Opened in 1968 as a three-quarter-mile track, Pocono Raceway held the first race on the 2.5-mile track in 1971. The first NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway was on August 4, 1974, and the event was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty (Dodge, 115.593 mph). In total, Pocono Raceway has hosted 84 NASCAR Cup Series races producing 46 different pole winners and 36 different race winners. NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott and Ken Schrader are tied for the series-most poles at Pocono with five each. NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon leads the series in wins at the 2.5-mile raceway with six victories.
Of the 36 previous series Pocono winners, 11 are entered this weekend, led by Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin with five victories; including winning the series’ most recent visit to Pocono last July. If Hamlin wins this weekend he can tie or surpass NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon for the series-most wins at Pocono Raceway with six trophies. Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at Pocono Raceway with 17 victories – Jeff Gordon (six), Tim Richmond (three), Jimmie Johnson (three), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (two), Kasey Kahne (one), Geoff Bodine (one) and Terry Labonte (one). Joe Gibbs Racing has the second-most series Pocono wins with 14 – Denny Hamlin (five), Kyle Busch (three), Bobby Labonte (three), Matt Kenseth (one), Joey Logano (one) and Tony Stewart (one).