Earnhardt wants NASCAR to shorten Pocono races to 400 miles

LONG POND, Pa. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. believes the time has come to shorten the distance of the two Sprint Cup races at Pocono Raceway.

Both Pocono events are 500 miles, which is 200 laps on the 2.5-mile triangle-shaped track. The events take close to four hours to complete.

"I think the races are too long here," Earnhardt said Friday. "I think that's obvious. I think NASCAR thinks it's too long, but the people in charge of that will not change it for whatever reason. Just for spite maybe, I don't know. But they don't have to be out there running."

Earnhardt said the fans are the key to getting the Pocono races shortened.

"I feel like the fans might consider it," he said. "The majority may feel it's too long. I'd like to see a poll on that. It seems like NASCAR listens to the fans. I read a lot of polls online, more than I read articles, just to see what the fans really think."

Earnhardt believes both Pocono races should be 400 miles.

"It's a big, big race track," Earnhardt said. "It's no different really than running at Indy [the Allstate 400] and that's 160 laps. It's a 400-mile race and that's probably what this should be."

Terry Blount covers motorsports for ESPN.com. He can be reached at terry@blountspeak.com.