LONG BEACH, Calif. – Only three drivers can lay claim to finishing in the top 10 of all three IZOD IndyCar Series races this season. Justin Wilson is one of them. It didn’t matter if his car was full or low on fuel or if he had fresh or worn tires. His car was just great all race long.
That consistency paid off for Wilson as he went from 25th all the way to a third place podium finish in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Sunday afternoon.
After a wreck on Friday that heavily damaged the front & rear ends of the car and not being able to get out for qualifying on Saturday, things weren’t exactly going the way Wilson would have liked them to.
“I honestly didn’t think I would be sitting here right now talking with all of you,” Wilson told the media in the post race press conference. “I had a great car today, plain and simple. It handled perfect no matter what the situation. The Boy Scouts of America team deserves a lot of the credit for all their hard work this past weekend. For me to move from 25th to finish third shows that. I was able to move up through the field early in the race on the Firestone black tires. Then we made a good strategic move on lap 5 to pit and put on the red tires and the car went even faster.”
Wilson’s No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda also gained the most positions in Sunday’s race. He finished 22 positions better than he started the day.
Ana Beatriz, driver of the No. 18 Ipiranga Honda showed the Long Beach fans what a great young talented driver she is as the 28-year old Brazilian finished 14th after starting the race 23rd on the grid. She finished the race on the lead-lap.
“It was a happy day for the No. 18 Ipiranga team,” said Beatriz. “Justin did a great job today and we improved a lot as the race went on. We finished the race on the lead lap and that gives us great confidence going into the race in Brazil in two weeks. I’m really looking forward to racing in front of my hometown fans and family. This is always one of my most exciting races to run in.”
Team Owner Dale Coyne was very pleased what he saw out of both his talented drivers on Sunday.
“I can’t say enough about Justin’s drive today,” said Coyne. “The consistency and speed he showed in his car proves what a true competitor he is. Ana’s solid performance with finishing the race in fourteenth and holding off some of the biggest names in the series shows her ability and improvement each week. We are looking forward to Brazil and putting on a good show for our team sponsor Ipiranga.”
Dale Coyne Racing
Chris Gallas, Director of Public Relations