Justin Wilson targets podium return in Long Beach

Justin Wilson looks to take his Honda back to the podium for the second year in a row at Long Beach.

Justin Wilson will be a driver to watch in Round 2 of the Verizon IndyCar Series this weekend at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. After a strong start to the season with a top-10 finish on the streets of St. Petersburg just a fortnight ago, he now looks to take the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Dale Coyne Racing Honda back to the podium for the second year in a row at Long Beach.

After a mixed-conditions qualifying session saw him starting near the back of the pack in St. Petersburg, Wilson made a healthy move forward as he made the most of the alternative strategy called by engineer Mike Cannon. Pitting earlier than others, Wilson made the most of an open track as he posted a series of fast laps to move up into the top-10 through a long run of green flag laps.

Justin Wilson, Dale Coyne Racing Honda
Justin Wilson, Dale Coyne Racing Honda

Photo by: Chris Owens

The second half of the race didn’t have the same flat out pace with some caution periods setting up some frantic restarts, with Wilson staying out of trouble and coming home with an eighth place finish.

Looking to build on a solid start to the year, Wilson has an added boost ahead of this weekend from his previous success at the 1.968-mile, 12-turn street circuit of Long Beach. Last year, Wilson asserted himself with a strong run to third place despite not having been able to qualify his Dale Coyne Racing machine.

Once again, Wilson showed that he can never be counted out of contention as he capitalized on strategy, an extra set of tires and flat-out excellent driving to move from the last full row to finish third on a track not known for its ease of upward mobility. 2010 also featured a podium result at the track with a run to second.

“I’ve had a few good runs at Long Beach, but we’ve not yet been on the top step,” said Wilson. “St. Pete was a solid start for us, and we just want to build on that this weekend. Hopefully we can have another good weekend and just keep up with the track as it changes each session. Long Beach is a great race and a great tradition for IndyCar. It’s also right in Honda’s (Honda Performance Development) back yard with their headquarters just down the road so it is a little bit of a home race for them so hopefully we can bring a big result home.”

Justin Wilson Racing

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Series INDYCAR
Article type Previews
Tags 2014, indycar, justin wilson, long beach