TORONTO – After starting from 13th on the grid, Justin Wilson brought home an eighth place finish with the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda for Dale Coyne Racing in the second race of the double-header Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday.
The event saw IndyCar stage the first ever successful standing start as Wilson launched to 11th in the opening laps. Starting the 85-lap race on the Firestone “Black” tires, Wilson’s long opening stint saw him move up to run as high as second before a lap 29 pit stop.
“It was good to have a straightforward race today,” said Wilson. “The team did a great job. We just kept pushing the entire time and things went to plan. We had the strategy of running the blacks the first two stints and then running reds for the last short stint. And then, the yellows came though and mixed up the whole race!”
One final pit stop to move to the alternate “red” tires for a charge to the finish saw him once again in the top ten as a full course caution slowed the field for the first time after a frenetic opening 65 laps.
Wilson held his ground in the hectic lap 72 restart, with a second full course caution on lap setting set the stage for one final restart on lap 81. Wilson was well placed to take advantage, but after dodging trouble in the tight first corner, his progress was slowed by a lapped car.
“We were pretty good on the restarts, but unfortunately, there was there was a lapped car in the way and he didn’t really know what was going on,” said Wilson. “I tried to pass him going in to turn one but he slid across in front of me so I had to brake so he didn’t take me out. And then, I got hit from behind a couple of times.
But at the same time, there was a crash ahead of me and it was getting crazy. So it was good to get to the finish! I'm a bit disappointed that the lapped car cost us two or three spots, but it’s just the way it goes.”
Unfortunately, the chance to improve ended early as contact between cars brought the safety car back out as the huge Canadian crowd saw the race end under caution with Wilson finishing eighth to back up his run to 11th on Saturday.
Wilson will look to build more momentum as the IZOD IndyCar Series heads to Mid-Ohio on August 2-4.