No Vegas luck for Justin Justin struggled with an ill-handling car at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to finish 11th, 2 laps down on the race leaders. After qualifying in 9th Justin made a good start, but as he ran four abreast at more than 200mph he...
No Vegas luck for Justin
Justin struggled with an ill-handling car at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to finish 11th, 2 laps down on the race leaders. After qualifying in 9th Justin made a good start, but as he ran four abreast at more than 200mph he got squeezed down onto the apron, forcing him to lift and dropping him back down the field. The #9 car suffered from understeer in the first stint and Justin dropped back to 14th. After the first pit-stops he emerged a lap down, but adjustments made at the stop had a positive effect on the car's handling, enabling him to make progress. By lap 101 Justin had clawed his way back to 11th.
The third and final stops coincided with the yellow following Paul Tracy's accident. The hope was that by pitting later than the leaders behind the safety car, Justin could regain the lead lap. The plan didn't come off - some of the leaders stayed out - but thanks to some good pit work Justin was P9 as the race went green. His main target in the closing stages was Timo Glock who was also a lap down. Justin caught and passed the German on lap 147, but shortly afterwards got pushed wide by another car onto the marbles. The loss of grip was significant and he slid back down the field to 11th where he finished. Team-mate A.J. Allmendinger endured a similarly frustrating race to finish 13th.
All in all it was a race best forgotten, but Justin's already looking ahead to the next race. "We had a good start to the race with A.J. going high and me going low and we were able to get a good run on a few cars. It got four wide, so I backed out a little bit and got pushed down onto the apron. I don't know if I picked up something on my tyres or what, but the car was really loose after that early run. It was difficult because we lost a lot of time and ended up losing a lap. The car was much better after our first stop. Near the end I was racing Timo (Glock) and having a good race. Another car made a mistake and nearly put me in the wall; I got up in the marbles and lost three or four places right at the end. It was frustrating, but that's racing."