Weren't we just in Pocono? Not like just last week, but we were there about a month and a half ago. It's something about the NASCAR schedule that I never quite seemed to understand, the two Pocono races have always seemed to be too close to each other.
I mean I get it. You don't want to be in Talladega or Phoenix or even here in Kansas in the heat of the summer, so Pocono's two dates kind of get shoved together. I still seems odd.
None the less, here we go, back to Pocono. It is a distinct track, with three corners and three straight aways, that is a challenge for drivers and crew chiefs alike. Most will tell you, they have to give up something on at least one of the corners to be good around the rest of the track.
"That race track is three completely different corners," said Greg Biffle. "The tunnel turn still has a have an emphasis on it, getting through the tunnel good and you can say each ones important and they all are. But passing gets set up if your not good or slow across the tunnel."
In the June race, shifting returned to Pocono, making it feel more like a road course than a superspeedway.
"This is a tough place to win. I'll be honest," said race winner Jeff Gordon back in June. "This is a tough place to win at. I do think the shifting made survival a little bit more important today, in today's race, than what we've seen in the past because you're just shifting more, so you throw that extra element in there. It can put you in position to make more mistakes."
Not that this place needs more of that. While fans may at times find the track boring. Drivers find it challenging.
"It's one that's always a challenge," said Matt Kenseth. "It's not one that I necessarily one I look forward to. You always look forward to going to your best tracks. But I enjoy the challenge and trying to get better there."