Justin frustrated with 16th in Japan Justin's pre-race optimism for a top-10 finish at Twin Ring Motegi proved to be misplaced and a frustrating weekend saw the No. 22 Kona Deep car finish 16th in Sunday's Japan Indy 300. His Dreyer & Reinbold...
Justin frustrated with 16th in Japan
Justin's pre-race optimism for a top-10 finish at Twin Ring Motegi proved to be misplaced and a frustrating weekend saw the No. 22 Kona Deep car finish 16th in Sunday's Japan Indy 300. His Dreyer & Reinbold team-mate Paul Tracy was classified 22nd after the No. 24 Motegi Racing Wheels car retired following contact with the wall.
With the No. 22 car suffering from understeer in Saturday's practice sessions and oversteer in qualifying, a better balance was needed to move forward from 18th on the grid. But chronic understeer during the first half of the race meant it was all Justin could do to hang on to the lead lap and even then he needed the benefit of some fortuitously timed yellows to do so. Pit-stop adjustments helped to improve the handling by mid-distance, but the car still didn't have enough pace to move forward.
"It was a long day," said Justin. "We started out not so good. We were struggling in the first three stints just trying to hang on and keep it on the lead lap. Basically, we tried a lot of different combinations. We made a few adjustments on that second pit stop and it brought the car to life and then we could start getting on with it. The car was pretty good for the last 100 laps, but it was difficult to get by anyone. It was a tough race. I'm just happy to get the Kona Deep car to the finish and score some more points and move on from here."
Up at the sharp end, Helio Castroneves took a dominant victory for Team Penske by almost 5 seconds. Championship contenders Dario Franchitti (Chip Ganassi Racing) and Will Power (Team Penske) rounded out the podium, setting up an exciting battle between these two for the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series title at Homestead Miami Speedway in a fortnight's time.