DREYER & REINBOLD RACING FINISHES SECOND WITH JUSTIN WILSON AT THE HONDA GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG St. Petersburg, FL (March 29, 2010) - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing proved that they had the momentum to compete with the big dogs today and that's...
DREYER & REINBOLD RACING FINISHES SECOND WITH JUSTIN WILSON AT THE HONDA GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG
St. Petersburg, FL (March 29, 2010) - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing proved that they had the momentum to compete with the big dogs today and that's exactly what they did at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. DRR pilots, Justin Wilson (No. 22 Z-Line Designs) and Mike Conway (No. 24 Dad's Root Beer), who started 4th and 10th respectively, would battle their way to the front all day long in round two of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series.
Although the 14-turn, 1.8 mile street course was still damp from all of the rain, luckily, the weather cooperated and the two DRR cars were able to show off their speed. As the green flag dropped it was a matter of keeping their noses clean, and both Wilson and Conway did that, making it through turn one safely. Unfortunately, Conway spun in turn two, and filtered to the back of the pack. Fortunately, he didn't do any damage, but he did pit on lap two and topped off on fuel. From that point on he was able to work his way back up the grid. Wilson lost a few positions on the start to steer clear of the mayhem, but that wouldn't last for long.
DRR settled into a groove and everything seemed to be going smoothly for the team as both drivers continued to pick people off. The duo came in on lap 27 and had good stops for fuel and to make the switch from the Firestone Alternate (red-sidewall) tires to the Firestone Primary (black-sidewall) tires. The duo fought their way up to the front and they were running in sixth and seventh position until the caution came out on lap 46. At that point, it was a matter of strategy for everyone. Conway came in on lap 49 for fuel and tires, while Wilson stayed out with the hope of completing the race on only two stops. Yellows were needed and luckily they came out.
Unfortunately, the caution that was needed for Wilson, his teammate Conway, was a part of. The Brit diligently fought his way up to the front. He had a strong car and displayed his true skill on a street course. On lap 65 Conway and Rafael Matos made contact. As a result, Conway hit the wall and his day was ended early.
The yellow flag allowed for Wilson to save the fuel he needed and confirmed that he would be able to finish the race on just two stops. On lap 67, the Briton would come in for his final pit stop of the day. When the green flag dropped for the restart on lap 70, Wilson would filter out to fourth position. It was just a matter of time before another caution would come out, which was on lap 74, and further confirmed that he would be able to make it to the end.
As the green flag dropped on lap 78, Wilson was in second position and would battle the last 22 laps out with Penske Racing driver Will Power. The veteran put the pressure on Power, but unfortunately he was unable to get around him and would bring the Z-Line Designs car home in second position, putting Dreyer & Reinbold Racing on the podium.
The Indianapolis-based squad will head home to Indianapolis and prepare for the third round of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. For more updates on the team, please visit www.dreyerreinboldracing.com.
What they have to say about the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg:
Justin Wilson, No. 22 Z-Line Designs: "I think that we had a good race. We just decided to copy Will (Power). Whatever he does seems to be working these days, so we just followed him every step of the way and finished right behind him. The Z-Line Designs crew did a fantastic last pit stop and that's really what decided the finishing order. That led us into the position behind Will and we just hung on and turned out to be second. I'm really pleased with the Z-Line Designs car today and with all of the guys that work on it. It was a great result."
Mike Conway, No. 24 Dad's Root Beer: "The race was going okay for us, but unfortunately we went right to the back in the beginning. I got a bit loose going through turn two and just spun the car around. After that, it was just a case of being smart, because there were still some wet patches in a few areas. I just managed to push my way through and pick people off through the first corner and we were slowly getting back through the field. Towards the end there I caught up to the front group and I went to pass (Rafael) Matos and as we went into turn five, I knew that he was on the inside so I tried to give him room, and I don't know what happened, but he clipped my rear wheel and I went up into the air and into the wall. I'm not really sure what happened, but it's a shame because the Dad's Root Beer Car was working well and could have easily had a podium today."
Dennis Reinbold, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Co-Owner: "Mike was one of the fastest cars on the track all day. I'm really happy with what he did and how he ran his way all the way back up to the front. Because of our strategy he had to cycle back through and make up spots on his own, which he did. I'm really proud of the way he drove today. It's unfortunate he had an accident trying to get around another car. All in all, it was a very good day. Obviously, I'm really happy with Justin's result today. We wanted to get a win, but we are knocking on the door of that and we will get one pretty soon. Overall, it was a good day for us."