The Pocono Raceway is one of the longest-running tracks in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, but a newly-repaved surface has turned an old acquaintance into one that apparently requires some time to get to know.
Despite the fact that the race has been shortened to a 400-miler after years more than 30 years of being a 500-mile trek, NASCAR is starting two days of testing today leading into the three-day Pocono weekend.
Drivers are of different minds as to the merits of spending five days in the Pennsylvania mountains, although the new race surface makes it a necessary evil according to Dale Earnhardt Jr.
"Yeah, I'm not real excited about being up there that long," Earnhardt told NASCAR.com. "I don't think anybody is, to be honest with you. [But] that's the schedule, and we'll go up there and just run around in circles.
"I know NASCAR is wanting to get enough rubber down so we have a good race," Earnhardt continued. "That's really the reason why we are going for so long, to really avoid any kind of debacle with rubbering the track down. There's really no other excuse for being there the entire week."