While the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series schedule was released on Monday, March 25, 2019, this writer has waited a week to get his thoughts together. Rather than complain about a good schedule, which including a correct prediction on this writer’s part (Martinsville as the second to last weekend of the year), it is time to focus on Pocono. The Pocono part of the schedule will be the most intriguing for 2020 and should be expanded on focus.
The Pocono weekend in 2020 will be on June 27 and June 28, involving two Cup races on the same weekend. Two cup races the same weekend. That is a first for modern NASCAR history. There are not a lot of details on how the races will work. Both Cup races are right now 400 mile races (reduced from 500) and 160 laps long. The races are still at times very boring. The August also suffered from a lot of rain issues. Multiple races were rain-delayed or rained out. This changes things significantly with a June date.
The 2020 Cup races are going to be interesting because if they are back to back days, they are probably going to see another reduction in sizes, maybe to 300 miles (120 laps). This would make most races probably about 2.5 hours long instead of 3-3.5 hours with the 400 mile route. 300 miles would probably make most fans happy for a shorter race. It would make broadcasters happy and be cheaper for race teams in supplies. On a bonus, with the reduction to a single weekend, teams will be saving money by not having to commute to Pocono twice in a year.
One of the more intriguing questions that will be dealt with in due time involves the scheduling of the weekend. Pocono’s ownership (Mattco) has noted that the same weekend will have the ARCA, Xfinity and Truck series races all in the same weekend. To put this in perspective, it means a five race weekend. That is something unheard of in this day and age. Most tracks have at most a three-race weekend between NASCAR and ARCA. A five race weekend means at least five practice sessions, five qualifying sessions along with five races. That will be worth every penny if you are staying the whole weekend, but it is going to be a jam-pack weekend, especially with a track that has no lights and needs to finish by sunset, which is 7:43 and 7:44 on June 27 and 28, 2020.
Look at it this way: you could put the Truck and ARCA practices on Thursday and their races on Friday, along with qualifying for both series and practices for both Cup and Xfinity. You can put the Xfinity race on Saturday before the Cup race and qualifying. You can also leave ARCA to Friday, then put the Trucks and Xfinity on the Saturday and Sunday morning area. It would be cheaper for ARCA teams to be a one-day show and have practice, qualifying and racing on Friday. Either way, it will be bananas.
NASCAR has set up potentially one of the greatest weekends in history for June 25-28, 2020 and we should be embracing it.
Gambling this season? Want to try it just to see what it feels like? Go to MyBookie.ag and use promo code ARMCHAIR25 at checkout. They will match your deposit dollar for dollar. Putting in $100? You’ll now have $200.