LONG POND, Pa. -- Pocono Raceway made history in 2016 in a way that no track would ever want to make it.For the first time in NASCAR history, a track had both of its races postponed. For a track that saw?Dale Earnhardt Jr. sweep both of its races in 2014 (a track promoters and many fans dream), it got the promoters and fans bad dream in 2016.Its awful luck, said Pocono Raceway president Brandon Igdalsky after the rainout. Kyle Busch gets the great [pole/race sweep] record last week and we get the awful record this week -- way to go, good for us.At the end of the day, I literally feel so awful for the fans that were here. We had a great crowd. I just hope they all come back [Monday].Pocono, while having a little bit of a rap for bad weather, did not have a rainout since August 2009 before this Junes race was postponed for a day. Then the July race Sunday was postponed because of rain, making it back-to-back rainouts for the track.Tracks often see a drop in renewals the year after a rainout -- some in the industry estimate it results in renewals 10 percent lower than the previous year -- so consecutive rainouts cant help at all.With so many local race tracks in Pennsylvania and a passion for all forms of motorsports (the Andretti family hails from about 30 miles away), Igdalsky hopes his fans are understanding.The Dale sweep [in 2014] gave us a great bump last year, Igdalsky said. We held on to that bump and had an increase this year, which was great. Its way too early to tell [the impact].People realize Pocono is a great place to be. ... The fans have shown that. Weve got the best fans in the sport.Pocono is the only track so far this year to have a Cup race postponed (the Sprint Showdown was postponed to the morning of the Sprint All-Star race).What could make matters worse for Pocono races in the future are the 3 p.m. ET starts for the races at the track next year.The race was postponed Sunday at 2:43 p.m. ET because it had taken three hours to dry the track earlier. With sunset at about 8:20 p.m., there wasnt enough time to dry the track and get it started -- NASCARs policy is not to start a race that it couldnt reasonably get the full race (about three hours) in as long as it didnt rain.With the 3 p.m. starts next year in hopes of attracting a bigger television audience, any rain delay could result in a rain-shortened race or postponed race.At least with the 3 oclock start, were going to know early if were not going to get the track dry, Igdalsky said. Thats the good thing about it. Im curious to see how the 3 oclock is going to work out. Ive got my feelings both ways on that one.I agree to an extent, and I disagree to an extent. ... I was a little bit hesitant towards it but well see what it means. Our fans have been right down the middle.Xfinity Series: Making most of opportunityErik Jones made the most of his opportunity of having the best car at Iowa Speedway. After losing the lead on pit stops, he took 77 laps under green before passing Ty Dillon with 16 laps remaining.It was the way a driver with the best car should race -- not making any mistakes and waiting for the best opportunity to pass.[Dillon] did a good job playing aero games and getting us behind and I was working hard trying everything I could and finally I got a really good run when he got hung up with the lap[ped] car and [I] was able to get clear of him, Jones said.I dont know if ... I would have been able to get around him straight up. But once you got in clear air, I felt really good about it.Jones wasnt the only driver to take advantage of having a good car at a stand-alone event.Chip Ganassi Racings Brennan Poole finished fourth. Dakoda Armstrong, driving the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 car in place of Matt Tifft (recovering from brain surgery), was fifth. Josh Berry, the JR Motorsports late-model driver who raced the No. 88 car, was ninth.I kind of struggled there through the middle [of the race] -- lost a lot of track position -- but there at the end, the car just kind of came to life, Armstrong said. If we would have done a better job of holding on to track position, we would have had a shot at an even better finish. [It was] still a good finish.Camping World Truck Series: Make it five for ByronWilliam Byron won his fifth Camping World Truck Series race of the season by capturing the victory Saturday at Pocono Raceway.Byron has gone from struggling on restarts and not necessarily being a weekly favorite to being able to handle restarts and handle the different pressure of entering a race as the odds-on favorite.The pulse on pit road prior to the race Saturday was that it was Byrons race to lose. He led 44 of the 60 laps at Pocono and lost the lead on only one of six restarts -- and on that one, he was back in the lead after another lap.Having the confidence that you know you can win -- its so much easier when you have a fast truck because you dont have to think about much before the race and what you have to change, Byron said. Thats what we came in to today with the mindset of and it worked out.Byron set the record for most wins by a truck rookie. Jaguars Hoodies Jerseys Sale . 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Now the big question: How do the teams match up?The tournament not only features Olympic-like rosters for Canada, Sweden, Russia, Finland and the Czech Republic, but it also includes the most intriguing group in Team North America, which is made up of all under-24 stars from Canada and the U.S.The addition of North America and Europe (players from European countries not named Sweden, Russia, Finland or the Czech Republic) adds a layer of competitiveness that does not always exist in the Olympics. It also makes the tournament a much tougher call than just assuming Team Canada will run away with the best-in-the-world title.Of course, the Canadians are still the favorites, but in order to get a clearer view on how well other teams stack up, lets look at Hockey Prospectus author Tom Awads projected 2016-17 goals versus threshold (find more information on GVT here) for each roster:Note: Players who did not play primarily in the NHL in 2015-16 do not have projected GVTs.Group ATotal GVT per player: 11.5The players left off of Team Canada could form a team and still be among the favorites in this tournament. Canada has the worlds best player, Sidney Crosby, in a familiar position of