FORT WORTH, Texas – In a state know for big things and Bar-B-Q, the tall Justin Wilson took his Sonny's Bar-B-Q car straight to victory lane. Justin Wilson lead 11 laps, but it was the last lap that ended up being the sweetest one. Wilson erased a two-second lead by Graham Rahal late in the race, taking the lead with two laps to go to win Saturdaynight's Firestone 550 IZOD IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Wilson (No. 18 Sonny's Bar-B-Q Honda) was closing in on Rahal at the rate of half a second a lap, but Rahal hit the wall inTurn 4 with just over two laps to go. The win was Wilson’s first IZOD IndyCar Series win since Watkins Glen in 2009, which also happened to be with Dale Coyne Racing. It was a span of 42 starts between wins for the 33-year-old Brit.
"Just really happy to get my first win on an oval," Wilson said. "It was a lot of fun. ... Towards the end there, I was chasing him (Rahal) down getting closer and closer. I know we were pushing it pretty hard sideways a lot and when I saw him brush the wall, that's when I really knew we had a chance to pull this off. I passed him coming out of (Turn) 2. I was actually sideways myself because of that, had to lift, tighten my line. It was getting pretty loose."
"It's just fantastic," said Wilson, who previous best IZOD IndyCar Series oval finish was seventh. "Dale has put so much into making us competitive, so this one is for him and (wife) Gail and the team. I just can’t believe we managed to pull this off. The car was fantastic, and on the long runs it just got better and better."
The win gives Dale Coyne Racing its second team win and first on an oval track.
“I can’t say enough good things about our engineering staff,” said team owner Dale Coyne. “Just about every other team has tested the new car here at Texas while this was our first time on the track this weekend. We used our heads tonight on the engineering side and it obviously paid off.”
The IndyCar Series next heads to Milwaukee for the Milwaukee IndyFest and can be seen live on the ABC-TV on Saturday, June 16 at 1:00 p.m. (EDT)
Dale Coyne Racing
Chris Gallas, Director of Public Relations