IndyCar leaves Pocono Raceway off 2020 schedule

 

IndyCar released its 2020 schedule Sunday and Pocono Raceway was left off the list.

Pocono is affectionately known as the "Tricky Triangle." It's a moniker given because of the track's unique shape.

The triangular shape, with its long straightaways, contributed to races with multiple lead changes and at times multiple crashes.

IndyCar Driver Justin Wilson died after being hit in the head with a piece of debris at Pocono in 2015.

Promising young Canadian driver Robert Wickens was paralyzed from the chest down after a crash in 2018.

There was also a five-car pileup in the first lap of this year's race.

The crashes left a dark cloud over the otherwise storied track when it comes to open-wheeled racing.

Some drivers criticized the track while others stood up to defend it.

The first 500-mile Indy race was held at Pocono back in 1971.

Now, the three-quarter mile oval track in Richmond is replacing Pocono Raceway on the schedule.

Pocono CEO Nick Igdalsky thanked IndyCar fans and drivers after learning the news.

"On behalf of the entire Pocono Raceway family, it has been a joy getting to know the teams and partners, many of whom have become dear friends," Igdalsky said in a release. "We thank all the drivers who dazzled us with their talent and heroics, as well as those drivers who spoke in support of Pocono during their recent visit. We sincerely wish IndyCar and their competitors best of luck with the remainder of the 2019 season and beyond."

Igdalsky also extended a "thank you" to Nazareth native and IndyCar great Mario Andretti.

His family owns and operates the Andretti Autosport racing team. Andretti has been one of Pocono Raceway's biggest supporters through the negotiation process.

The decision of IndyCar to exclude Pocono has no impact on other popular races at the track, including NASCAR and NASCAR Truck Series races.