Justin Wilson leads Honda charge at Indianapolis with fifth place finish

Wilson moved into the top five in the closing laps of the race.

Indianapolis, Ind. -- After a record-setting day and 200 laps of hard fought racing, Justin Wilson finished the 2013 Indianapolis 500 fifth with Dale Coyne Racing on Sunday.

Justin Wilson, Dale Coyne Racing Honda
Justin Wilson, Dale Coyne Racing Honda

Photo by: Jay Alley

The result was the best finish of the Honda-powered entries, and marked Wilson’s career-best result in the event. The No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda-Dallara fell back deep in the field near the halfway point of the race after a set of tires hampered the handling. But the affable Englishman fought back, hanging on to the machine and keeping it on the lead lap.

That effort allowed engineer Bill Pappas to make adjustments to the set-up on the ensuing pit stops, setting the stage for Wilson to claw back the track position on a race that featured extensive green flag running and a flat out pace as well as 68 lead changes, a new record.

Wilson moved into the top five in the closing laps of the race, which was slowed for a yellow flag with just five laps to go. The ensuing restart had all the promise of a shootout, but was cut short after a Ganassi entry made contact with the wall and the race ended under caution with Wilson taking the yellow and checkered flag in fifth.

Justin Wilson: “The No. 19 Boy Scouts of America car was fantastic. Early on we were moving forward then with the second or third set of tires we had a blistering issue, so we had no grip and lost 10 mph a lap. We just hung on until the next pit stop. The guys gave me great pit stops and we just kept working away at it to get a top-five. It was a great day.”

“I have to thank Honda, Firestone, Boy Scouts of America, Sonny’s BBQ and everyone at Dale Coyne Racing. It’s strange finishing under yellow, we knew it was going to happen. There were so many marbles out there. The road was blocked three wide (on the restart) and I just had to pick a line through there trying to attack but also trying not to lose anything – it’s tough.”

“I love this place. It’s special. There is nothing quite like doing 225 mph around here. It feels fantastic. It’s a real thinking circuit so you’ve got to be at the right spot at the right time. We had a chance. The car was working great and I’m really pleased with fifth. It’s great to see Tony Kanaan win. He is a great guy. He’s come so close so many years. I’m really pleased for him.”

Dale Coyne, Team Owner: “I was surprised at how quickly we went backwards and just as happily surprised at how quickly we went forwards. Obviously you had the car tuned for a small window and had to keep all the parameters within that window and once we did that we were able to go forward and run as hard as we did and set the fastest lap of the race.

I think we had a legitimate shot if the thing would have stayed green. We’re real pleased with the end result. It was fantastic. It was amazing to watch, all day long.”

Bill Pappas, Engineer: “He drove a hell of a race. He is so smart, with that one set of tires not working-a lot of people would have crashed the car or parked it. But he just hung on and we just tried to keep telling him there was a long way to go, a lot of stops left. His general pace was very competitive, he just kept hanging on. He’s just one of a kind, without a doubt.”

Justin Wilson Racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Tony Kanaan , Dale Coyne
Teams Dale Coyne Racing
Article type Race report
Tags dale coyne, indianapolis 500, indycar, wilson