Craig Murto

Craig Murto

Kyle Busch won the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race at Pocono (Pennsylvania) International Raceway on Sunday but it’s what will take place at the track in 2020 that is interesting.

Pocono will continue to host two Cup races, but they will fall on the same weekend. On Saturday, the track will have both a NASCAR Truck race and a Cup race, and then on Sunday, the track will host an Xfinity Series race and a second Cup race. Not only that but on Friday expect an Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) race. That’s five major events in three days. It sounds like a great vacation plan.

There are a lot of questions regarding the Cup races. Will they be 400 miles in length, or will they be shorter? Will one race be longer than the other? And will fans be able to purchase weekend packages, or will each race be sold separately? What will happen if one or both Cup events are affected by weather?

Despite the current unknowns, it’s a brilliant move on a number of levels. First of all, it generates a lot of excitement around the weekend. The Cup series has never pulled off an event such as this. It also benefits the speedway in that it keeps two Cup races, but only needs to open for one weekend, saving labor costs.

IndyCar just ran a doubleheader weekend at Belle Isle, near Detroit. Those Saturday and Sunday races were won by Josef Newgarden and Scott Dixon, respectively. The Belle Isle races have been successful for a number of years. Hopefully, Pocono will have just as much success.

The Short Track U.S. Nationals at Bristol (Tennessee) Motor Speedway was Saturday, and the pits were full of cars. Former Cup regular Mike Skinner put on a clinic to win the 100-lap Pro Late Model feature, and Stephen Nasse came back from a loose wheel to grab the lead from Casey Roderick with four laps remaining to win the 100-lap Super Late Model event.

Just a bit north of Bristol in Radford, Philip Morris and Mike Looney each won Late Model Stock Car features at Motor Mile Speedway. At South Boston, Peyton Sellers and Lee Pulliam each won a Late Model feature. And at Dominion Raceway in Thornburg, Doug Barnes swept the twin Late Model features, but only after fighting off Sergio Pena.

Shenandoah Speedway hosted the Super Cup Stock Car Series, and their twin features were won by Jon Kerley and Kevin Kromer. At Winchester Speedway, Trever Feathers won both the Limited Late Model and the crate-engine Late Model features.

Justin Weaver’s win in the Late Model Sportsman portion of the Hub City 100 at Hagerstown (Maryland) Speedway was emotional, as he dedicated the win to his grandmother, who died earlier in the week.

There is plenty of good racing coming up in June. On Saturday, the Championship Auto Racing Series (CARS) Tour will race at Langley Speedway in Hampton. The CARS Tour has averaged 27 cars at each event this season.

On June 15-16, the regional Sports Car Club of America racing continues at Summit Point Raceway in West Virginia, near Berryville. Spectators are admitted free of charge, and that includes those who wish to camp overnight. How can you not take advantage of that deal?

The weekend of June 22-23 will be busy, and a good chance for you to do the double. On June 22, the CARS Tour will be at Dominion Raceway. One of the Late Model Stock Car competitors is Josh Berry, driving a car owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. On June 23, it’ll be time to head to Hagerstown Speedway for the Frank Sagi Memorial. Sagi was the voice of Hagerstown and other local tracks for decades. Gates open at 4 p.m. so that races finish in time for you to get home and get ready for Monday’s work day, so there’s no excuse not to enjoy a Sunday evening at the tack. A special guest this year will be former dirt Late Model and NASCAR racer Tom Peck. Peck and other racers will be available for autographs.

June wraps up with a 200-lap Late Model Stock Car race and fireworks at South Boston on June 29. All of the biggest names in NASCAR Late Model Stock Car racing will be there. Hopefully, you’ll be there, too.

Veteran motorsports columnist Craig Murto is a Linden resident.