LONG POND – Beautiful weather was just what race fans were hoping for in Monroe County. People packed the stands for the Pocono 400 in Long Pond.
The race definitely didn`t disappoint this year. The Pocono 400 was able to run with beautiful weather as a backdrop – bringing out more fans than usual.
But high attendance and a wreck along Interstate 80 Sunday morning caused a little trouble for some trying to get here to the Tricky Triangle.
“”Drivers, start your engines,” said Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum.
With the help from a little star power and the wave of the green flag, the Pocono 400 got underway at the Tricky Triangle. For the first time in years – it was sunny skies for the duration of the race.
“It`s absolutely flawless up here, it`s not too hot, it`s not too cold, it`s beautiful. Picture perfect,” said Dave Mazac of Kempton.
Dennis Meagher has been coming to the Pocono Raceway for years but this is the first time he ever got a pass to meet the drivers in the pits.
“To see the drivers and to talk to the drivers and the owners, it`s just awesome, plus all the mechanics that goes on behind the scenes. Watching all the inspections,” said Dennis Meagher of Lenhartsville.
For some fans, the beautiful weather brought them back to the raceway in Long Pond for the first time in years.
“The track`s completely different. The facilities are completely different from when i used to come years ago. Quite an improvement,” said Kevin Kennedy of Easton.
Raceway officials said this attendance is the best it’s been in a while.
“We had strong ticket sales going into this weekend, I haven’t looked at the final numbers but it looks like we had a good walk up as well, you know the infield is packed,” said Pocono Raceway CEO and President Brandon Igdalsky.
More people in the stands caused some trouble for drivers trying to get to the track.
Drivers were faced with delays along Long Pond Road, and along Stony Hollow Road.
It was more than an hour back-up for some. Drivers believed another crash along I-80 near the Blakeslee exit made traffic worse than usual.
“I saw a car run off the road, basically hit a tree, the State Troopers were on it, so hopefully everyone`s ok,” said Steve Ertle of East Stroudsburg.
The back-logged back roads didn’t deter fans from filling the stands.
Some of NASCAR’S biggest fans hope thestands fill up just as much for the other races down the road.
“It feels good to have people to see them come out to see these cars go around this track,” said Anthony Wright of New Jersey.
The raceway has yet to release official numbers, but they said the track used to hold between 100,00 and 120,000 people.
They don’t believe they hit that mark today, but they think the crowd for this race was bigger than in recent years.