Wilson came home 11th at the checkered flag.
Dale Coyne Racing driver Justin Wilson got the month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway off to a promising start on Saturday, leading four laps in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis before brief contact with the eventual race winner compromised a possible podium as Wilson came home 11th at the checkered flag.
One of only a handful of drivers to start the race on the Firestone black tire, Wilson set a great pace in the early laps in the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda after taking the start from 18th on the grid, and managing his fuel consumption to cycle up to fifth in the order. Dale Coyne Racing engineer Michael Cannon called Wilson to pit lane on Lap 31 for fuel, Firestone Red tires and some modest tweaks to the car that the Dale Coyne Racing crew pulled off quickly.
A Lap 41 full course yellow saw several others cars pit while Wilson stayed on track, holding on to third place on the restart before he quickly snared second place.
The yellow flag returned before the lap even ended and the following restart saw Wilson once again act quickly, grabbing the race lead from the No. 28 of Ryan Hunter-Reay before another yellow flag followed on Lap 52.
Dale Coyne Racing utilized the caution period to bring Wilson to pit lane for fuel. A quick stop by the crew saw Wilson win the race off pit lane and return to the track in seventh, with the leading six cars still needing to stop once again for fuel. Dueling for a position, Wilson made slight incidental contact with Pagenaud, which broke off the wing endplate on the DW12, forcing Wilson in for an extra pit stop. He returned to the track in 15th through a long run of 27 final green flag laps, recovering four positions before the checkered flag to earn an 11th place finish.
“The guys did a good job and the car felt pretty good,” said Wilson. “We had a great strategy and started to work our way towards the front and had good fuel-mileage. I was just racing there and I got shuffled back in the pack when people were off sequence. I got checked up and caught the back of the guy in front of me and broke the endplate and the wing came apart. So that is pretty frustrating. Especially when you know that you should have done a lot better. I just cut it too close in traffic. I have to thank everyone on the Dale Coyne Racing team, they did a great job. We will come out and work on the big one now.”
Next up for Wilson is practice for the Indianapolis 500 which begins tomorrow at 12:00 PM ET. The Dale Coyne Racing team will work quickly to make the transition from road course running to oval running as the group looks to build on the positive team performance in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
Justin Wilson Racing