Pair of Top Ten Finishes for Wilson
July 20, 2014
Toronto, Ontario - Justin Wilson and Carlos Huertas were both looking forward to getting back on to road courses after the past two oval races in July, as they took their Dale Coyne Racing Hondas to Toronto for the Honda Indy Toronto double header race weekend. The 11-turn, 1.75-mile circuit offers great views of downtown Toronto and the nearby Lake Ontario. The circuit becomes even more picturesque with a long frontstretch that leads into the Turn 1 Princes Gate. A variety of surface types and bumpy public streets makes this track a unique stop for the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Saturday’s events came to an unfortunate end when several attempts to start Race 1 on a rain soaked track proved unsuccessful. After every attempt to race was made, race control decided it would be best to postpone and run a same day doubleheader on Sunday with both races being shortened to accommodate the weekend schedule.
Justin Wilson started Sunday morning’s Race 1 in seventh position, just barely missing out on the Firestone Fast 6 in qualifying. He battled strong toward the front and ran the first half of the race as the highest car running on the black, harder tire. Sixth is the highest he would run as nearly all of the leaders chose to pit on lap 33. After several battles trying to overtake cars on the narrow circuit, Wilson took the checkered flag in 10th place.
Race 2 saw drivers start in champion points position order which meant Wilson would start further back in 15th place. He came home in 10th place for a second time today but the result was not without drama. A rain shower during the middle of the race challenged teams to choose the correct tires for the conditions. When most of the field came to pit lane late in the race, Wilson stayed out on his heavily used rain tires.
Wilson would lead several laps with just 10 minutes remaining in the race and would have a hard time keeping the field behind him as the track dried and most had changed to dry tires. If there had been a few more caution laps, the gamble could have paid off for the team’s second win of the year. The race did see another incident before its conclusion but the race officials put the field under a red flag to preserve a green finish to the race. Wilson was a sitting duck and did an excellent job holding on for his fifth top 10 finish of the season.
Carlos Huertas managed to get his #18 Café de Colombia Honda under the one minute mark for the first time of the weekend during his qualifying session but it would not earn him a position higher than 21st to start Sunday morning’s Race 1. Huertas gained several positions early but dropped back in the pack after being forced to come in for a front wing change. This put him on a different pit strategy as the rest of the field and allowed him to come home in 14th place.
Huertas’ season long consistency would reward him with a starting position of 19th for Race 2. He, like many drivers, found the varying conditions and tire choices to be a challenge. Despite being caught up in a few incidents, Huertas ran as high as third position in the last 20 minutes as he tried to last on the rain tires like his teammate. Huertas was involved in the incident that brought out the final caution with only a few minutes left in the race and he was relegated to a 16th place finish.
A rarity for the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season sees only one race in the next three weekends. That race will be the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio in Lexington, Ohio. A strong performance here will be key in setting up a strong end to the 2014 season for both Dale Coyne Racing drivers. The race will take place on August 3 and will air live on NBC Sports Network at 3:00 PM ET.
For Further Information Contact:
Trevor J. Moore