Justin 5th in Houston after superb recovery drive Justin took the chequered flag in 5th place in Houston, having started 7th, yet those bald statistics mask a rollercoaster of a race which saw him recover from a near disaster on the opening lap.
Justin 5th in Houston after superb recovery drive
Justin took the chequered flag in 5th place in Houston, having started 7th, yet those bald statistics mask a rollercoaster of a race which saw him recover from a near disaster on the opening lap. He was hit from behind at turn 1 and had to pit immediately to replace a punctured left rear tyre, emerging at the end of the first lap right at the back of the field.
With his typical never-say-die attitude Justin made the most of the clean air to fight back, posting consistently fast laps in the hot, violently bumpy conditions to claw his way back into contention. Slick pit work by the CDW RuSPORT crew under yellow flags allowed him to regain the lead lap and by lap 35 he was up to 12th. But having gained several more positions, he suffered brake problems on lap 39 which led to a spin at the chicane, and following his third pit-stop on lap 45 Justin had to pit again three laps later for a front wing change to cure a handling imbalance.
After his final stop for fuel and tyres on lap 72, Justin passed Andrew Ranger for 7th, and gained a further two places in the closing laps when Oriol Servia and Alex Tagliani both crashed. Justin's team-mate A.J. Allmendinger finished in 8th place.
Justin now lies 3rd in the driver championship with 48 points, 20 points behind Bourdais, and is looking forward to getting his championship challenge back on track in Monterrey, Mexico next weekend.
"It was a tough day that began with a disappointing start, having been taken out in the first corner", lamented Justin. "And without a yellow flag, we almost went a lap down, so we just had to work it out from there on. I'd just like to thank my crew for working so hard, and hopefully we kept all of our guests from CDW entertained. We'll try to make this our worst race and come back strong for the next one in Monterrey."