DREYER & REINBOLD RACING FINISHES SIXTH WITH JUSTIN WILSON AT THE INDY GRAND PRIX OF SONOMA Sonoma, CA (August 22, 2010) - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing had a day filled with ups and downs, but proved that they had the momentum at the Indy Grand...
DREYER & REINBOLD RACING FINISHES SIXTH WITH JUSTIN WILSON AT THE INDY GRAND PRIX OF SONOMA
Sonoma, CA (August 22, 2010) - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing had a day filled with ups and downs, but proved that they had the momentum at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. DRR pilots, Justin Wilson (No. 22 Z-Line Designs) and JR Hildebrand (No. 24 TranSystems), who started 7th and 19th respectively, would battle their way to the front all day long in round 13 of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series.
As the green flag dropped, it was a matter of keeping their noses clean, and both Wilson and Hildebrand did that, making it through turn one safely. Unfortunately, there was an incident with Dan Wheldon on the start and the yellow flag came out early. On the re-start Hildebrand got loose heading onto the front straight, allowing EJ Viso to get a run on him. As they went up the hill the two made contact and Viso clipped JR's left rear. Luckily, Hildebrand was able to continue running. On Lap 11, the team chose to put JR on an alternate strategy and would bring him in for fuel and to switch to the Firestone Firehawk Alternate (red sidewall tires). From that point on he was able to clock some fast times and would record the fastest lap of the race.
In the first stint Wilson fought hard with the top-6 cars. He steadily picked people off. Justin started with Alex Tagliani, passing him on Lap 17 for 6th position. Wilson then battled Briscoe for 5th and eventually passed him on Lap 22. The next in line for him to get by was Helio Castroneves and he was able to get the job done on Lap 25. At that point, he sat P4 and saved fuel until it was time to pit on Lap 27. The Brit came in for fuel and to switch to the Firestone Firehawk Primary (black sidewall) tires.
After the two DRR cars pitted, the team settled into a groove and everything seemed to be going smoothly for the team as both drivers continued to save fuel and keep a good pace. On Lap 33, Hildebrand came in for fuel and tires and as he was in pit lane the caution came out. Luckily that didn't seem to hinder the team's strategy. The green flag dropped on Lap 36, but unfortunately the yellow flag would come out again on Lap 38 for Hildebrand. JR was fighting Marco Andretti for position, but he wasn't given enough room, and the two made contact. As a result, JR had to come in on Lap 40 and his day was ended early due to a bent front wishbone. He finished in 24th position.
On Lap 54, Wilson would make his final pit stop of the day. The No. 22 Z-Line Designs crew did a full fill of fuel and made the switch from the "black" to "red" tires. After the last stop, Wilson would continue a steady race pace and brought the car home in 6th position.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will head home to Indianapolis and prepare for the 14th round of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois next weekend.
What they have to say about the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma^a
Justin Wilson, No. 22 Z-Line Designs: "We had a pretty good race today. The Z-Line Designs car felt good and the first stint was a lot of fun. We were able to pass Helio and Ryan, but unfortunately they got us back at the first stops. Overall it was nice to be out there pushing the Ganassi and Penske cars the whole race. We gave it everything we could today, but we've got to keep working on trying to catch these guys. I'm looking forward to getting back on the ovals again and hopefully we can carry this level of performance through to the last four races."
JR Hildebrand, No. 24 TranSystems: "The whole weekend has been filled with ups and downs. We got a pretty decent start and there was an incident with Dan Wheldon on the start and there was a re-start procedure after that. On the last corner I got pretty loose heading onto the front straight and EJ Viso got a little bit of a run on me, but going up the hill you are just flat out and I didn't think that he was going to be able to go anywhere. I think he just started bottoming out and clipped my left rear and kind of got the car a little out of whack, but it was certainly manageable at the stage. We got back going and decided to go off strategy and pitted early. We went back out on the Firestone Firehawk Alternate (red sidewall) tires and we actually set the fastest lap of the race straight away on the "reds" and was ripping off some pretty good lap times, which was the idea of going off of strategy by being out in clean air. Things were looking pretty good for us. It was a little bit of a feather in the cap that we ended up holding out fast lap until the end of the race. We can fall back on that and look at the stat book there. We basically kept going and had a pretty timely pit stop and came out under caution and that was good. A couple laps after the re-start I could see that Marco Andretti got a little bit of a run on me coming out of Turn 6, maybe he was on the button, but I figured I would brake really deep if he was there and I'm going to give him room anyway because he needs room to get out of the way if I out brake him going into the corner. I tried doing all of that stuff, but I guess it wasn't enough room because he ended up piling right into the side of me. That was the end of day for me with a bent wishbone and all of that kind of stuff, I wasn't going to be able to keep going. It's frustrating for the team because we have a lot of the TranSystems people here and it's kind of a bummer to have to sit it out and not be able to finish the race, because our strategy looked like it was going to work there in the end. It was just an unfortunate way to end the weekend."