Summer is just around the corner and there’s no better vacation retreat in the Northeast than the Pocono Mountains. One of the area’s main attractions is Pocono Raceway, which hosts two NASCAR races and one IndyCar race during the summer. Whether you’re a motorsports fan or not, there’s more than enough fun to spread around to people of all ages at Pocono Raceway.
Pocono Raceway is one of the most unique racing venues in the country. The track, known as “The Tricky Triangle,” has three turns – all different angles – and contains the longest front stretch in motorsports.
Behind the grandstand is Fan Fair. This ticketed area features interactive sponsor display areas, merchandise locations, kids’ areas and more. It also hosts driver appearances.
When hunger strikes, dive into the countless food options the venue offers such as hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken tenders, fries, BBQ, pizza, London broil and sausage sandwiches, to name a few. There are beverage carts located all around the track serving both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. If you choose, you can also bring in outside drinks; the venue allows coolers filled with the beverage of your choice in the grandstand.
Pocono Raceway holds three motorsports event weekends each year. Each weekend has three days of racing, leading up to the main event on Sunday. The Pocono 400 takes places on June 2. The race is part of the NASCAR Cup Series. The following month, Pocono Raceway hosts another NASCAR Cup event when the Gander RV 400 rolls into town on July 28. The Poconos racing season culminates with the ABC Supply 500 IndyCar Series on August 18.
Watching a race from the stands is one thing, whipping around the track yourself is another. If you’ve got the need for speed, Pocono Raceway has you covered. The Stock Car Racing Experience allows guests to get behind the wheel of a NASCAR style stock car and travel up to 160 mph around the famous 2.5-mile raceway. The experience includes a one-hour training session and all necessary safety equipment. Guests can also choose to get the experience from the passenger seat by catching a ride with a professional instructor.
Pocono Raceway also offers Pro Kart racing, Exotic Car driving experiences and rentals of three-wheel Polaris Slingshots.
The Pocono Raceway Air Show
Motorsport races aren’t the only big-ticket event during the summer. Be sure to mark your calendars for the weekend of August 24-25 when The Great Pocono Raceway Air Show flies into town. The event will feature four hours of aerobatic entertainment and re-enactments. Numerous pilots will showcase their dazzling skills, as will the U.S. Army Golden Knights, one of only three Department of Defense-sanctioned aerial demonstration teams. Guests can watch the Golden Knights parachute from the sky in precise formation.
The event features other entertainment for all ages with multiple displays and vendors in Fan Fair, kid-friendly activities, helicopter rides, exotic car rides and more. Tickets start at $15. Children six and under are admitted for free, and tickets for children between the ages of seven and 12 are half price.
Fun for the Kids
There’s more than enough fun to be had for kids during race weekends. What’s even better is that it’s all free. Children 12 and under receive free admission tickets to the 100 and 200 levels of the grandstand for all Friday, Saturday and Sunday events during NASCAR and IndyCar event weekends. They also receive free entry to Fan Fair, which includes the Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital Kids Zone.
Poconos Raceway will also host the Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital Kids Day on July 27. The family-friendly day features numerous activities including face painting, bounce houses, clowns, photo booths, a book mobile and more. There will also be displays from the Crayola Experience, Sky Zone, Legoland Discovery Center of Philadelphia, Monroe County Habitat for Humanity, American Red Cross and many other organizations. All activities are free for kids ages 12 and under as well as adults who have gate admission to that day’s race.
The raceway is also home to the The #PoconoMtns Inclusive Playground, a 5,000-square-foot playground designed for children of all ages and abilities to play together. The playground is open to the public throughout the spring, summer and fall, free of charge.
Fun for Everyone
The fun doesn’t stop when the races are over. The Infield Block Party is home to a live concert stage, whiffle ball field, kid’s activities, food, beverages and so much more. The block party is open Friday and Saturday nights during NASCAR race weekends, with live bands playing from 6:00 pm to midnight. In addition, Poconos Raceway hosts fireworks shows on Saturday nights. The Infield Block Party is open to all camping guests free of charge on Friday and Saturday, and to the public on Saturday for a $10 donation per vehicle. The proceeds go to the local fire company.
Even pets are invited to get in on the fun. Pocono Raceway’s Bark Park is the first dog park located inside a NASCAR and IndyCar track. The park is within a fenced-in area on the infield and includes obstacles and plenty of room for dogs to roam.