An aerial view of Indianapolis Motor Speedway might lead you to believe that the speedway has four symmetrical corners, but that couldn't be farther from the truth from a driver's standpoint.
"It's a real technical track, and if you're just looking at the race track, you would assume that all the corners look relatively similar," said Dale Earnhardt Jr. "…But, to be honest, all the corners are really different, and as odd as it is, they are extremely different from each other. Turn 1 is really tight and feels and appears as (an) indication to how the car drives that it's a much tighter and shorter-radius corner -- and each corner after that appears to be less so.
"The car certainly doesn't drive the same through them characteristically year after year. (What makes it) a technical track is the fact that the car drives differently in each corner, and you have to start adjusting on the car and trying to improve on something at one end and not ruin something at the other end of the track and make problems for yourself at the other end. That makes it a bit of a challenge -- a good challenge."
Earnhardt had difficulty finding a happy medium in Saturday morning's practice session. His No. 88 Chevrolet initially was tight, but adjustments in the final 20 minutes threw the car from too tight to too loose. Earnhardt finished the session 30th on the speed chart.