Record-Breaking NASCAR Crowd Celebrates Denny Hamlin’s Victory at Pocono Raceway
Racing Sports

Record-Breaking NASCAR Crowd Celebrates Denny Hamlin’s Victory at Pocono Raceway

denny hamlin

As Denny Hamlin emerged from his winning Toyota at Pocono, the cheers of triumph were met with a cacophony of boos from the packed crowd. The displeasure was directed at Hamlin for his aggressive move that resulted in Kyle Larson’s car colliding with the wall during the final laps of the race.

The boisterous reaction of the crowd was a testament to the massive turnout at Pocono, with the NASCAR race selling out and boasting its largest attendance since 2010. The surge in numbers was largely attributed to the track’s decision to reduce one race weekend and implement a series of fan-friendly upgrades, enhancing the overall experience at the facility that has been hosting NASCAR races since 1974.

Despite the impressive turnout, NASCAR tracks typically refrain from releasing official attendance figures. However, Pocono President Ben May revealed that the track sold around 50,000 grandstand tickets and 3,300 camping spots for the event, leaving no room for additional spectators or vehicles.

To accommodate the influx of fans, Pocono embarked on a significant makeover, including the demolition of the old victory tower, which was replaced with new viewing decks providing a breathtaking view of the start/finish line. The addition of food trucks, increased fan access for driver introductions, and a revamped victory lane further enhanced the spectators’ experience. In the hours leading up to the race, long lines for driver autograph signings and Q&A sessions with drivers snaked through the garage area.

One of the unique aspects of Pocono is that it is one of the few tracks not owned by NASCAR or Speedway Motorsports. The motivation behind the makeover, as stated by May, was to ensure that Pocono remains an attractive destination on the NASCAR schedule. The track had been known for hosting two 500-mile races approximately six weeks apart during the summer for decades before losing a weekend in 2022.

May expressed a strong belief that Pocono deserves its place on the NASCAR circuit, given its 50-year history with the sport. Plans for the next phase of improvements for the 2 1/2-mile tri-oval track nestled in the mountains are yet to be revealed and are likely to coincide with the signing of the new TV deal.

Despite being a smaller entity in the vast realm of NASCAR, May emphasized the track’s pride in delivering a memorable experience to its dedicated fans. Pocono’s legacy remains in the hands of the family of its founder, Joseph Mattioli, with his grandson, Nick Igdalsky, serving as the Pocono CEO.

For Denny Hamlin, the disapproval from the crowd did not dampen his joy at the packed stands and filled infield and campground. He praised the exceptional efforts of Nick Igdalsky and his team in continuously investing in the facility, expressing hope for the return of the thrilling race weekend to Pocono every year.

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