LONG POND, Pa. – Jeff Gordon said he was happy with the repaved Pocono Raceway during Wednesday's test session, and the defending race winner is looking forward to returning to the 2.5-mile racetrack for Sunday's race.
“They did a great job," said Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet and a five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup race winner at Pocono. "The track was really nice and smooth (with) good grip. We have had some repaves where it is a handful and pretty slick. That was not the case at all today.”
Gordon and his Hendrick Motorsports teammates Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were among the Cup drivers who participated in the two-day test session at Pocono Raceway this week in preparation for Sunday’s Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR.
Testing began Wednesday, and it marked the first full-field opportunity for the series at Pocono; seven drivers took part in a Goodyear tire test in April.
Pocono Raceway, which features three different turns and three straightaways at varying distances around its 2.5 miles, received a new coat of asphalt for the first time since 1995 during a paving project that began last September and ended this spring.
“We’re in for a really good race come Sunday,” said John Darby, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series director. “Goodyear’s done an excellent job at matching the tire to the new surface. Basically all the way up and down through the garage we’ve heard zero complaints which is a good feeling. It will only continue to get better throughout the weekend, because more of the racing surface gets rubbered in, grooves get wider and offer the ability to the competitors to turn into some multiple lane racing, especially through corners where it counts come Sunday. So we’re pleased.”
Additionally, for the first time in the track’s history, the race is scheduled for 400 miles, down from 500. That also will be the case for the second race at Pocono in August.
This weekend also marks the launch of the one-of-a-kind NASCAR hashtag product on Twitter throughout the race weekend in Pocono. Media and fans can log onto NASCAR.COM and visit www.Twitter.com/#NASCAR, where the brand new, complementary live event experience will provide users with a unique behind-the-scenes look at a race weekend. This new product, which will live on the Twitter platform, will showcase the most activity on Sunday for the Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR.
Twitter.com/#NASCAR will give fans a viewing experience supplemented with strong interplay between Twitter and TNT, and will feature the “best-of-the-best” tweets from industry stakeholders including drivers, pit crew members, NASCAR executives and even fans.