What sticks out to me the most, however, is the sheer awesomeness of history associated with my home track.
Doctors Rose and Joseph Mattioli built their track despite it not being altogether sensible, but their vision was concrete and their passion undeniable.
Their progeny still run this facility and have modernized and kept it relevant in an age when destination tracks are all the rage – Daytona, Las Vegas, and California.
People – Race fans – flock to this sleepy, bucolic town to watch their racing heroes. They come from New York City, New England, and Canada and all other points to swell the population at Pocono.
For decades Pocono Raceway has been the destination for race fans to get their fix.
In fact, Pocono Raceway is celebrating the 40th Anniversary of its first NASCAR race this weekend.
Everywhere you look you get a taste of something old and something new.
The names of racing legends like Petty, Pearson, and Earnhardt are visible and ever present. Their aura blankets the track in a comforting connection to the past.
A picture of Tim Richmond, the man who brought glamour, humor, and sexiness to NASCAR, hangs in the media center. The twinkle in his eye and movie star looks are still captivating and add to the allure of Pocono Raceway, a track Richmond excelled at before his life was cut short.
With the news that Mark Martin is returning to NASCAR and Roush Fenway Racing, the past is seeping into the future as well. As driver development coach for Roush, Martin brings his career full circle.
Something old, something new.
And, as the young guns strut around the garage, win races, and live a charmed life afforded by huge sponsorships, the teams surrounding the drivers are faces familiar to many. Veterans, “old guys”, some with recognizable faces and others always anonymous to the throngs of crowds.
Someone old, someone new.
Pocono Raceway and NASCAR share a long history and it continues to evolve, unfold, and update.
Instead of Bill Elliott there is Chase. In place of Joe Nemechek is John Hunter. Ward Burton gave way to son Jeb. And, of course, Dale Earnhardt’s son Dale Jr. is returning to defend his win here from June.
New names are taking the sport and this track by storm, too. Larson stands out as the brightest this season.
The iconic names are here, the crowds are populating the infield and grandstands, and Pocono Raceway shines as brightly as ever.
When I look out and see the enormous American Flag waving majestically over Pocono, I’m overwhelmed by the setting.
Despite all of the technology, the changes that time implements, Pocono Raceway and NASCAR still offer something old and something new.
Friday Pocono Raceway hosts the ARCA race. On Saturday the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series takes the pavement. And, on Sunday, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes center stage.
And we NASCAR fans who love Pocono Raceway are the recipients of the greatness that comes from something old, something new.