Pocono Memories

By Susan Phillips

I didn’t really know how to feel about Pocono. It took me a full day to really get a feel for the place. Basically, we drove to the track and back and didn’t see much of the surrounding area. If IndyCar goes back to Pocono, maybe we will spend a little more time in the area.

We stayed in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania which is about 35 miles east of Pocono Raceway. It was surrounded by beautiful rolling mountains, and I saw several ski shops that had seen better days. What struck me most about the area was the affordability of the food and lodging. We had some really good meals that were less than $50 with alcoholic beverages. I didn’t go for the Taylor Roll, which is a processed ham that is popular in New Jersey, but we had some really good meals.

taylor pork roll

My family is from the Lebanon, Pennsylvania area and I was thrilled to find John Cope’s Dried Corn in the grocery store. I managed to get a few bags in my suitcase. It’s a family tradition at our dinner table at the holidays—my kids grew up on it. It is kind of a pain to prepare, since you basically have to reconstitute the corn, but it is worth the wait. It just has a really good sweet corn flavor. It reminds me of my grandparents and the summers we spent with them in Pennsylvania.


Race day was a whirlwind, starting with our pace car ride. We did have some down time and got to reconnect with some of our race friends. We were privileged enough to have a great vantage point for the beginning of the race on a media perch on top a billboard. I was going to take a few shots up there at the beginning of the race and then go down to track level and take some more shots.

Me and camera


Two seater

newgarden rossi


Little did I know that we would find ourselves standing directly over where Felix Rosenqvist’s car took flight onto the catch fence.

05rosenqvist crashclo

All of a sudden we heard the screech of tires and were subjected to what felt like a sandstorm. When the dust settled, we realized that we had the best view of probably the most controversial part of the race. We were a little concerned for Rosenqvist because his car landed so far away from the rest of the cars that were collected in the melee. We could see movement, but no one was rushing to get him out of the car. We also saw that even with the nose and wheel tethers, those parts of the car still become disengaged when the car hits the fence as Rosenqvist’s did.

fixing fence2

All in all it was a very exciting race as we were standing near Liz Power when the race was stopped for lightning in the area. It had been a two-bottle race for her, as she stood clutching the mangled remains of two water bottles. Then Will came over to stand near us and the waiting game began for the weather to hit and the cars to return to the track or the race to be called in favor of Power. Then doomsday struck and we all ran for cover.


liz will

As I was running to the Media Center, I literally ran into a fan who was completely lost, as she didn’t know where she had parked her car. It was just about to pour down rain and I thought the nice folks in the Media Center would have a map of the track to help her get her bearings. She kept asking me “Why are you being so nice and helping me?” and I thought it was the least I could do—I can’t imagine running around the grounds of a race track and trying to find my way in the pouring rain. We finally figured out where she might have parked, and as she was leaving, she pulled something out of her backpack and handed it to me. It was a dried four-leaf clover in a small container. She told me her grandfather used to collect them and she had recently found that one and had been carrying it around with her. She said she didn’t know why she had it with her, but then she said it was meant to be for her to give it to me. And she did. In turn, I gave it to Liz Power’s mother to give to Liz and Will in remembrance of the luck they had with the rain at Pocono.

Here are a few more random shots from my first trip to Pocono. I hope it won’t be my last.








power pitting




weather trucks

pocono weather

12 Responses to “Pocono Memories”

  1. Those are your best pictures yet Susan! Glad you all made it out of that crash unscathed, that was scary. Hope to see you two this weekend!

  2. Awesome pictures! Were you playing peek a boo with Rossi? Lol seriously, glad you had a good time.

  3. Alan Stewart Says:

    The photos gave me a chuckle … Ganassi … Newgarden … George.

    Good stuff.

  4. Great pictures Susan. I’ve been going to Pocono since they returned. Would be completely upset if they never came back. Being from Connecticut doesn’t leave too many choices or opportunities for IndyCar racing. Hoping they’re back. If not I guess I might have to plan a trip to Richmond

  5. billytheskink Says:

    Excellent shots. I want to frame the Chip Ganassi one.

  6. Great work as usual, Susan. Thanks so much for posting and sharing your experiences at Pocono. So happy you both enjoyed your time in the area.

  7. Thanks to you and George for your great coverage yet again.

    I just wish the drivers would have had more patience and given each other enough room and had actually driven in a respectful way towards each other and towards the track like they do at Indianapolis.

    That first lap accident actually looked like what people on iRacing would do because of their general lack of experience. It’s sad that it happened to real people and equipment.

  8. Another awesome series of photos from you Susan, though a bit corny. Good subject choices (who is that grade school kid in the Gainbridge cap?) Good framing of your photos. You have skills girl. This is a very entertaining enjoyable post. I think you could get a job in the IndyCar PR department. You have skills girl.

  9. Susan, you seem to have an excellent camera and you sure know how to use it. I would be interested to know more about your camera, such as make and model, etc.

  10. Leslie E Bissell Says:

    Fantastic pictures Susan! The four leaf clover story is a classic!

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