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From the Marbles

Dale Earnhardt Jr. not exactly thrilled with extra time at Pocono

Jay Busbee
From The Marbles

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Whole lotta testing going on at Pocono next week. (Getty Images)

Ah, Pocono. The punch line to a thousand NASCAR jokes. And now, even NASCAR's favorite son is dumping on you. It's almost enough to make you feel sorry for the ol' Tricky Triangle. Almost.

Speaking at Dover on Friday, Dale Earnhardt Jr. didn't even try to sugarcoat his words at the thought of spending more time in Pocono: "I'm not real excited about being up there that long," he said of an upcoming test sesssion. "I don't think anybody is to be honest with you. That's the schedule and we'll go up there and just run around in circles."

Ouch. Still, both Pocono and Michigan have new surfaces, so drivers want to get a handle on how the new surfaces will run and help prepare the track for the demands of next week's Sprint Cup race.  "That's really the reason why we are going for so long, to really avoid any kind of debacle with rubbering the track down," Earnhardt added. "There's really no other excuse for being there the entire week."

Interestingly, the Pocono testing overlaps Tony Stewart's "Prelude to the Dream" charity event next week. So many drivers will test on Wednesday, jump on a plane to race at Eldora, then jump on another plane (well, probably the same one, but you get the point) to return to Pocono for the next morning's testing. Twelve Cup drivers (though not Earnhardt) are slated to participate in Stewart's event on June 6.

Earnhardt did concede that he heard the track is in "excellent shape," so perhaps it's simply a case of not wanting to spend much time in Pocono itself. Any recommendations for what Junior can do while he's in Pennsylvania to keep himself occupied?

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