Justin had a roller coaster of a race around Road America on Sunday, finishing in 5th place from 6th on the grid. He ran consistently near the front, running as high as 3rd but then falling back in the closing stages. From the perspective of ...
Justin had a roller coaster of a race around Road America on Sunday, finishing in 5th place from 6th on the grid. He ran consistently near the front, running as high as 3rd but then falling back in the closing stages. From the perspective of Justin's championship campaign, of greatest significance was that Forsythe's A.J. Allmendinger won the race to take a solid points advantage in 2nd place. Bruno Junqueira and Sebastien Bourdais rounded out the podium for Newman Haas.
Justin's race seemingly got off to a dream start when he took A.J. into Turn 1 on the opening lap, and then passed Alex Tagliani shortly after to move up to 4th. But Series officials determined that Justin had jumped the start and ordered him back behind A.J.. By lap 16 he was up to 4th again. On the restart after a full course yellow on lap 20 he caught and passed Dan Clarke for 3rd, and was right behind Sebastien and A.J. as they all slewed into the pits for their second stops. Good pit work by the #9 CDW crew got Justin out ahead of both cars. With Bruno Junqueira and Nelson Philippe staying out on different fuel strategies, Justin was looking settled in 3rd with the prospect of a race win in his sights.
A succession of yellow flags and restarts followed and things started to go backwards for Justin. A.J. got past him on lap 39, and when Justin pitted earlier than planned - in anticipation of a yellow flag for Nelson Philippe's bouncing left rear wheel - he fell back behind Sebastien Bourdais as well. The running order was A.J., Bruno, Sebastien and Justin on lap 46 when Katherine Legge was lucky to escape an horrific crash following rear wing failure heading into the Kink, one of Road America's fastest corners. The field was brought into pit lane for about 30 minutes under a red flag while debris was cleared and fencing repaired. When the race eventually restarted for two green flag laps, Oriol Servia got the jump on Justin and with no push to pass left that was how things finished. Katherine emerged unscathed from her accident to the great relief of everyone.
The next race, and the penultimate in the season, is at Surfers Paradise on 22nd October.