Milwaukee: Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing race report

McDONALD'S DRIVER WILSON FINISHED SEVENTH IN THE ABC SUPPLY / A.J. FOYT 225; HOLE IN THE WALL CAMPS DRIVER RAHAL CRASHED WHILE THIRD - McDonald's driver Justin Wilson battled his way to the front after starting 22nd in the ABC Supply / A.J. Foyt...

McDONALD'S DRIVER WILSON FINISHED SEVENTH IN THE ABC SUPPLY / A.J. FOYT 225; HOLE IN THE WALL CAMPS DRIVER RAHAL CRASHED WHILE THIRD

- McDonald's driver Justin Wilson battled his way to the front after starting 22nd in the ABC Supply / A.J. Foyt 225 at the Milwaukee Mile but an untimely caution period, when he was scheduled to pit, shuffled him to the back and he had to battle back again to finish seventh. On the start he had gained many positions but contact between Enrique Bernoldi and Oriol Servia bunched up the field and when Servia dove from the high side of the track into the pit entrance on the low side he crossed in front of Wilson, who had to jump on the brakes and lose valuable positions. As he was running 24th in the 26-car field the team elected to have him pit to top off his fuel during the caution period on Lap 4. He returned to the track in 23rd place and at the head of those who pit. Once the race resumed he began a steady charge to the front and was in 16th place before the field made a round of pit stops on Lap 65 during a caution for debris. He returned to the track in 13th place and moved into 12th when he passed polesitter Marco Andretti and into 11th when he passed Hideki Mutoh 10th on Lap 96. He held his position until he passed Ryan Hunter-Reay on Lap 108 and on Lap 129 the team began the "Three to go" countdown for his next pit stop. Near the end of the countdown, teammate Graham Rahal brought out the yellow flag when he crashed. Wilson was immediately told to conserve as much fuel as possible in the hope he could stay on track until the pits opened but he had to enter to closed pit for a splash of fuel or run out on course while waiting. He received a splash of fuel on Lap 132 and had to come in again on Lap 133 for a full fuel load and new tires. The situation cost him dearly and he returned to the track at the tail end of the field in 14th place. Since he was at the rear of the field the team called him in again near the end of the caution period for a splash of fuel on Lap 138. He was again in 14th place when the race resumed and remained on the lead lap until Lap 179 while running 13th. His next stop came on Lap 198 of 225 after running 12th. Once the field had completed their final stops he was running in 10th place. On Lap 223 of 225 Wilson moved up to seventh when the caution flag was brought out by a multi-car accident between Andretti, Ed Carpenter and Vitor Meira. The race ended under caution and Wilson earned 26 points for his seventh place finish for a total of 107 after Round 6 of 18. He moved up one position to 19th in the IndyCar Series point standings.

Following are his post race comments:

"It was a very hectic race; I'm trying to remember everything that happened because there was a lot," said Wilson. "On the first lap I had passed a load of cars and I was coming out of the inside of Turn 4 because there was a bit of a stack-up on the outside and Servia came from the outside across the front of me and into the pit lane. I had to hit the brakes and went to last so I wasn't too happy about that. We kept battling on and the team did a great job; the McDonald's car was much better in the race. I was very pleased with the progress. We got up to the front and were about seventh and we were due to pit and had begun the countdown. That's when Graham had his accident and they closed the pits and we had to come in on a closed pit or run out of fuel. That put us last on the lead lap and at the back of the line. That got us lapped on the next stint even though we were moving forward again because we were at the back of the line. After that we kept pushing and trying to move forward. We did it and got back to seventh. It was a busy race and I was expecting more yellows but everybody did a good job."

- Hole in the Wall Camps driver Graham Rahal drove a competitive race from a career-best starting position of second place in the ABC Supply / A.J. Foyt 225 at the Milwaukee Mile but made contact while attempting to avoid a slower car after he completed 129 of 225 laps. In only his third oval race, he held his starting position and held-off multiple charges from Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon until Lap 12 when the New Zealander passed him for position. While running in third he was able to hold off eventual winner Ryan Briscoe for a few laps until he was passed on Lap 21. He regained third place after he passed Helio Castroneves on Lap 42 and moved back into second on Lap 49 when he passed polesitter Marco Andretti. He held second until the field made their first round of pit stops on Lap 65 during a caution for debris. He lost one position on the stop when Castroneves, who had an advantageous pit location at pit out, beat him out of the pits. He continued to run in third through the restart and temporarily dropped to fourth when Dan Wheldon passed him on Lap 112. He moved back into third on Lap 119 and was battling traffic on the one-mile course when he attempted to pass Darren Manning. He got into the marbles and made contact with the wall. He was uninjured by the contact. He earned 10 point for his 25th place finish and dropped from his pre-race point standing of 13th to 17th after Round 6 of 18.

Following are his post race comments:

"I was just on the outside of (Darren) Manning going into 3 and 4," explained Rahal. "He previously had kind of been all over the track anyway so I was struggling to get by him. I don't think the officials were doing enough to help the leaders with the traffic. It was definitely tough. I was on the outside of Manning, I don't think it was necessarily him but for sure his spotter didn't tell him I was there. He was still racing me in every corner. He moved up on the outside of Buddy and I was going to hit him if I didn't move. I didn't think I was too wide but once I was in the marbles I was fully off the throttle and the brakes but I couldn't get it to turn. It's unfortunate."

- Up Next...The IndyCar Series will travel to Texas Motor Speedway for the Bombardier Learjet 550. It will be the first time that Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing will compete here.

-credit: nhlr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Enrique Bernoldi , Justin Wilson , Darren Manning , Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Oriol Servia , Graham Rahal , Dan Wheldon , Ryan Briscoe , Marco Andretti , A.J. Foyt , Ed Carpenter , Vitor Meira