Milwaukee, WISCONSIN – Fresh off of last week’s victory at Texas Motor Speedway, Justin Wilson returned to the Milwaukee Mile to prove his first oval win was no fluke. During today’s qualifying session for the Milwaukee IndyFest, Wilson held on to the provisional pole position until the very last second, and ultimately qualified in second position.
After ending the final practice session as the fastest car on track, Wilson and his No. 18 Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Honda brought the same speed to qualifications. Wilson posted an average speed of 168.287 mph, putting him less than half of a mile-per-hour behind the eventual pole winner, Dario Franchitti. His second place qualification marks his best career qualifying at the Milwaukee Mile.
“It was great, the car was working really well,” Wilson said. “I’ve just got to thank the team, it’s just a great car. It’s amazing what a little bit of confidence does for you, it really helps you out. You know, you’re able to find a little bit more speed with that momentum and we’re just really happy. Huge thanks to Honda, Sonny’s Bar-B-Q, and all the guys. We’re ready to back up our win last week. We want to prove to everyone that we can do great things on every type of track, even ovals. But it’s one step at a time, got to make sure we don’t make any mistakes, it’s going to be a long race tomorrow and I can’t wait.”
Due to an unscheduled engine change after the team tested in Iowa on Tuesday, the Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Honda will receive a ten grid spot reduction and will be starting tomorrow’s race from 12th position.
Teammate James Jakes, who posted his best career finish at Texas last week by breaking into the top-ten, was running as high as seventh position during today’s practice sessions. Jakes qualified his car into 20th position with an average lap speed of 162.020 mph.
“I’m quite disappointed because we had a good car,” Jakes said. “There were just little things missing, so I wish we could have had another run after our first. Right now I’m just looking ahead to tomorrow and hoping to bring the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda back up front.”
The Milwaukee IndyFest can be seen live on ABC-TV tomorrow, June 16, starting at 1:00 PM ET.
Dale Coyne Racing
Chris Gallas, Director of Public Relations