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NASCAR America: Stage racing will have strategy at ‘all-time high’ at Pocono

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The Cup Series travels to Pocono for the first time with stage racing and you can expect that to impact strategy for the Tricky Triangle, especially regarding fuel mileage and restarts.

Other than at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR’s new stage racing format has never been used at a track larger than 2 miles in cars without restrictor plates.

That will change this weekend at Pocono Raceway.

“I think this weekend stage racing (will result) in an all-time high in how people get after it,” NASCAR America analyst Slugger Labbe said. “If you’re not running good, you can pit early at Pocono if you’re 12 to 14 seconds behind the leader. You can pit early and not get lapped. It’s one of the few tracks we can do that at.”

The first two stages of the Pocono 400 are 50 laps longs, followed by a 60-lap run to the checkered flag.

“I’m really curious to see how crew chief takes this,” Labbe said. “Will people go after stage points or will they be setting themselves up for the win?”

Non-conventional pit strategies could likely lead to a fuel-strategy race, much like how the Pocono 400 ended last year, with Kurt Busch winning.

Watch the video to see Dale Jarrett explain the art of fuel saving at a track as unique as Pocono.