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Denny Hamlin's Victory Draws Pocono Raceway's Biggest NASCAR Audience in Over a Decade

Pocono Raceway sells out NASCAR race, sees largest crowd since 2010.

Denny Hamlin emerged from his victorious Toyota, but instead of cheers, he was met with a chorus of boos from the massive crowd at Pocono. This sold-out NASCAR race had the largest attendance since 2010, and the dissatisfaction was palpable.

The surge in attendance can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, Pocono lost one race weekend, which created a sense of urgency among fans to attend the remaining event. Additionally, the track underwent several fan-friendly upgrades, enhancing the overall experience. Pocono has been hosting NASCAR races since 1974, and these changes were aimed at ensuring its continued presence on the NASCAR schedule.

While NASCAR tracks typically do not disclose attendance figures, Pocono President Ben May revealed that around 50,000 grandstand tickets and 3,300 camping spots were sold. The demand was so high that the track reached its maximum capacity, leaving no room for additional cars, RVs, or people.

The transformation of Pocono was evident in the removal of the old victory tower, which was replaced with new viewing decks. These decks offered fans an unparalleled view of the start/finish line, and they were packed with enthusiastic spectators. The atmosphere was electric as fans eagerly awaited driver introductions and engaged in autograph signings and Q&A sessions with their favorite drivers.

What sets Pocono apart from other tracks is its independence. Unlike many NASCAR-owned or Speedway Motorsports tracks, Pocono remains an independent entity. May acknowledged that part of the motivation behind the track's makeover was to ensure its attractiveness and viability within the NASCAR circuit.

For decades, Pocono hosted two 500-mile races, spaced approximately six weeks apart during the summer. However, in 2022, the track lost one of its race weekends. Despite this setback, May expressed confidence in Pocono's place on the NASCAR schedule. With 50 years of history behind it, the track is determined to continue improving and delivering a top-notch experience for fans.

Looking ahead, May admitted that the next phase of improvements for the 2 1/2-mile tri-oval track is uncertain. Plans will likely be revealed once the new TV deal is finalized. May emphasized that Pocono may be a small fish in the vast NASCAR pond, but the track takes immense pride in its ability to meet and exceed expectations.

In conclusion, Denny Hamlin's victory at Pocono may have been marred by the boos from the crowd, but it cannot overshadow the incredible turnout and the efforts made to enhance the fan experience. Pocono's commitment to growth and improvement ensures that it remains a prominent fixture in the world of NASCAR.

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