IndyCar’s Triple Crown is gone but at least The Tricky Triangle has been salvaged. RACER has learned that Pocono will definitely return for the 2016 Verizon IndyCar series in the form of a 500-mile race sponsored by ABC Supply.
Pocono president Brandon Igdalsky and IndyCar’s Mark Miles couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon but it’s believed the race will be held on Aug. 21 – three weeks after the second of two NASCAR Sprint Cup shows on the 2.5-mile oval.
At the moment it would appear to be IndyCar’s lone August race unless a date can be worked out with Gateway Raceway in Madison, Ill.
Built for Indy cars in 1971, Pocono played host to USAC and CART from 1971 through 1989 before coming back in 2013. The first two races were held on the July 4th holiday weekend and produced weak crowds so the date was switched to Aug. 23 this year (pictured) and IndyCar claimed attendance was up.
Igdalsky told RACER last month that his track wanted five major events in 2016 and IndyCar was one of them if a suitable agreement could be reached.
In addition to sponsoring A.J. Foyt’s two-car effort in IndyCar, ABC Supply has been the title sponsor at Milwaukee the past three years before adding Pocono in 2015. Sources say ABC staying on board was the main reason Pocono re-upped.
Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., was the third leg of the Triple Crown but didn’t renew is contract for 2016.