Justin takes the flag in 15th place at Homestead-Miami Speedway
Running in his first oval race for two years, and only the 6th of his career, Justin took the #02 McDonald's Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing car to a 15th place finish in his IndyCar Series debut.
Justin had qualified 17th for the Gainsco Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway but started from 15th when two higher placed drivers were disqualified after qualifying.
There was a clean start , and Justin made his first stop on Lap 20 during the first caution of the race for debris. On the restart, Will Power (KV Racing Technology) came into contact after drifting down from the high line, resulting in a flat right rear tyre on the #02 car and terminal damage to Power's own front suspension. By the time the tyre was replaced, three laps had been lost to the leaders.
Justin ultimately made a total of seven stops, and ended six laps behind eventual winner Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing). This earned him 15 championship points.
After a race that was more about getting laps under his belt than a genuine shot at victory, Justin had this to say about the incident with Power: "I got caught out on the restart. You can race as soon as they shout ‘Green' and it had been green for about four seconds when they started to close down on me. I had a car on the left, I was in the middle and there was a car on the right. I was the meat in the sandwich. Will Power was on the right and I'm not sure why he was coming down as much as he was, but it just got too tight. The contact caused a puncture and we lost three laps, then it was pretty much a case of trying not to lose much else and hang on".
Speaking about his car, Justin said: " The McDonald's car was working really well. I was very pleased that we were quicker than a lot of people. Everyone has worked so hard over the last four weeks. It's good to complete our first IndyCar Series race and now I'm a lot more confident. I think our race pace is far better than our qualifying pace. I know we have work to do but this gives us something to build on. We will go to Sebring on Tuesday to get an idea of how these cars feel on a road course, then we go to St. Petersburg and do something we are more familiar with. We should be further up the order".
The next race in the IndyCar series is the Honda Indy Grand Prix at St. Petersburg on Sunday 6th April.