Posted by Pete Pistone
Pocono Raceway has joined Talladega and Martinsville in hosting Saturday Sprint Cup qualifying sessions this season. The Pennsylvania track announced it would move its two traditional Friday time trial activities to Saturday for both the June and August visits to the 2.5-mile speedway. Additional practice is expected to be added to the Friday track schedule in each case.
The move is speculated to be the latest in a series of schedule-tightening initiatives that may see other tracks follow suit. NASCAR continues to see ways to save teams money and eliminating days spent on the road would significantly lower travel costs for organizations.
While the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series have both added several one day shows in recents years which include practice, qualifying and racing all completed in a single day, don't look for anything quite that drastic on the Cup side.
However with stand-alone qualifying day attendance lagging at many venues, moving time trials to Saturday provides tracks with an opportunity to offer fans a more value-added preliminary day ticket with a schedule that would include qualifying, practice and a support race.