Chicagoland: Justin Wilson race report

Justin delighted with surge to 7th at Chicagoland 29-August-2010 - Justin and the No. 22 Z-Line Designs car had the pace when it counted and scored a satisfying 7th place finish from 23rd on the grid in Saturday night's action-packed Peak Indy...

Justin delighted with surge to 7th at Chicagoland

29-August-2010 - Justin and the No. 22 Z-Line Designs car had the pace when it counted and scored a satisfying 7th place finish from 23rd on the grid in Saturday night's action-packed Peak Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. A troubling practice session on Friday morning forced a radical rethink on set-up which transformed the No. 22 car, allowing it to run with the lead pack for most of the race. Dario Franchitti (Chip Ganassi Racing) took victory, Dan Wheldon (Panther Racing) was runner-up and Marco Andretti (Andretti Autosport) rounded out the podium. Justin's DRR team-mate, Ana Beatriz, finished 24th in the No. 24 Dad's Root Beer car after spending Laps 78 to 162 in the garage for repairs. She brushed the wall on Lap 77 after a car ahead checked up suddenly.

Justin was able to make some progress during the early stages of the race, but struggled with understeer during the opening stint. He pitted off-sequence from P21 on Lap 9 for fuel, and then with the leaders on Lap 60 from P19, where the addition of half a turn of front wing improved the balance. After that he moved steadily through the field to P11 before the next pitstops on Lap 80 and settled into a groove between P13 and P16 through his last two pitstops on Laps 138 and 172.

The last of the stops was made under yellow by the entire leading pack and the final 20 laps after the restart showcased the intense, three-wide racing for which the Chicagoland track is renowned. Justin emerged from the stops in P14, made his leap into the top-8 on Lap 182 and worked the gaps at over 216 mph to secure 7th at the chequered flag, just 0.59 seconds behind Franchitti.

"I think we had a pretty good race car," said Justin. "Everyone at Dreyer & Reinbold Racing had great pit stops and gave me a good car. We just tried to make sure that we made the most of it. It was pretty exciting those last ten laps. There wasn't any lifting happening. You had to keep it flat and look for the gaps. I'm just really happy to get a good result for Z-Line Designs."

In all Justin made up 16 spots from his 23rd place starting position, a feat acknowledged by his nomination for the Firestone Tire-ific Move of the Race Award. The $10,000 price is awarded after each IZOD IndyCar Series race to the driver best utilizing his or her Firestone tires to make a bold, dramatic move during the event. You can vote for Justin until Wednesday at www.indycar.com.

Justin and the Z-Line Designs team will aim to build on this momentum as they head south to Kentucky Speedway for the Kentucky 300 next Saturday night (4 September).

-source: justinwilson.co.uk

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Dario Franchitti , Dan Wheldon , Marco Andretti , Chip Ganassi
Teams Andretti Autosport , Panther Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing