The anomaly track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit was repaved, making it treacherously fast and a bit of new game for drivers. The track was forgiving for most participants, but schooled others.
On a track that is a little like Indianapolis Speedway, a bit like a road course and fast as a superspeedway, setups become intriguing. The teams that hit on the right one became contenders.
After several days of testing, NASCAR, drivers and teams were comfortable with the speeds and tossed thoughts of a restrictor plate, despite speeds of 212-plus mph.
Grip level is high on a new surface, tires don't fall off and the high speeds use more fuel. Strategy was part of the plan that could make the critical difference in points should it be wrong.
With the lack of racing grooves, it was an E-ticket ride heading into Turn 1, but problems resulted coming off the tunnel turn and the final third turn as well.
This slideshow will highlight some of the lessons we learned at the new and improved Pocono Raceway during the Pocono 400.