Congrats to Danica Patrick and Cole Whitt for finishing in the top 10 in the Nationwide Series. Cole finished 7th and Danica finished 10th!
Also, congrats to Danica, who was voted the Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver!!!
|• Joe "Doc" and Rose Mattioli were each successful doctors in Philadelphia, he a dentist, she a podiatrist. Both were extremely hard working. In October 1960, Doc had to operate alone on two patients and when it was over he had the shakes. At that point he made a snap decision. "I said, 'The hell with it,' and from that day on, I didn't do anything I didn't enjoy. I learned how to fly, ski, sail -? all things I'd wanted to do. I took a year off, then invested in Camelback Ski Area and other Pocono businesses."|
|• One day when Doc had flown into the Poconos, a gentleman he met in the airport tried to talk him into investing in a local project. Just to get rid of him he gave him his card and told him to let me know when he had his next meeting. Six weeks later he called. Doc came up and got involved. The original investors had optioned 1,025 acres, a spinach farm, but they didn't have any money. The Mattiolis guaranteed the mortgage and ended up putting more and more money into the project until eventually they became the majority owners. "The track wasn't my idea I just got sucked in through the back door because I knew it was a good buy on the land. All the money I'd made off my other Pocono businesses went into the race track."|
|• There was not enough funding to build a superspeedway so the owners first built a three-eighths-mile oval that was finished in 1968. The 2.5-mile track was completed two years later. In order to be the Pocono PFC (Pretty, Friendly, Clean) raceway that it is today, the track and its surroundings had to withstand some serious difficulties and major reconstruction.|
|• The first race on the big track was an IndyCar race in 1971, but it was soon followed by nature's fury as Hurricane Agnes left behind tremendous damage in its path. Soon thereafter, Pocono Raceway's very existence was threatened by an economic and energy crisis. Due to the gas shortage and economy in the 1970s, the Mattiolis considered selling the track to new owners. Bill France Sr. met with them several times and persuaded them not to sell the track.|
|• The first Cup race at Pocono was August 1974, won by Richard Petty. A second Cup race was added in 1982. The track has hosted 68 races from 1974-2011.|
|• In August 2011, Doc resigned and turned over all his duties to his grandchildren. "It has to stay in the family," said Mattioli, in a June interview with "The Philadelphia Inquirer." "I put it in trust. They can't touch it. They can't sell it. The [SOBs] are going to run it, or they're going to starve." Track president and grandson Brandon Igdalsky added the additional title of CEO.|
|• On Jan. 26, 2012, Dr. Joseph Mattioli, age 86, died after a lengthy illness a little more than a month after he and his wife were awarded the prestigious National Motorsports Press Association's Myers Brothers award which recognizes individuals and/or groups who have provided outstanding contributions to stock-car racing.|
|• Pocono Raceway is the only family owned and operated of the 23 tracks on the Sprint Cup circuit.|