Stage lengths announced for Watkins Glen, Pocono races

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At least two tracks have announced the length of stages that will be implemented this season as part of enhancements to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series.

NASCAR announced on Jan. 23 that it would add stages to every NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series race this season. The top-10 finishers of each of the first two stages will be awarded additional points, with the winner receiving one playoff bonus point.

At Watkins Glen International, the road course will have stages of different lengths for both series.

For the Cup race, the first two stages will be 20 laps each: Laps 1-20 and Laps 21-40. The final stage will go from Laps 41-90.

For the Xfinity race, the first two stages will also be 20 laps each: Laps 1-20 and Laps 21-40. The final stage will go from Lap 41-82.

“The new stage-based format is going to further drive excitement and close racing at Watkins Glen International,” WGI President Michael Printup said in a media release. “Finishes at The Glen have been historically exciting for our great fans, especially in recent years, and we can’t wait to see what these changes do for the competition here.”

At Pocono Raceway, the Pocono 400 (June 11) and Pennsylvania 400 (July 30) will have identical three-stage formats.

The first two stages will go 40 laps each with an 80-lap final stage from Laps 81 through 160.

“We are excited to be part of such collaboration and enhance both the race and fan experience,” Pocono Raceway President & CEO Brandon Igdalsky said in a release. “This new format will now create three winning moments instead of one and should lead to some incredible racing.”

Stage lengths for the June 10 Pocono Green 250 Xfinity race and the July 29 Pocono Mountains 150 Camping World Truck Series races at Pocono are still to be determined.

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