POCONO RACEWAY — IndyCar Racing took over Pocono Raceway over the weekend.
However, the future of the sport at the track near Long Pond is up in the air.
Nearby businesses say they rely on race weekends.
“It would be a shame for them to lose any of the races. It’s really important to all the businesses alike. Whether it be retail, service, restaurants, rentals, you name it. It would be a shame to lose that for sure. It’s super valuable for everyone and we enjoy having the fans,” said Bill VanGilder, Vangilder’s Jubilee Restaurant.
Officials at Pocono Raceway tell Newswatch 16 they have offers out to IndyCar to host an event next year. However, the decision is now up to the organization.
The track wants racers back and so do managers at Mountaintop Lodge at Lake Naomi, where many race fans stay.
“You hate to see things leave. I know they have said over the years they are leaving, leaving, then they left and came back then they leave again. Hopefully, they don’t do that,” said Beth Banner, Mountaintop Lodge at Lake Naomi.
Managers at Mount Pocono Beverage tell Newswatch 16 that even though they aren’t all that close to the racetrack, they still do get a lot of business during race weekends. They hope everything works out.
Ed Renaldo manages the store in Mount Pocono. He says he just got over losing a NASCAR race weekend next year, with a doubleheader planned for June.
“All of the races at Pocono Raceway are huge business weekends for us. Our numbers increase every year and we would see the hurt on it if we were to lose another race,” said Renaldo.