1: 14 degrees, turn 2: 8 degree, turn 3: 6 degrees;
      Straights: Front - 3740 feet, Long Pond (between turns 1 and 2) - 3055 feet, North(between turns 2 and 3) - 1780 feet
      Grandstand Seating: 100,000
      Pit Road Speed: 55mph
      Pace Car Speed: 65mph

      Race Festivities:
      Grand Marshal: ?
      Command to start engines: ?
      Wave the green flag/honorary starter: ?
      National Anthem: ?
      Military Flyover: ?

    • Track Website: poconoraceway.com

    • 2006 Pocono June Race Info Page

    • 2005 Pocono July Race Info Page

    • Pocono to get two races in 2007..after that? While talk of moving a race from Pocono occurs almost yearly, it is likely the track will keep both the Pocono 500 and the Pennsylvania 500 for at least the 2007 season. “A dialog with Pocono is already ongoing,” said Herb Branham, NASCAR senior manager of communications. “We fully expect we’ll be back here next year.” Pocono Raceway has hosted two NASCAR races each year since 1982. Racetracks are always in jeopardy of losing Nextel Cup Series races because NASCAR makes no long-term deals with the venues, according to Branham. “It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about Pocono or Daytona International Speedway or Lowes Motor Speedway or anywhere, we talk about it on a year-to-year basis,” Branham said. The Nextel Cup Series schedule changed very little from last season, as no tracks were eliminated or had races taken away this year. The last major track change was booting the North Carolina Speedway from the series. “Speculation about the schedule changing has been rampant over the last number of years. But then when you look back at the last six or seven years, you’ve had some changes, but it’s not been any wholesale changes,” Branham said. “There have been relatively few real changes in the schedule.” Although it looks like the two Nextel Cup races at Pocono will remain next year, alternatives to staging two 500-lap races at Pocono Speedway include shortening the length of one or both of the races, or moving one of the races to another track. Branham said the Nextel Cup Series schedule is usually released in August or September, and it’s too early to tell if the races will be as close in time as they were this year.(Times Tribune)(7-22-2006)

    • Budweiser Clydesdales at Pocono this weekend, tix still available for race: The world famous Budweiser Clydesdales, the symbol of quality and tradition for Anheuser-Busch since 1933, temporarily make their home at Pocono Raceway as part of Pennsylvania 500 race weekend activities. The "Gentle Giants," as they are often called, will participate in the official Pennsylvania 500 festivities starting on Friday, July 21st by taking a walk down the main straight prior to the WEIS Markets Bud Pole Qualifying. They will also be part of Sunday’s Pennsylvania 500 pre-race celebrations. The Clydesdales will be stabled at the track and the public is welcome to stop by for a visit Friday and Saturday. Admission is free to stable area. Friday Grandstand tickets are only $10, kids 12 & under are free, Saturday tickets start at $25 and kids 12 & under are free to the Concourse Grandstands. For tickets or more information, call the Raceway ticket office toll-free at 1-800-RACEWAY (722-3929), or visit poconoraceway.com.(Pocono Raceway)(7-21-2006)

    • American Idol Finalist to Sing at Pocono Raceway: Scott Savol, who finished in the top 5 of American Idol Season 4, will be part of pre-race activities for the Pennsylvania 500, Nextel Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, July 23, 2006. Savol, an Ohio native, will sing "God Bless America" prior to the start of the race as well as greeting all 43 NASCAR drivers during driver introductions. Pennsylvania 500 pre-race activities begin at 12:00pm/et with the command to "Start Engines" given at 2:05pm/et. Good tickets are still available for the Pennsylvania 500 by calling 1-800-Raceway (1-800-722-3929) or visiting www.poconoraceway.com.(Pocono Raceway PR)(7-12-2006)

    • Resort planned at Pocono Raceway: The owner of Pocono Raceway plans to build a $50 million resort next to the track at Long Pond, replacing the proposal for a $300 million slots casino that he dropped in December. Joseph Mattioli said the 250-unit Raceway Village would be a gated community with two- and four-bedroom houses and one- and two-bedroom apartments. It would include a clubhouse with an indoor swimming pool, a sauna, theater and lounge, along with outdoor tennis and basketball courts and a bocce court. Mattioli said other Pocono amenities would benefit. He said the resort would not have a restaurant, so people would use area restaurants.(Allentown Morning Call)(5-12-2006)

    • Pocono not selling track or race dates: 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 [NOTE: in the column the writer mentioned "While the following is just hypothesizing, there are some interesting potential scenarios:" then mentioned the possible 'sale'] 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)(2-4-2006)

