No two race tracks are alike, but many have similarities. The 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway, with its three different turns, is certainly distinctive, but the layouts of the three turns are familiar.
Turn One is patterned after the old Trenton Speedway. Turn Two is based on Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Turn Three is like the Milwaukee Mile.
Brian Wilson, crew chief of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Mustang driven by Harrison Burton, respects Pocono and enjoys trying to take advantage of the opportunities the track offers.
“Pocono has always presented a unique challenge in the schedule,” Wilson said. “It’s deserving of the ‘Tricky Triangle’ nickname.
“Trying to get each corner to handle in a similar manner, along with ride quality through the bumps and trying to keep drag out of the car, are all points of discussion any time you prepare to race there.”
Wilson predicts the new cars that debuted in the Cup Series this year will race differently at Pocono than the earlier versions.
“We expect that the draft on the frontstretch will come into play with the new car, which should lend itself to some exciting moments heading into Turn One,” he said. “I also look forward to the strategy aspect any time we head to Pocono. You can really call the race like a road course which opens up the options.”
Wilson said the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team also will try to build on the successes they had in recent weeks.
“Lately we’ve been able to get the No. 21 Mustang up front to lead laps on strategy,” he said. “We’ll try to do the same this weekend to get a great result.”
While Burton has not raced at Pocono in the Cup Series, he has experience there in ARCA, the Xfinity Series and the Camping World Truck Series. He won an ARCA race there in 2018, and finished third in a truck race in 2019.
Practice for the M&Ms Fan Appreciation 400 is set to start at 2:35 p.m. on Saturday followed by qualifying at 3:20.
Sunday’s 160-lap race is scheduled to get the green flag just after 3 p.m. Stage breaks are set for Laps 30 and 95.
USA Network will carry the TV coverage on Saturday and Sunday.