Pocono, Michigan to allow extra practices

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Teams will get extra time to figure out the new pavement at Michigan International Speedway and Pocono Raceway.

Tony Stewart talks with Morgan Shepherd before qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race.  FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Tony Stewart talks with Morgan Shepherd before qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race.

Cars will be allowed on the track for an additional two days prior to the Pocono 500 and one extra day before the Heluva Good! 400 at Michigan.

Both tracks were repaved since last year. Goodyear already has picked tires following a couple test sessions, but NASCAR felt it was necessary for teams to get more time on the track to make adjustments.

Practice will open on Wednesday before the June 10 race at Pocono, and Thursday before the June 17 race at Michigan.

QUALIFYING CONFUSION: Speedway Motorsports Inc. tracks generally run qualifying sessions a day before the main event. International Speedway Corp. track do it on Friday, two days before the big race.

NASCAR hopes to get everyone back on the same page next year.

SMI, which includes speedways at Las Vegas, Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Bristol, Tenn., Sonoma, Calif., and Loudon, N.H., believe their policy of having two practice sessions two days in advance of the race works better, while ISC, which includes Daytona Beach, Fla., Homestead, Fla., Talladega, Ala., Martinsville, Va., Richmond, Va., Brooklyn, Mich., Fontana, Calif., Phoenix, Chicago, Kansas City, Watkins Glen. N.Y., and Darlington, S.C., holds one practice in advance of time trialse.

The sanctioning body hopes to clear up confusion and get both organizations to use the same schedule.

JOHNSON RECOVERING: Legendary racer Junior Johnson is recovering at Duke University Hospital from staph infection following back surgery.

The 80-year-old former car owner and driver had surgery in 2009 for his back.

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