Pocono Raceway Announces Preliminary Doubleheader Plan

By Luis Torres, Staff Writer

The 2020 NASCAR season symbols a season of change with tracks such as ISM Raceway and Iowa Speedway announcing their plans over the past few days.

This time, it’s Pocono Raceway who took center stage as the track announced Saturday morning their preliminary and tentative game plan, months removed from being affected by the big schedule realignment. No longer they’ll host two separate 400-mile races in the months of June and July. Instead, they’ll have a doubleheader weekend from June 25-28, 2020.

In a span of four days, there will be five races, including the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race having two races in as many days for the first time ever.

Cup qualifying will commence on Friday, June 26 and it’ll be an single-car format with impounding implemented. Friday’s session will determine the starting lineup for Race No. 1 taking place Saturday, June 27.

Perhaps the major kicker of Saturdays’ announcement involves the second race to be held on Sunday, June 28. Rather than doing another qualifying session, instead the lineup will be determined based on the lead-lap finishers of Race No. 1 being inverted. Lapped cars will start behind them.

Those changes meant concerns about the race distance as both races are currently 400 miles (160 laps) long and NASCAR made it clear they won’t be running 800 total miles in two days. Their solution is that Race No. 2 will only be 350 miles (140 laps), with the first race distance yet to be determined.

In addition of the Cup Series, the other three races will be the ARCA Menards Series, Gander Outdoors Truck Series and Xfinity Series. Changes were also made changes for two of the three as the truck race will now be extended from 60 to 80 laps, the same amount of laps the ARCA race which remained unchanged. Meanwhile, the Xfinity Series race has been reduced from 100 to 90 laps.

Those who’ve purchased tickets to either NASCAR event weekend this year will get first dibs on purchasing next year’s tickets through the track’s annual renewal program. As usual, children who are ages 12 and under will get free admission, including Saturday and Sunday’s events. Prices won’t increase and the Worry-Free Weather Guarantee Presented by AccuWeather will still be acknowledged next year.

2020 Pocono Raceway Doubleheader Schedule:

Thursday, June 25 (camping will begin at 12 Noon ET for race fans)

  • AMS Practice & Qualifying
  • General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 AMS Race (80 Laps/ 200 Miles)

Friday, June 26

  • NASCAR Cup Series Practice
  • NGOTS Practice & Qualifying
  • NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying – Single Car, Impound & Field Invert For Second Race

Saturday, June 27

  • NXS Practice
  • NGOTS Race (80 Laps/200 Miles)
  • NASCAR Cup Series Race No. 1 (TBD Laps/TBD Miles)

Sunday, June 28

  • NXS Qualifying
  • NXS Race (90 Laps / 225 Miles)
  • NASCAR Cup Series Race No. 2 (140 Laps/350 Miles)

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From the Pacific Northwest, Luis is a University of Idaho graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcasting and Digital Media. Ever since watching the 2003 Daytona 500, being involved in auto racing is all he's ever dreamed of doing. He's also covered Idaho Athletics and high school football as both a writer and videographer. Additionally, he spent 2017 writing several racing columns as an independent journalist. Luis does video and photography, and is a fan of Seattle sports, a music critic and a motivator who wants to impact people's lives.