While the condensed schedule following the COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in back-to back races at the same track over a course of several days, this weekend at Pocono Raceway will mark the first time in the NASCAR Cup Series’ Modern Era (1972-Present) the series will run a pair of races at one track in consecutive days. First up will be the Pocono Organics 325 in partnership with Rodale Institute this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, followed by Sunday’s Pocono 350 at 4 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
The last time the NASCAR Cup Series raced on back-to-back days was on August 27-28, 1971, but the events took place at two different tracks – the first of the two races was at Columbia Speedway in Columbia, South Carolina, on Aug. 27 and the event was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty. The second race was at Hickory Speedway in Hickory, North Carolina, and won by Tiny Lund.
On June 25, the starting lineups for the Pocono Organics 325 in partnership with Rodale Institute (Saturday’s race) will be randomly drawn and announced on FOX Sports 1’s Race Hub from 6-7 p.m. ET. The Pocono Organics 325 will be 130 laps (325 miles) and the first stage will be 25 laps, the second stage will be 52 laps and the final stage will be 53 laps. Kyle Busch won this race last season becoming the eighth different driver to post consecutive wins at the track (July 2018-June 2019); joining Bobby Allison (1982 sweep and June 1983), Bill Elliott (1985 sweep), Tim Richmond (1986 sweep and June 1987), Bobby Labonte (1999 sweep), Jimmie Johnson (2004 sweep), Denny Hamlin (2006 sweep and 2009-2010) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2014 sweep).
Then following post-race inspection of the first Cup race at Pocono, the starting lineups for the Pocono 350 (Sunday’s race) will be released. The lineup will be set by inverting the top 20 finishers in the first race and the drivers that finished 21st-40th will start in the position they finished the first event. The Pocono 350 will be 140 laps (350 miles), the first stage will end on lap 30, the second will end on lap 85 and the final stage will end on lap 140. Denny Hamlin won the second (July) Pocono race last season, his fifth series career Pocono victory.