After a snoozer of a June race, Pocono is adding traction compound in the corners

Nick Bromberg

Pocono is modifying the track ahead of its second Cup Series race of 2019 because the first race wasn’t very good.

The track said Wednesday that it would add traction compound in parts of all three corners for its July 28 race weekend. The tacky substance will be added to the third lane in Turns 1 and 3 and in the second lane from the inside in Turn 2, with the goal of creating additional grooves for drivers to run side-by-side.

“The addition of the traction compound in all three turns should allow for more side-by-side racing in the corners with more lane choice for drivers,” Pocono CEO Nick Igdalsky said in a statement. “In the end, we want fans attending and watching on NBCSN to see a competitive and enjoyable race.”

Drivers were critical of the way the June 2 race went, the first at the track with NASCAR’s higher downforce and lower horsepower rules. The lack of horsepower along with the increased downforce led to a single-file race with minimal passing opportunities.

Race winner Kyle Busch had this to say as soon as he got out of his car celebrating his victory: “I passed one guy on the outside of Turn 3 and that was the only guy I needed to pass, I guess. It was hard otherwise.”

NASCAR also had changed the gear rules for the race and those rules prevented drivers from shifting down to third gear to get additional acceleration and RPMs off the corners.

“I’ve been an advocate for using traction compound at Pocono for a while now,” Denny Hamlin said in the track’s statement. “It gives us more lane options as drivers, and that’s what this current aero package needs. I think this will help put on a better show for the fans.”

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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