Traffic may have been an issue on certain roads and highways in the Poconos as the Fourth of July weekend came to a close on Sunday night.
But it wasn't a problem outside Pocono Raceway in Monroe County.
First, a very fast Pocono IndyCar 500 -- the fastest 500-miler in the open-wheel brand's history according to average speed -- concluded around 3:30 p.m., well before the heart of the mass exodus home from Pocono resorts and campgrounds was underway.
Second, the crowd at Pocono Raceway, generously estimated by press box veterans at about 20,000, quickly dispersed following the race won by Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya.
Montoya took note of the flag-waving, "Mon-toya!" shouting Colombian contingent in Pocono's vast grandstand and said in the postrace press conference: "I am amazed how many fans were in the stands today for an oval race. It was pretty cool."
Question is: Was it "cool" enough to warrant another IndyCar race at Pocono next year?
Pocono Raceway and IndyCar don't release attendance figures, but before the weekend Pocono Raceway track president and CEO Brandon Igdalsky tried to get the attention of the IndyCar racing fans by warning the race may not return for a third year because of lack of support. He called advance ticket sales "kind of scary."
Nick Igdalsky, the track's executive VP largely deferred comment to his brother on Sunday, but said: "We definitely picked up ... absolutely. So, it's very optimistic and we'll look into it a little further and see how it goes."
Brandon Igdalsky, who has always been accessible since succeeding his late grandfather, Dr. Joseph Mattioli, in running the so-called "Tricky Triangle" in Long Pond, declined interview requests on Monday.
However, he issued a statement, saying: "We had a nice crowd at [Sunday's] race. Concerning the future of IndyCar racing at Pocono, we will be talking to our fans and stakeholders as well as looking at all the final data and numbers from the weekend.
"We want to make IndyCar a part of Pocono's exciting future and growth strategy. The competition was great yesterday and we are excited about the direction that IndyCar's leadership is moving."
From that, it sounds like Pocono would like to bring IndyCar back next year and fulfill the third and final year of a contract.
However, it may not be in the same spot on the calendar.
If the schedule remains the same, next year's race would be held on Sunday, July 5.
Certainly, Pocono and IndyCar will have to weigh the merits of holding a race on the summer's biggest weekend in the heart of a region known for vacationers.
"Having it on July 4th weekend is always a hard one," said driver Graham Rahal, whose father and team owner Bobby Rahal enjoyed considerable success at Pocono in the 1980s and won the 1988 race. "A lot of people like to be at home with their families.
"If I had any sort of a suggestion, [the 4th of July] wouldn't be the weekend that we're trying to race here. That's just my opinion."
Racing legend Mario Andretti, who did his famous two-seater rides for Honda before the race and then spent the 500 miles with the pit crew for his grandson Marco, said that holding the race on the holiday weekend "could have a big effect."
"The Fourth of July weekend is traditionally a weekend that people like to do their picnics and everything else," Andretti said. "So, I don't know. It could be an issue. I know NASCAR also went this weekend, but going on Saturday night is a little different. During the day, people have to commit more time to it."
Before the race, Brandon Igdalsky offered the possibility that the 4th of July weekend could be a detriment to better attendance.
"Maybe it is and we're going to do a deep dive with people who were here this year and last year and people who may not have been here, but at least expressed interest, and we'll see if that's the reason," Igdalsky said.
Igdalsky said then he was being honest in expressing concern before the weekend and admitted that "being honest sometimes hurts people's feelings."
"I've gotten so many tweets from fans who are driving great distances to be here, but what about the 300,000 people who live locally?" he said. "We need a race in the Northeast. The data shows we have huge race fan populations and the Poconos are the No. 2 destination in Pennsylvania behind Philadelphia. So the people are already here and they're vacationing, especially on the 4th of July."
However, having a lot of people in the Poconos celebrating the 4th of July and having them come to a race are two different things.
"We don't have all the figures from this weekend, but we do know that most of our resorts were close to, or completely, sold out," said David West, vice president of marketing for the Pocono Mountain Visitors Bureau. "Most of the people come for the fireworks at the various resorts.
"IndyCar is a very specialized race and we do get a lot of people interested in that. It's one of the amenities of coming to the Poconos. It's not the biggest draw, however. We had a phenomenal weekend, largely because of the weather. But the crowds are mostly fireworks-driven."
West said that what helped Pocono's resort business was that the Fourth of July fell on a Friday and built into a three-day weekend.
"The holiday being on a Friday made it a special weekend," he said. "One of the things that may have happened is that because it became a three-day weekend, a lot of people wanted to find more family-oriented alternatives.
"Last year, the holiday was on a Thursday. People went back to work on Friday, so you didn't have that continuation. When people have a chance to extend their weekend, they're going to shift focus to the family resorts. The IndyCar fans who came were diehard fans who will always come, but the fringe fans who just wanted to do something on the three-day weekend were probably less likely to go to a race."
West said that the Pocono businesses get a boost from the large numbers of fans who come to the NASCAR races in June and August, although even those numbers are not where they were 10 or 20 years ago.
NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon took note of the difference last year when he attended the IndyCar race at Pocono and said: "When you drive in that tunnel [to get inside the Pocono infield] for an IndyCar race, and you drive in here for a NASCAR race, you get a perspective of how big our sport is."
Of course, 2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan shot back and said that there is also a difference at Indianapolis where the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" still draws well over 200,000 every Memorial Day weekend, about three times as many as the NASCAR event in late July draws.
Still, there's no question IndyCar has struggled in popularity for several decades and Gordon Kirby, who has authored several books and written for numerous motor sports publications, noted in the Pocono press room that over the past 20 years, 42 IndyCar racing venues -- including Nazareth Speedway, which closed in 2004 -- have shut down.
"We were all so happy to be back at Pocono, but unless it's supported it's going to disappear," Mario Andretti said. "Just like Nazareth."