McDONALD'S DRIVER WILSON EARNED HIS THIRD STRAIGHT PODIUM IN EDMONTON WITH THIRD PLACE IN THE REXALL EDMONTON INDY; REXALL-OILERS DRIVER RAHAL RETIRED IN 26TH AFTER BEING HIT ON OPENING LAP AND LATER IN THE RACE - McDonald's driver Justin ...
McDONALD'S DRIVER WILSON EARNED HIS THIRD STRAIGHT PODIUM IN EDMONTON WITH THIRD PLACE IN THE REXALL EDMONTON INDY; REXALL-OILERS DRIVER RAHAL RETIRED IN 26TH AFTER BEING HIT ON OPENING LAP AND LATER IN THE RACE
- McDonald's driver Justin Wilson earned his first podium of the season with his third place finish in the Rexall Edmonton Indy which was originally scheduled for 95 laps but ended after 91 due to a one-hour, 50 minute time limit. It was his third straight podium finish here after he won in 2006, finished second in 2007 and third this year. He finished fourth in his first race here. It was also the sixth podium finish for the team at this track in their four events here. The team struggled with intermittent radio problems that were detected on the starting grid. Wilson started the race sixth and moved into fifth on Lap 6 when Will Power pit with a problem. He held the position until the first round of pit stops on Lap 21 under caution for Vitor Meira who spun. Wilson returned to the track in eighth, but fifth to those who stopped. Once Tony Kanaan, Buddy Rice and Marco Andretti pitted he regained fifth place on Lap 39.
He held the position until the next round of stops on Lap 51 under caution for Townsend Bell who crashed into the tire barrier. Wilson returned to the track in ninth place behind four cars that did not stop. As some of those cars pit, he moved into seventh but Paul Tracy temporarily dropped him to eighth on Lap 61 before the caution flag came out for contact between teammate Graham Rahal and E.J. Viso. As more out-of-sequence cars pit, he moved into fifth but was passed by Oriol Servia and was in sixth. He regained fifth place by passing Tracy on Lap 76 and held the position for five laps before fourth place Servia ran into third place Dixon and Wilson was able to move ahead of them into third. He held the position until the checkered flag after 91 of the originally-scheduled 95 laps were run under the one hour 50 minute time limit. He earned 35 points for his finish and moved from 18th into a 16th place rank in the IndyCar Series point standings with a total of 237. Scott Dixon won his fifth victory of the season.
Following are Wilson's post race comments:
"It's great to finally get the McDonald's car in the top-three and especially here at the Rexall Indy," said Wilson. "We've now finished in every position in the top-four but it would be nice to get a couple more firsts. We've had the capability of doing it on many occasions and other things have gone wrong. Today's race was very eventful but fortunately we managed to stay clean out there. We knew when to back off, knew when to push and that is what got us here. I was behind Wheldon waiting for an opportunity to pass and lost some ground to the cars in front of me and that hurt us in terms of fighting for another position. I told Tracy that wasn't bad for an old guy. I've always enjoyed racing Paul. I know a lot of people have had problems with him but I've always enjoyed it. He has raced me hard but fair."
- Rexall-Oilers driver Graham Rahal was hit on the opening lap by Mario Moraes, the driver who started immediately behind him and then later on Lap 61 by E.J Viso and retired in 26th place in the Rexall Edmonton Indy. Rahal qualified eighth and tenth place starter Moraes ran into the back of Rahal, who ran off course in Turn 3. Once he got the car back to the pits, the team worked to repair the right rear pushrod. Moraes meanwhile was running in 20th place.
Once he got back on track the leaders were working Lap 18. He came in a few more times in the ensuing laps to adjust the toe link on the front right and made some other adjustments. He ran as high as 25th and was hoping attrition would allow him to move higher as the race progressed but he was hit on Lap 61 by E.J. Viso who dove inside Rahal in Turn 10 and hit the left side of his car and sent him into the tire barrier. Viso was later called into the pits for a full stop and 15 second hold as a penalty for avoidable contact.
He ultimately finished one lap down in 15th place. Rahal earned 10 points and dropped from 16th to 17th in the IndyCar Series point standings with 225 after Round 13 of 18.
Following are his post race comments:
"We were hoping for a good race with Rexall on board," said Rahal. "I got hit on the start by Mario Moraes and then later Viso finally put an end to our day. We need to get some of these guys to calm down and it's really going to help out the racing. We've had several problems with Viso this year. It's frustrating because we really did think we had a great car. I do think people are being too aggressive and the people I came into contact with today are the people I have been saying need to calm down all year."