BELLE ISLE, Michigan (June 1, 2013) – Saturday was a great day for Dale Coyne Racing!
Driver Mike Conway started the day by capturing the Pole (the first for the team) for the second Dual in Detroit race on Sunday, and then went on to dominate the race on Saturday, winning by 12.9707 seconds over second place finisher Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Conway, who started second in the Honda-powered No. 18 Sonny's Bar-B-Q Honda, grabbed the lead on the first lap and would lead the first 24-laps of the race. Hunter-Reay temporarily took the lead away from Conway after he was able to go a lap further and catch a yellow-flag before his scheduled pit stop. Conway would then overtake Hunter-Reay for the lead on Lap 44, build a 20-second gap leading into the final round of pit stops and easily claim his second series victory.
Conway led the most laps of the race with 47 laps; he led a total of 31 laps in his previous four seasons in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
"Want to go to Toronto?" team owner Dale Coyne proposed to Conway in Victory Circle. "We were impressed this morning. We’ve never had a driver qualify on the pole, lead the most laps, set the fastest lap (1:17.8447 on Lap 47), all in one impressive day before. It’s pretty amazing on his part and for the entire team to win a Pole and put both cars on the podium."
“The car has been great all weekend,” said Conway, whose other IZOD IndyCar Series victory came at Long Beach in 2011. “When the track started getting more rubber laid down, it kept getting better and better. We just kept pushing and made a large gap. The strategy worked out perfectly at the end so much that I wanted to stay out and do more laps."
The Englishman, who turns 30 on August 19, dominated and set himself up for a $50,000 bonus if he also can win the second race of the inaugural IZOD IndyCar Series doubleheader weekend in Detroit on June 2.
“I cannot think Dale [Coyne] enough for making it possible,” Conway said. “They’ve given me a great car all weekend. The car was amazing on the blacks, and even on the reds. I didn't want to wear the tires out too much at the end of the race just in case there was another re-start.”
Justin Wilson, who started 16th, also drove an amazing race and now sits fifth in the overall IZOD IndyCar Championship Point Standings. Wilson ended the day by joining his teammate Conway on the podium (His second in the last three races) with a third- place finish in the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda.
“Scott Dixon was coming fast at the end of the race and I knew he had a fast car,” said Wilson. “I just tried to hit my marks and make sure I didn’t make a mistake. He had a couple of runs on me, and I just tried to position my car in the middle of the road so it made it harder for him to pass. It’s fantastic finish for Boy Scouts of America and Honda.”
On his teammate winning the race, Wilson commented, “I’m really pleased for Mike to get the win. It’s great to get Dale Coyne Racing a 1-3 finish on the podium.”
Wilson, who has provided Dale Coyne Racing its other two series victories, will start eighth Sunday in the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America entry. He also had the team’s most recent best starting position of second at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 2009.
The IndyCar Series will run the second of the Duals in Detroit on Sunday, June 2 and can be seen live on the ABC-TV starting at 3:30 PM (EDT).
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