Ahead of Pocono Raceway’s yearly NASCAR festivities in July, the Pennsylvania-based facility is gaining additional exposure by helping the track’s local government in a time of need – combining two things that don’t usually mix well: NASCAR and highway driving.
This week, the track received a phone call from the office of Josh Shapiro, Governor of Pennsylvania, with a request to send one of the track’s jet dryers to Philadelphia, in order to help repair a section of an overpass that collapsed earlier this month on Interstate 95.
On June 11, a section of the northbound side of Interstate 95 (I-95) in Philadelphia collapsed when a tanker truck caught fire underneath it, forcing the section of road to be indefinitely closed due to the damage.
At this point, a temporary fix is nearly complete, which would allow the road to reopen and traffic to continue flowing. However, to finish the project, the new pavement will need to remain dry so that lines can be painted.
With rain looming in the forecast for Philadelphia over the weekend, the biggest potential hold-up with the plan’s completion is keeping the surface dry, hence the request for a jet dryer courtesy of NASCAR and Pocono Raceway.
A Tweet from the account of Governor Josh Shapiro reads: “To rebuild I-95 on time, we need 12 hours of dry weather to complete the paving and striping process. With rain in the forecast, we reached out to [Pocono Raceway] for help – and they’re bringing their jet dryer to [Philadelphia] to help dry this section of I-95 and keep us on schedule.”
To rebuild I-95 on time, we need 12 hours of dry weather to complete the paving and striping process.
With rain in the forecast, we reached out @PoconoRaceway for help — and they're bringing their jet dryer to Philly to help dry this section of I-95 and keep us on schedule.
— Governor Josh Shapiro (@GovernorShapiro) June 22, 2023
The facility was more than willing to assist its local government officials in the rebuilding of the Interstate, replying to Governor Shapiro’s Tweet with the following message: “We are honored to be asked to lend a small hand if needed to assist in the re-opening of I-95. It is inspiring to see the hard work that has went in by the men and women around the clock here in Philadelphia.”
We are honored to be asked to lend a small hand if needed to assist in the reopening of I-95.
It is inspiring to see the hard work that has went in by the men and women around the clock here in Philadelphia.
— Pocono Raceway (@PoconoRaceway) June 22, 2023
This temporary fix, constructed by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, will likely allow the interstate to reopen just more than two weeks after the initial collapse of the overpass, despite first reports stating a resolution could keep the road closed for months.