Justin frustrated with 18th after Nashville gear shift problems After the promise of their 13th place qualifying result, the No. 02 McDonald's team endured another frustrating IndyCar Series event on Saturday night. A software-related gear shift...
Justin frustrated with 18th after Nashville gear shift problems
After the promise of their 13th place qualifying result, the No. 02 McDonald's team endured another frustrating IndyCar Series event on Saturday night. A software-related gear shift problem forced Justin to pit for repairs during the Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. He finished the rain-shortened race in 18th place, 28 laps down on the leaders. Graham Rahal, his Newman/Haas/Lanigan team-mate finished 12th. Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing) won the race for the third year in a row.
After a clean start Justin had a fairly uneventful first stint, but struggled with mild understeer which stopped him from making progress through the field. But on Lap 66, shortly after his first pit-stop, he reported a loss of drive while running in 14th position.
"I didn't feel that the McDonald's car was very strong in a straight line, but the handling was good and we were being patient and trying to move forward step by step," explained Justin. "But then I started to get what felt like a misfire, or hitting the rev limiter, which was killing my straight line speed. After a while I suddenly lost fifth gear. We tried every setting and managed to get going again and it recovered for a while, but it finally gave up and we had to come in to replace the gear cluster."
The team brought the car in on Lap 111 and Justin was back out on track with fresh gearbox internals on Lap 136. On Lap 171, after two yellow caution periods behind the safety car for moisture on the track, heavy rain caused the race to be red flagged. When the rain failed to clear, the officials called the race.
"It's disappointing and frustrating," said Justin. "The guys did a good job of switching over the gear cluster very quickly and we got back out there, only for it to rain. But we've still got four wheels on the car and we're going back to a road course next weekend."
Justin will be back on track next weekend for next Sunday's Honda Indy Grand Prix at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.