Contact ends Justin's race in Long Beach
Justin’s hopes of another podium at Long Beach were dashed early on in the race when he suffered rear suspension damage in a four car pile-up in the Turn 11 hairpin. Dario Franchitti (Chip Ganassi Racing) and Will Power (Team Penske), with whom Justin had been battling in the early stages, were first and second, while Tony Kanaan (Andretti Green Racing) rounded out the podium.
The result was bitterly disappointing for Justin and the #18 Z-Line Designs team after Justin had translated his strong qualifying pace into early front-running form. Starting from fifth on the grid, he passed two cars into the first turn and was running comfortably in fourth before pitting under a full course caution on Lap 19. A number of drivers stayed out on track on alternative pit strategies, but Justin emerged a long way down the order in 17th. Before he could start moving forward again, trouble started on Lap 24.
“There was a lot of traffic in close quarters going into the hairpin and someone tried to pass about three cars ahead of me which caused everyone to check-up,” Justin explained. “I got hit pretty hard in the rear which caused me to hit Moraes in front of me. I’m very disappointed for the team and for Z-Line Designs who just announced their return to Dale Coyne Racing.”
The team will regroup and head to Kansas next weekend for the first run on an oval this season.