Justin 16th after eventful Indy 500
Justin and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing survived an eventful Indianapolis 500 to finish 16th in the Z-Line Designs car after handling and pit-stop problems left him a lap down in the critical final stages of the event. It was a difficult day for his team-mates too, as Ana Beatriz (21st in the No. 24 Ipiranga), Davey Hamilton (24th in the No. 11 HP) and Paul Tracy (25th in the No. 23 Wix Filters) all suffered dramas of their own.
Dan Wheldon (Bryan Herta Autosport) took his second Indy 500 victory, sweeping past JR Hildebrand’s stricken Panther Racing entry seconds after it made contact with the Turn 4 wall on the final lap. Hildebrand’s car slid over the start/finish line to take the runner-up spot while Graham Rahal (Chip Ganassi Racing) was third.
Justin started from 19th, struggled in the early stages with the No. 22 car’s handling, but was able to improve the balance with changes at each of his seven pit-stops. As the balance improved, he was able to make some progress through the field, but got badly held up in traffic at one point, losing places as a result. Justin went a lap down on Lap 99 after a difficult pitstop and, while he was able to gain some positions late in the race, he could only watch as others scrambled for glory at the end.
"It was a long day,” said Justin. “It was nice to pass a couple of people and then I got checked up and lost a lot of places. We were working our way through it, but from about half-tyre life onwards it was a bit of a handful and we were just trying not to end our day early. We just tried to keep working on the car and kept making it a little bit better and better, and by the end of the race it was quite good. It's not the result that we would have liked, but I think under the circumstances I'm quite pleased. We'll keep working on it and try to improve for next time. It's been a good day for Dan Wheldon. I'm really happy for him getting the win; he's a good guy and I've known him for years. I'm really pleased for him and Bryan Herta.”
Justin and DRR will test this week at the Milwaukee Mile before heading to Texas for the next event on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule on 11th June.