    • Past track news: posted in the past at Jayski's Past Track News/Rumors - Pocono Raceway


    DRIVER/TEAM/TESTING NEWS

    • Leicht to make Cup debut at Indy? UPDATE 2 at Pocono: hearing the RYR Busch Series driver Stephen Leicht, will attempt to make the Brickyard 400 at Indy in a third RYR Ford.(7-10-2006)
      UPDATE: Robert Yates Racing hopes to get development driver Stephen Leicht approved for the Allstate 400 next month at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 19-year-old driver tested at the track Monday and will test again Wednesday in preparation for his possible Nextel Cup debut in the #90 RYR Ford.(SceneDaily.com)(7-11-2006)
      UPDATE 2 - Pocono: Robert Yates Racing development driver Stephen Leicht will attempt to make his Nextel Cup debut July 23 at Pocono Raceway. Leicht, who was sixth-fastest among drivers Wednesday during the Cup test session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, said Friday that the plan is for him to run Pocono and then at the Brickyard in RYR's #90 Ford. Leicht has nine Busch Series starts with the best finish of 10th at Kentucky. He has driven in two restrictor-plate Busch Series races. The 19-year-old driver who won the 2005 ASA Late Model Series title is considered a candidate to compete in Nextel Cup next season for the Yates team. Either Raymond Fox III or Butch Hylton will serve as crew chief for the car, said Leicht, who has never raced at Pocono.(SceneDaily.com)(7-14-2006)
      UPDATE 3: Robert Yates Racing announced that Stephen Leicht, driver of the #90 CitiFinancial Ford, will attempt to make his Nextel Cup Series debut at Pocono Raceway on July 23. Leicht, nineteen years of age, will also attempt to become the youngest driver to compete in the Allstate 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 6. Leicht wrapped up a two day test session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier this week, posting the sixth-fastest time among drivers on Wednesday. RYR will utilize Matt McCall, co-driver of the #90 CitiFinancial Ford, for the Busch Series event at Martinsville Speedway on July 22. This will be the first Nextel Cup event for CitiFinancial Racing. They joined Robert Yates Racing in 2005 for a partial season and currently compete full-time in the Busch Series.(RYR PR)(7-16-2006)

    • See the 2006 Team Chart and the 2007 Team Chart, which has links to past news for each team and info on each team.


    PAINT SCHEME NEWS

    Car#/Driver Sponsor/Scheme/Promo Image Link
    #5-Kyle Busch Carquest #5 Schemes Page
    #12-Ryan Newman Mobil 1 #12 Schemes Page
    #21-Ken Schrader U. S. Air Force #21 Schemes Page
    #24-Jeff Gordon DuPont Performance Alliance - TV Panel #24 Schemes Page
    #38-Elliot Sadler Combos #38 Schemes Page
    #45-Kyle Petty Kyle Petty Charity Ride #45 Schemes Page


    • Carquest scheme on #5 at Pocono:: Kyle Busch's # Chevy will carry the colors of Carquest Auto Parts this weekend at Pocono Raceway. It will mark the second outing of 2006 for the Carquest paint scheme, which will appear later this season at Chicagoland Speedway, Pocono Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway.(Hendrick Motorsports), see image on my #5 Team Schemes page,(6-9-2006)

    • Special Scheme for #24 at All-Star race and other races: Jeff Gordon’s #24 DuPont car will once again carry the DuPont Performance Alliance colors at the Nextel Cup All-Star Challenge on May 20, 2006. Like last year, the car's color scheme was designed by renowned NASCAR graphic artist Sam Bass. This special version of the #24 Chevy celebrates DuPont’s all-star collision repair centers and auto body shops throughout the United States. The paint scheme reverses the primary colors of the Fire and Flames design, and the Performance Alliance logo and name will be featured on the hood, side panels and TV panel. Gordon will also be wearing a matching Performance Alliance-themed uniform for the special event. The Performance Alliance logo will appear on the cars decklid or tv panel at Richmond [May]. Dover [June], Loudon [July], Pocono [July], Watkins Glen, LMS [Oct], Martinsville and Texas. See images of the three schemes on my #24 Team Schemes page.(4-18-2006)

    • More Paint Scheme news can be found on Paint Schemes Gallery


    RACE /CHAMPIONSHIP ODDs

    (this is not to promote gambling but to offer readers odds and ideas on what the
    'experts' think about the upcoming race and the Cup series season)


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