Wilson Drives Sonny's Car to the Front of the Field in Sunday's Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis, INDIANA (May 27, 2012) – Justin Wilson showed winning form, charging from 21st on the starting grid to third place on multiple occasions during the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500 Sunday afternoon.
Wilson showed the crowd of more than 300,000 spectators that the No. 18 Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Honda was a fast car as he jumped from his starting 21st position to 12th place within the first ten laps of the race.
"No doubt about it we had a top three car today," said Wilson. “We would get shuffled back a few spots, but then immediately come right back in a lap or two.”
The 33-year-old from Great Britain showed winning form all day by running as high as third place on three occasions. Two confusing restarts late in the race delegated Wilson back to ninth and tenth, but yet on each occasions with the pressure of the end of the race nearing, Wilson would climb back to third challenging the eventual winner Dario Franchitti.
“The car in front of me slowed me up and kept me from getting a fast restart,” said Wilson. “The wind also played a factor today as it was very difficult to pass in turns one and two. The team gave me a great car to drive today.”
Wilson would eventually end the race in seventh place as the race finished under the yellow flag due to a crash on the final lap.
“We have raced here several times and our best previous finish was fourth,” commented Dale Coyne. “Yet today we showed today that we can run strong enough to win this race.”
The race was the hottest Indy 500 ever (93 degrees), but was even hotter on track with a record total of 35 lead changes.
It also was Wilson’s third top-ten finish in the first five races of the 2012 IndyCar season.