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Pocono's new boss, Brandon Igdalsky, changes up things for 2012...And it's Kurt Busch vs Jimmie Johnson in Saturday's Glen

  Igdalsky: 400 milers now at the New York City/Philadephia market track (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern


   Good news for NASCAR's drivers who have been complaining for so long that Sprint Cup races at Pocono Raceway, at 500 miles and nearly four hours, are just too darned long -- new track boss Brandon Igdalsky announced Wednesday that he was cutting the stock car tour's two 2012 Cup races back to 400 miles.

    Pocono, which has been running 500-mile NASCAR Cup events since 1974, will again host two Cup race weekends next season, the 400-milers on Sunday June 10th and Sunday August 5th
   "The 400 mile distance will make NASCAR racing at Pocono even more exciting," Igdalsky says.
   Certainly drivers will find the new distance more exciting.
   Plus, the variable mountain weather would become less of a factor. Sunday's 500 was halted for nearly two hours because of rain midway. And rain is of course typically an issue.
   "Race strategies will change...fuel mileage calculations will be altered...and I firmly believe our fans will be treated to outstanding racing at the 400 mile distance," Igdalsky said
    Igdalsky, grandson of the man who built Pocono Raceway, some 90-minutes west of New York City, took over full management of the track Friday, when Dr. Joe Mattioli announced that, at 86, he was stepping down and turning over the reins.
    NASCAR's Steve O'Donnell quickly supported Igdalsky's move: "NASCAR supports Pocono Raceway’s move to two 400-mile races in 2012.
   "We believe this will be a good transition for the fans and competitors. It will provide the teams with a new type of strategy and should make for even more exciting competition at a unique facility that has a long-standing history in our sport."
    Both 2012 Cup weekends will include ARCA races, and the NASCAR Truck tour will run a companion race August 4th.

    Meanwhile the Saturday Nationwide race here is suddenly shaping up as really something to watch: remember last Sunday's sharp run-in between Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch in the final miles of the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono, in a hard battle for third? Well, Busch has just entered Saturday's Nationwide race here, in teammate Brad Keselowski's Dodge....just a few days after Johnson announced he would be running the Glen's Saturday feature in a Dale Earnhardt Jr.-Rick Hendrick Chevy.
    Busch gets the call while Keselowski recovered from last week's bad injuries in a crash testing at Road Atlanta.
   "As Brad Keselowski continues to recover from the injuries," Tim Cindric, Penske Racing's boss, said.
   "Penske Racing is fortunate that Kurt, who is a former NNS winner at Watkins Glen, is in its stable of drivers. We appreciate him lending a hand during this time.
    "We will continue to monitor Brad’s recovery. His NNS schedule will be determined on a race-by-race basis."

You think this guy made this

You think this guy made this decision you better guess again.

Yay! We just got less for our

Yay! We just got less for our money. Now, if they'd just move another race to Kentucky...

Thus continues the dumbing-down of NASCAR

Is Ignatowski's nickname "Reverend"?

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