Utah: Justin Wilson race report

Hard-fought finish to 10th at Miller after alternator problem The No. 60 Lexus-Riley of Oswaldo Negri, Mark Patterson and Justin Wilson was hoping to race into the winners circle for the second year in a row at Miller Motorsports Park, but...

Hard-fought finish to 10th at Miller after alternator problem

The No. 60 Lexus-Riley of Oswaldo Negri, Mark Patterson and Justin Wilson was hoping to race into the winners circle for the second year in a row at Miller Motorsports Park, but after an alternator belt became dislodged early in the race the team was forced to stop to make five battery changes to keep the car moving forward. The drivers battled through the field after each set-back, but in the end had to settle for 10th place at the chequered flag.

"After the way the race ended up here last year, we obviously had some high hopes for today," said team owner Mike Shank. "Our cars showed the kind of pace that would have put us in a strong position if we didn't have the problem that we did. I'm proud of my guys and the effort and attention to detail that they all put in this year. We wanted more than we got today, but we'll get a good night sleep tonight and then start thinking about how to do better next year."

The problem was particularly frustrating given the great pace shown by the three drivers. Making matters worse was that it had happened multiple times during the season, including once when it took the No. 60 car out of the lead at Daytona and then again from the lead at Watkins Glen. On Saturday, the problem cost the team one position in the team championship standings to close out the season. "It's one thing to have a problem when you are running back in the pack, but to have such a good car, but have to spend so much time in the pits, it was a frustrating way to end out the season," said Oswaldo. "I have to thank the team because they put so much effort into the car all season. They should be really proud of themselves."

Mark Patterson put in a strong performance behind the wheel of the No.60 car just a few days after a serious bicycle accident. "I am just glad the team let me drive this weekend!" he said. "I loved being out there and just getting into a good rhythm and keeping a good pace. It's a shame what happened with the battery problem because we could have been on the podium again here no question."

For Justin, the Miller event marked his return to Michael Shank Racing and to Daytona Protoypes. He enjoyed himself during the weekend, even though the alternator problem muted the outcome somewhat. "Obviously the problem we had was very frustrating, but I had a lot of fun racing these cars again," said Justin. "I enjoy racing with this team and hopefully we can do this again."

-credit: justinwilson.co.uk

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Series GRANDAM