Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Aiming to Fix Past Mistakes In Brickyard 400 At Indianapolis (BleacherReport.com)

By Jerry Bonkowski  
   INDIANAPOLIS -- He's won at some of the sport's largest and most popular venues, including Daytona, Talladega and Texas.
   Yet Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been a conundrum throughout Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s career, with just two top-10 finishes in 12 starts.
   But given the outstanding and consistent season he's had thus far in 2012—with one win, eight top-5s and 10 top-10 finishes in his first 19 races—Earnhardt could wind up finally breaking his run of bad luck at the fabled 2.5-mile oval in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Brickyard 400.
   "We’re coming here with pretty high expectations, coming off what’s been one of my best years maybe in my career," Earnhardt said. "We like coming here. We like the history of the race track; the history here is incredible all the way to when it was shut down through the war. How they had to renovate the place and bring it back. Just how it was able to survive a lot of things like that. Here we are racing on it today. It is just incredible."
   Earnhardt isn't the only driver who has been confounded by IMS. Passing opportunities there with a stock car are very limited. Try to go three-wide into a corner and it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that you'll either have to lift off your gas pedal or risk being part of a wreck.
   "(IMS) is a challenging place," Earnhardt continued. "One groove and you fight getting aero-tight behind people. You know when you show up for practice what you need out of your car. We’ve been working on our car today and hoping that we can get it to doing the things that I want it to do and it needs to do.
   "The cars aren’t a real dream to drive, but I don’t know that even when they are fast they drive very well. We liked the speed the car has.
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