'This was a long race for me'.
On a record setting day of Verizon IndyCar Series oval action, Justin Wilson persevered to bring the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Dale Coyne Racing Honda/Dallara home in 14th place in the Pocono 500 on Sunday.
Wilson opened the race from 16th on the grid, and fell back to 20th in the order in the early laps as he worked to cope with an understeering car.
With three distinct corners, the track is a challenging one for drivers and engineers alike. Using all the tools at his disposal, Wilson was able to make some forward progress to move up to 16th before making his first pit stop on lap 31 of the 200 lap race distance.
That 31-lap gap between fuel stops repeated itself through several stints as the race stayed under green flag conditions on the way to setting a new IndyCar speed record for a 500 mile race. With no cautions to reset the pack or make up ground, Wilson had to make the most of what he had, fighting to stay on the lead lap as long as he could and then trying to employ an alternate fuel strategy to ultimately close the race out 14th in the order.
"This was a long race for me,” said Wilson. “We struggled for pace all day and weren't even able to make good enough fuel mileage to go for that kind of strategy. I tried my best to stay on the lead lap and get back with the pack on a caution but since it went green for so long, it was just a matter of time before the leaders caught me. I guess we just have to put this one behind us and look forward to the next two weekends in Iowa and Toronto."
Up next will be the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway on Saturday, July 12. Wilson will look to improve on the 11th place finish he scored at the track in 2013. Two weekends from now will see the Verizon IndyCar Series move back to the streets of Toronto, where Wilson will look to return to victory lane as IndyCar stages another doubleheader race weekend in front of a passionate and knowledgable fan base.
Dale Coyne Racing