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Monday, June 4, 2012

Pocono 400: Everything you need to know

At Pocono Raceway:
— Opened in 1968 as a three-quarter-mile track, Pocono Raceway held the first race on the 2.5-mile track in 1971.
— The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was in 1974.
— There have been 68 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Pocono Raceway.
— There was one race from 1974 through 1981, and two per year since.
— This season will mark the first time the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Pocono will be scheduled for 400 miles. Prior to 2012 all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races were 500 miles at Pocono Raceway.
— Buddy Baker won the first pole.
— There have been 38 different pole winners, including David Pearson who won the pole there in June 1984 but did not race; 16 drivers have more than one pole there.
— The pole has been swept just three times: Bill Elliott (1985), Ken Schrader (1993) and Denny Hamlin (2006).
— Richard Petty won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono.
— 30 different drivers have won races at Pocono, led by Bill Elliott and Jeff Gordon, each with five victories; 20 drivers have won more than once there.
— There have been six season sweeps at Pocono, the last by Denny Hamlin in 2006.
— Bobby Allison (1982, ’83) and Tim Richmond (1986, ’87) each won three consecutive races at Pocono.
— 47 of 68 Pocono races have been won from a top-10 start.
— The June 2005 race was won by Carl Edwards from the 29th starting position, the deepest in the field that a race winner has started.
— 13 of 68 races have been won from the pole, Bill Elliott (1985, 2002) and Denny Hamlin (2006 sweep) are the only drivers to have done it twice. Tony Stewart is the most recent driver to win from the pole in 2009.
— Rick Hendrick leads all car owners with 12 Pocono victories.
— Mark Martin leads all drivers in top fives (19) and top 10s (33), but has yet to win at Pocono. His best finish was second, six times (most recently in August 2004). Martin is tied with Bobby Allison for most runner-up finishes at a track without winning. Allison also had six at Martinsville.
— Jimmie Johnson (9.0) and Denny Hamlin (9.7) are the only active drivers to average a top 10.
— Youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono Raceway winner: Jeff Gordon (06/16/1996 – 24 years, 10 months, 12 days).
— Oldest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono Raceway winner: Harry Gant (06/17/1990 – 50 years, 5 months, 7 days).

Pocono Raceway Data
Race #: 14 of 36 (06-10-12)
Track Size: 2.5 miles
Race Length: 200 laps / 500 miles
· Banking/Turn 1: 14 degrees
· Banking/Turn 2: 8 degrees
· Banking/Turn 3: 6 degrees
· Frontstretch: 3,740 feet
· Backstretch: 3,055 feet
· Shortstretch: 1,780 feet

Top 12 Driver Rating at Pocono
Denny Hamlin — 118.6
Jimmie Johnson — 107.0
Kurt Busch — 105.8
Jeff Gordon — 100.8
Tony Stewart — 99.5
Carl Edwards — 98.4
Ryan Newman — 94.8
Mark Martin — 93.2
Kevin Harvick — 91.4
Kasey Kahne — 89.5
Jeff Burton — 89.2
Kyle Busch — 87.6

Qualifying/Race Data
2011 pole winner: Kurt Busch, (171.579 mph, 52.454 seconds)
2011 race winner: Matt Kenseth, (125.578 mph, 05-15-11)
Track qualifying record: Kasey Kahne, (172.533 mph, 52.164 seconds, 06-11-04)
Track race record: Jeff Gordon, (145.384 mph, 06-12-11)

— 138 drivers in NASCAR’s three national series (all-time) have their home state recorded as Pennsylvania.
— There are three race winners from Pennsylvania in NASCAR’s three national series: Dick Linder, Mark Donohue and Jimmy Spencer

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