IndyCar drivers expect Pocono to be spectacular after first test

IndyCar drivers have responded enthusiastically to the resurfaced Pocono after testing on the track for the first time since CART raced there in 1989

IndyCar drivers expect Pocono to be spectacular after first test

Marco Andretti, Will Power, Simon Pagenaud and Dario Franchitti ran on the 2.5 mile tri-oval on Wednesday to evaluate tyres ahead of the series' return to the Pennsylvania circuit in July.

The track, which has long been a mainstay on the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule, has undergone significant upgrades over the years, and Pagenaud said that based on first impressions, it will be a valuable addition to the IndyCar calendar.

"It's very different to any of the ovals we go to," he said. "Certainly with my little experience on ovals, it was quite surprising on the first few laps because it's really fast out there.

"The track is really smooth - the surface is awesome for the IndyCars. The speeds are quite impressive already. That's a good sign."

Power said that he also enjoyed his first taste of the track, although he admitted that its unusual configuration could make it a handful in a poorly set-up car.

"It's a really nice track, very smooth with the resurfacing," he said. "It's very fast. I've already been wide open all the way around, [so] maybe a little bit heavy on downforce, but nice.

"Turn 3 is very much like Indianapolis. Turn 1 is like a mile and a half [oval]; a lot of banking. But, yeah, it's fun if your car's good. If not, screw that, I don't want to be out there."

Franchitti, who raced at Pocono in 2008 during his stint in NASCAR, said that the key to the track was settling on a good compromise between its different sections.

"You're always going to be better at one corner than another," he said. "The trick is to figure out which one you can give away the most in order to still be competitive.

It's going to be a very good race."

Pocono joins the Indianpolis 500 and Fontana in making up IndyCar's revived Triple Crown this year, with a $1 million bonus on offer to any driver who can win all three races.

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