Justin’s 2012 IndyCar season finished in frustrating fashion on Saturday night when the #18 Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Honda was hit from behind in the MAV TV 500 at Auto Club Speedway, causing terminal damage to the Dallara DW12’s gearbox and clutch.
After missing qualifying on Friday, Justin had climbed from 25th on the grid to as high as 14th and had at least a top-10 finish in his sights. But on Lap 81 the #18 Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Honda was hit hard from behind by the Dragon Racing entry of Katherine Legge after the front of the field suddenly bunched.
“It was a disappointing end to the day,” said Justin. “The Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Honda was pretty good out there. I’m not sure if we’d have been in contention to win it, but we were definitely moving forward every stint and I was really pleased with the progress we were making.
It's so frustrating to be taken out of the race like that. There was a big stack-up in front of me and I just got rammed from behind. Unfortunately that damaged the gearbox so that we couldn’t get a gear and the clutch wouldn’t work either, so that was the end of our race.”
Ed Carpenter (Ed Carpenter Racing) won the race, with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Dario Franchitti the runner up and his team-mate Scott Dixon rounding out the podium. Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport), who finished 4th, was crowned 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series Champion after Will Power (Team Penske) made contact with the wall.
Justin’s Dale Coyne Racing team-mate James Jakes had a strong run to 12th in the #19 Boy Scouts of America Honda. Justin was classified 23rd. (Check back later for an update on Justin’s final position in the 2012 championship standings.)
Source: Just Wilson