Originally written on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 11/13/14

AVONDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 13: Kasey Kahne, driver of the #9 Budweiser Dodge, waits by his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 13, 2009 in Avondale, AZ. (Photo by Darrell Ingham/Getty Images)

 

Speed – and plenty of it – has been the buzz word at newly repaved Pocono Raceway as teams prepare for Sunday’s Pocono 400 Presented by #NASCAR.

On Thursday, Kasey Kahne put down the overall fastest lap at 179.490 mph during the afternoon session. A.J. Allmendinger set the pace in the morning session at 177.190 mph – well ahead of the 175.380 mph fast lap Mark Martin recorded on Wednesday. In contrast, speeds topped out around 170 mph last season before the track’s resurfacing.

Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition, said the test was a success from NASCAR’s perspective.

“It’s been really smooth,” Pemberton said. ”All in all it’s been really positive in the garage area. [The track is] definitely faster but with the amount of grip that’s here, you’ll see the grooves widen out. With the 400 mile race and the outstanding job Goodyear did with these tires, I think we’re in for an exceptional weekend.”

Drivers pointed to the different feel of the track due to the re-pave, both in visual cues and overall speed.

“The race track is very fun in the sense of how they graded it and smoothed it out in different places,” said Denny Hamlin, a four-time winner at Pocono. “It’s still Pocono, but it drives very different than what it used to. You’re getting a feel of a lot of different race tracks here within the Pocono Raceway.

“You’re going to see massive dive bombs going into the corner trying to get position. My estimation – you’re going to see a lot of excitement,” Hamlin said. “Anyone who takes time trials on Friday is going to break the track record (172.533 by Kasey Kahne in June 2004). All the cars should break the track record easily. Really, you drive it totally different than what you used to.”

“When we were here at the tire test (in April) there was only seven of us, it was really cold and not a lot of rubber was getting put down on the racetrack,” Allmendinger said. “With [41] cars out there, there’s a lot of rubber. More than anything, you’re just learning how the track changes and what your car does with that rubber on the race track.”

Some who spoke offered a bit of good news for drivers with rocky Pocono resumes. This version is a bit different than the previous Tricky Triangle.

“It feels like a new racetrack to me,” said two-time Pocono winner Carl Edwards. “Took me a minute to get used to just the different visual cues, and braking points and transitions into the corners. The way you drive into Turn 1, you can be much more aggressive on the throttle, you can be really aggressive on the breaks. It will be an opportunity to really shake things up here. I think the guys that normally run really well here won’t have an advantage any more. It’s a new day.”

NASCAR PR

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

FCS star QB considering transferring to Oregon

Gronk on interest in his partying: 'I'm a baller'

Jim Harbaugh looking to flip No. 1 quarterback recruit

Colts' suspension of Richardson voids $3.1 million

Five players replacing the biggest names in Pac-12 for 2015

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Broncos hire Phillips as defensive coordinator

LeBron James misses Cavs-Blazers game due to wrist injury

Iceman: Thompson’s 37-point quarter doesn't break his record

Mayweather visited Pacquiao’s hotel room for private meeting

Seahawks GM: Russell Wilson's contract 'presents challenges'

JR Smith: Lack of partying in Cleveland is better than NY

Phil Jackson's old Knicks teams used to deflate balls

David Blatt: There should be more LeBron MVP talk

Richard Sherman, girlfriend expecting son during SB week

WATCH: Marshawn, Gronk play Mortal Kombat with Conan

Armstrong: I’d use PEDs again under same circumstances

Top five free agent quarterbacks

Report: NFL investigators to consult physicist on Deflategate

5 X-factors for Super Bowl XLIX

Best prop bets about the Super Bowl broadcast

Ten worst teams to ever play in a Super Bowl

Marshawn's new stiff arm to media: You know why I'm here

Six MLB teams going all-in on 2015

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Blatt wants more LeBron MVP talk

Best Super Bowl ads of all-time

5 X-factors for Super Bowl XLIX

Ten worst teams to ever play in a SB

Six MLB teams going all-in on 2015

Patriots' keys to Super Bowl victory

Seahawks' keys to Super Bowl victory

DeflateGate ball could fetch $50K

Doug Baldwin ready for Revis Island

Top storylines for Super Bowl XLIX

Barnes unhappy with NBA over fine

Does MLB need more offense in the modern game?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.