Dale Coyne driver looking for even more Sunday
Making his third Verizon IndyCar Series race start of the month, Justin Wilson used great strategy from his Dale Coyne Racing squad and outstanding fuel mileage from his Honda power plant to take a fourth place finish in Race 1 of the double-header Detroit Grand Prix on Saturday. The charge to the front, which was reminiscent of Wilson’s big move in the same race last year, started from the 10th row of the grid as Wilson made the most of the 70-lap race to improve by 15 positions to net his best result of the season thus far.
The race saw a variety of pit strategies play out, with the Mike Cannon-called strategy for Wilson seeing him take to the pits four times for fuel as he started the race on Firestone Reds and then moved to the Black tires for the remainder of the run.
"That was a crazy race - we started 19th and saved fuel and managed to leapfrog up after we did an early pit stop,” said Wilson. “We cycled from the back up to the front, and then to the back and then up to the front. I said to Michael (Cannon, engineer) 'are you sure this is what we want to do?' and he said 'yes this is our plan' so I thought okay I'll go with it. He did a great job. Everyone on the Boy Scouts of America team did fantastic pit stops.”
Balancing track position with the fuel consumption was a constant battle, but Wilson was well-placed for the final 15-lap stretch to the checkered flag. After pushing for a podium, Wilson wasn’t able to sustain the pace all the way to the finish as he crossed the finish line in fourth to net his biggest championship points haul of the year so far.
“It was a great strategy by the team,” said Wilson. “We just had to be quick when we needed to be quick and had to save fuel when we needed to save fuel. We're pretty pleased with it. It gives us something to work with and we'll come back tomorrow and try to qualify a little better and start close to the front. We went quicker than we did in qualifying on those last two laps there on 30 lap old tires. We have to make a couple of car adjustments. It's going to be another crazy race tomorrow. It's Detroit, anything can happen.”
Wilson and his Dale Coyne Racing squad will look to make the most of another chance at some critical Verizon IndyCar Series points on Sunday for the second race of the Grand Prix weekend. (ABC, 3:30 PM ET).