top-line center, and whoever they play alongside him will be a superstar. Matching lines against Canada is a fools errand, as they can use the most dynamic scorers in the sport like John Tavares and Steven Stamkos in offensive situations, and elite shutdown two-way players like Patrice Bergeron and Jonathan Toews in defensive situations.Canada also sports defending Norris Trophy winner Drew Doughty and the defenseman with the best shot in the world in Shea Weber. Oh, and they have the 2015 Vezina Trophy winner, Carey Price, in goal. Good luck, world.Total GVT per player: 9.9Many have noted some of the surprising roster decisions made by Team USA when it came to adding players like Justin Abdelkader and David Backes to create a strong defensive roster. The only true one-dimensional player is last seasons Hart Trophy winner Patrick Kane. Everyone else in the forward group is known for being able to slow down opponents offensive attacks.Its a strategy that worked back in the 2010 Olympics, but it may be a tough road to travel here against the blazing speed and skill of other clubs. The USA defense group lags behind the other top teams, too. Jonathan Quick is a terrific goaltender, so that is the only area where USA matches up with the top teams.Total GVT per player: 5.1The team that will likely struggle the most to keep up with the pace is the Czech Republic. Fans in their respective markets understand how under-appreciated Michael Frolik, Martin Hanzal and Ondrej Palat are, but they are excellent complementary players, not play-driving stars. And those three, outside of Jakub Voracek and Tomas Plekanec, are the best forwards the Czechs have.Their defense would be well below average by the standards of an NHL team, as they dont sport a single top-four NHL blueliner; obviously, this is a problem when other teams are stacked with multiple All-Stars. The bright spot is the goaltending; Michal Neuvirth nearly stole a playoff series last spring, and Petr Mrazek is one of the NHLs top young rising netminders.Total GVT per player: 6.3Great idea for a team, but still not enough talent. Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar has a little more to work with than when hes played for his home country of Slovenia, but its not going to be enough to win the World Cup. Edmonton center Leon Draisaitl looks like he could soon become a top-end player, and Roman Josi is a star on defense, but the rest of Team Europe is made up of well-past-their-prime stars like Marian Hossa, Marian Gaborik and Zdeno CChara, and complementary players like Mats Zuccarello and Nino Niederreiter.ddddddddddddThere isnt enough skill or speed to keep up in a best-of-the-best format. And Europe definitively has the worst goaltending in the tournament, even if Thomas Greiss is coming off a solid playoff run with the Islanders.Group BTotal GVT per player: 8.3If we were ranking which teams had the best forward group, defense and goaltending, Team Sweden would be close to Canada on defense and goaltending. They sport the most mobile and skilled blue line in the tournament, with former Norris winner and top-scoring defenseman in 2015-16 Erik Karlsson to go along with two defenders who should soon win a Norris of their own, in Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Victor Hedman. And they are back-stopped by Henrik Lundqvist, who has not fully turned the Best Goalie in the World title over to Price.Unfortunately for the Swedes, their forwards arent close. An NHL team featuring all of these players would be dominant, but in this tournament of star-laden sides, they will have a tough time getting the job done.Total GVT per player: 8.5If the young guns are motivated to show the world they are the next wave of NHL talent, Canada might have a challenge on their hands. The next generational player Connor McDavid leads the team -- which could make for an awesome McDavid vs. Crosby matchup in the medal round -- and he is flanked by blazing-fast stars all over the ice. Jack Eichel, the second overall pick in 2015, and 2016 No. 1 overall selection Auston Matthews will be difficult matchups, even for the best in the world.The defense group is made up of players who could all soon be No. 1 franchise defensemen, outside of Aaron Ekblad, who is already a top-pairing star for Florida. But given the relative inexperience, this D group may have its ups and downs. Goaltending was a question when we first learned of this tournament two years ago, but it certainly isnt now with Stanley Cup winner Matt Murray in net. Speed, skill and effort may give Team North America a shot.Total GVT per player: 7.2The Russians group of wingers is marvelous, with Vladimir Tarasenko, Nikita Kucherov and Alex Ovechkin leading the way. Beyond their best wingers, however, Russia is going to have a difficult time keeping up with Sweden and North America in their group (let alone a matchup against Canada if they make it to the medal round). While Artem Anisimov is a strong two-way center, he isnt an elite player, and Pavel Datsyuk is past the days where he could match up against top-flight opposing centers.The defense corps is well below the level of the other top teams, though Russia does have three strong goalies in Semyon Varlamov, Sergei Bobrovsky and Andrei Vasilevskiy. They will have to hope to convert a high number of power-play opportunities, and lean on great goaltending in order to make noise here.Total GVT per player: 6.0For whatever reason, Finland always seems to make life difficult on the favorites in any international tournament -- if not earn a medal or win the thing outright. They often build the club around hard-working, two-way players, which may play in their favor when every team expects to light up the score board.Finland is far from the most talented at any of the three positions, but they do have a No. 1 center who should be considered the next Jonathan Toews or Anze Kopitar in Aleksander Barkov. The major question is: Where will Finlands offense come from? Though No. 2 overall pick Patrik Laine has had some success on the international stage already, they are otherwise short on big-time point producers. And of course, they will have strong goaltending, with Tuukka Rask in the nets. Cheap NFL Jerseys China Discount NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys 2019 Cheap Jerseys 2020 Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China ' ' '