LEXINGTON, Ohio (August 4, 2012) – After suffering a season-ending back injury during a practice session at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course last year, Justin Wilson came back this weekend with a vengeance. From the moment the No. 18 Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Honda took the track, he commanded the top of the leaderboard. In Saturday morning’s practice, he ran consistently in the top-ten before rocketing to the top of the chart, finishing the sessionwith the fastest lap seen until that point this weekend.
Wilson continued his domination by setting a new IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying lap-speed record at Mid-Ohio during Group One of Round One qualifying Saturday morning. His P1 fast speed made him a favorite moving into round two for the Firestone Fast Twelve. Running P1 with five minutes to go in Round Two, the car misfired, causing him to lose engine power with track conditions that were improving with every lap, which relegated him back to P12 on the starting grid for Sunday’s running of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.
"The car just misfired on us during the Firestone Fast 12 today,” said Wilson. “It is a shame because the No. 19 Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Honda was P1 in practice this morning and P1 during first round qualifying today. And we were running P1 during the Firestone Fast 12 when the car misfired, which dropped us all the way back to P12. I am pretty confident that we would have made it into the Firestone Fast Six and possible had a shot at winning the pole today. We set a new track record after the first round of qualifying, which just goes to show how great of arace car we have here at Mid-Ohio this weekend. I think we have a legitimate shot at winning the race tomorrow."
Following a strong test last week at Mid-Ohio, James Jakes returned ready to bring his No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda back to the top of the pack. The weekendstarted off on the high note he was expecting, running as high as second and ultimately finishing yesterday’s practice session in sixth position. This morning’s qualifying session had Jakes running in the top-ten again as well. Once qualifying began, traffic prohibited Jakes from putting together the one fast lap that he wanted and proved he was capable of. Jakes qualified 21st for Sunday’s race.
"Today was really frustrating for us, because yesterday we had one of the fastest cars on track,” said Jakes. “I knew that qualifying today was going to be key, and I'm not quite sure what happened. The Boy Scouts of America team has worked incredibly hard to give me such a fast car and for some reason we've had trouble translating that through qualifying. We'll keep looking at the data and working to get our car back up the leader board so we can put on a good show tomorrow."
The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio race can be seen live on ABC-TV starting at 12:30 p.m. (EDT) on Sunday, August 5.
Dale Coyne Racing
Chris Gallas, Director of Public Relations