lt’s been close to five decades now since the first NASCAR Cup Series race was run at Pocono Raceway, a race won by Richard Petty. Since that day in 1974, some of the biggest names in NASCAR history have taken at least one checkered flag on the 2.5-mile tri-oval known as “The Tricky Triangle,” including Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, Dale Earnhardt Sr., Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, and Jimmie Johnson.
But of all those incredible drivers listed above, none are in the top three on the list of drivers with the most NASCAR Cup Series victories at Pocono Raceway. As for those who are, you’ll certainly see some big names in there as well. Let’s take a look.
Darrell Waltrip, Rusty Wallace, and Tim Richmond each have four NASCAR Cup Series wins at Pocono Raceway
Tim Richmond was the first NASCAR driver to win four Cup Series at Pocono Raceway, taking his first checkered flag there in 1983 at the Like Cola 500. In 1986, he won both the Miller High Life 500 and Summer 500 and then won a third consecutive race at “The Tricky Triangle” with a victory at the 1987 Miller High Life 500.
Darrell Waltrip earned his first Cup Series victory at Pocono Raceway in 1978 with a win at the Coca-Cola 500. He took his second checkered flag three years later with a win at the Mountain Dew 500, which was followed by a 10-year winless streak on the track before he won the Champion Spark Plug 500 in 1991. Waltrip picked up his fourth and final victory on the track the following year at the Miller Genuine Draft 500.
Rusty Wallace earned the first of his four victories at Pocono Raceway in 1991, winning the Miller Genuine Draft 500. He then emerged victorious at the 1994 UAW/GM Teamwork 500, the 1996 Miller 500, and the 2000 Pennsylvania 500.
Bill Elliott won five times at ‘The Tricky Triangle’
Bill Elliott made 48 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Pocono Raceway from 1976 to 2008 and took five checkered flags. After four consecutive finishes of sixth or better in 1983-1984, he won both the Van Scoy Diamond 500 and Summer 500 in 1985.
Elliott then went on to back-to-back victories at the AC Spark Plug 500 in 1988 and 1989, and won his fifth and final race at “The Tricky Triangle” in 2002 at the Pennsylvania 500, the 42nd of his 44 Cup Series victories.
Jeff Gordon and Denny Hamlin each have six NASCAR Cup Series wins at Pocono Raceway
Gordon took his first checkered flag at Pocono in his seventh start on the track, winning the 1996 UAW/GM Teamwork 500, which he followed up with a victory at the 1997 Pocono 500. After finishing second in each of his next two starts on the track, “The Rainbow Warrior” earned his third win at Pocono at the 1998 Pennsylvania 500. After a nine-year winless drought at “The Tricky Triangle,” Gordon won the 2007 Pocono 500 and later went on to win the 2011 5-Hour Energy 500 and the 2012 Pennsylvania 400.
As for Hamlin, he took an immediate liking to Pocono Raceway as he swept both races on the track during his Rookie of the Year season in 2006. He again won back-to-back races at Pocono a few years later, taking the 2009 Sunoco Red Cross 500 and the 2010 Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500. Like Gordon, Hamlin suffered through a nine-year winless drought at “The Tricky Triangle,” but picked up win number five at the 2019 Gander RV 400. He then took checkered flag number six at the 2020 Pocono 350.
Stats courtesy of Racing Reference