If NASCAR is looking for that X-Games factor to help lure a younger fan, this weekend’s race at Pocono Raceway could provide that based on driver comments about the bumps in the tunnel turn.
“It’s unbelievable,’’ Joey Logano said Friday. “I figure Travis Pastrana would be really good here with the jump in the tunnel turn. It’s brutal. It’s a big, big jump. The front tires are completely off the racetrack. That’s hard inside your race car to try to figure out how to get over that for the driver. For the team, if you try to fix that, you hurt the rest of the racetrack.
“Everyone might be calling it bumps, but I think it’s big enough to call it a jump. When we get into a race situation, the guy on the inside there, he’s not going to be able to hold the bottom very well, I think. It depends if we get better (Saturday). We’re all going to try more things (Saturday) to try to make it better.
“It may promote some passing, possibly. It’s not going to promote much two-wide racing through the (turn), but it might off the corner because cars can make a mistake and go up the racetrack and you can lose momentum and a car can pass that way.’’
Jeff Gordon admits the bumps in that corner will “make it an interesting race.
“It seems like at speed you can get through there and get over pretty good. It gets your attention, but if you were inside of a car or something like that, it’s really going to get your attention. It might make for a great race and add some unique challenge that we weren’t expecting.”
The change is due to the harsh winter the Long Pond, Pa., track experienced. Repairs are expected to be made before the Cup series returns for its Aug. 2 race there. IndyCar also races there Aug. 23.
“It was just a really, really difficult winter,’’ Dale Earnhardt Jr. said. “We did have some bumps through there last year, and they have just got more severe. I think they’re going to take some time in between the events to fix that. Having talked to (track officials) today, I feel that they understand that while we can get through this weekend with what’s back there right now, it’s probably not in their best interest to leave it as is because it will continue to get worse. I don’t think we can get our race cars through there if it gets much worse.
“It was pretty wild. It’s just very severe bumps. I would be worried if they had not been aware of it and not had any interest in fixing it.’’