Wilson Just Misses Top 10 on Tire Gamble in Iowa
July 12, 2014
Newton, Iowa - Dale Coyne Racing drivers Justin Wilson and Carlos Huertas eagerly shifted focus to this weekend’s Iowa Corn Indy 300 after last week’s oval race at Pocono. The 0.875-mile tri-oval of Iowa Speedway is a physical challenge even for the fittest drivers and the Dale Coyne Racing teammates came prepared. Laps can easily dip below the 18 second mark making it one of the most unique ovals the Verizon IndyCar Series visits each season. Adding to the intrigue of the race would be an additional 50 laps compared to last year’s race distance.
Scattered thunderstorms severely limited practice time on Friday and Justin Wilson felt the effects in qualifying. The #19 Boy Scouts of America crew were not able to get the set up dialed in before Wilson went out and qualified in 18th position. His pace was not where he would have liked in the first quarter of the race but the team was able to make adjustments that gave him a more competitive car. This would set Wilson up for a run at a top ten finish late on.
Wilson ran as high as eighth place in the final dozen laps. With other cars on fresh Firestone tires, Wilson would be forced to try to hold them off with nearly 60 laps since his last stop. “I knew we were going to be struggling but I was hoping I would be able to hang on for a little bit. In the end, we ended up in the same spot as when the caution came out,” commented Wilson. The decision to take tires on the final caution or not would be the deciding factor for many of the Verizon IndyCar drivers, including the eventual podium finishers.
Carlos Huertas started his first race at the Iowa Speedway in 22nd place. He was forced to retire on lap 78 and finished the race in 20th position after a pair of drivers crashed.
The Verizon IndyCar Series now moves north of the border to Toronto, Canada for the Honda Indy Toronto double header weekend. The third and final double header weekend of the 2014 season should keep fans entertained as there will be three consecutive days of track action. The event runs from July 18 through July 20 with the races occurring on Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 PM ET. They can be seen live on NBC Sports Network both days.
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Trevor J. Moore