Justin takes Dale Coyne's first win at Watkins Glen Justin took Dale Coyne Racing to an historic first victory after a commanding performance in Sunday's Camping World Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International. He took the race lead from Lap 5...
Justin takes Dale Coyne's first win at Watkins Glen
Justin took Dale Coyne Racing to an historic first victory after a commanding performance in Sunday's Camping World Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International. He took the race lead from Lap 5 and, after controlling the pace during the first of two fuel-saving stints, was unleashed after the final yellow to pull out a five second gap by the chequered flag. Ryan Briscoe was 2nd for Team Penske, while Scott Dixon took 3rd place for Chip Ganassi Racing. The achievement moves Justin into 10th in the championship standings.
"It feels great," said an exhilarated Justin. "I was grinning from ear to ear on the last lap. I've got to thank Dale for giving me the opportunity this year. The whole Z-Line Designs team has worked so hard to get to this point. I said we'd win a race this year and we have, but to do it by dominating like we did today is just fantastic. This is the most important win of my career - it's a fantastic feeling to win with Dale and show what we can do on a track as great as this one."
Starting from the outside of the front row, Justin attacked Briscoe as soon as the race went green and was all over the back of the Australian for the first few laps before getting ahead through the Bus Stop on Lap 4. With a two-stop strategy just achievable with fuel saving, Justin had to control the pace by making sure he was fast where he needed to be in order to keep a comfortable margin over the cars behind.
He pitted for the first time on Lap 18 and shortly after found himself the beneficiary of a full course caution on Lap 20. Briscoe was forced to pit under yellow and dropped back through the field. This left Justin to defend his lead against rookie Mike Conway (Dreyer & Reinbold) and Hideki Mutoh (Andretti Green) for all of the second stint. Once again, he was able to control the pace and save sufficient fuel to make it to the end of the race without stopping a third time.
Meanwhile Briscoe and Dixon moved steadily back through the field, leapfrogging positions by running longer to their final pitstops. After quick in and out laps for his last stop on Lap 41, Justin once again emerged in the lead. When the track went green following a final full course caution on Lap 52, enough fuel had been saved for a full out blast to the finish. Justin needed no extra encouragement and put the hammer down for the last five laps of the race, pulling out an impressive second-a -lap lead by the finish.
After much celebration with the team, family and friends Justin will head across the border to Toronto for next weekend's street race, the scene of his maiden Champ Car victory in 2005.
Justin's dominating performance has earned him a nomination for the Firestone Tire-ific move of the race. Cast your vote for Justin now at www.indycar.com.