LEXINGTON, Ohio (August 5, 2012) – The results of today’s Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio were not indicative of the powerhouse weekend Dale Coyne Racing showed at the Mid-Ohio Sports Course. Justin Wilson and James Jakes were consistently two of the strongest cars on track all weekend, and their 18th and 19th place finishes today didn’t show the countless passes, instinctive decisions, and speeds that these drivers battled the field with.
Starting twelfth, Wilson, driver of the No. 18 Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Honda was ready to continue the domination that he showed throughout practice and qualifying yesterday where he ran was the fastest in Group One of qualifying. Forced to the back of the field due to contact with Rubens Barrichello on lap one, Wilson charged forward to reclaim his lost positions and posted the fastest lap up to that point of the race. On his first pit stop, trouble with the installation of the back right tire pushed him back again, but his perseverance kept him competitive until the end.
“It was a really tough day for the No. 18 Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Honda,” said Wilson. “We made contact on Lap One with Barrichello and got turned around, which caused us to fall to the back. But that’s racing, it’s just one of those things. The car was great, which I think people were able to see when went back at it. We were able to pass ten or eleven cars, but then on that first pit stop we had a problem with the installation of the back right tire and played catch up for the rest of the day.”
James Jakes, driver of the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda, was on track to have his best finish of the season on Sunday. All weekend, Jakes posted top-ten practice times and finished today’s morning warm-up in eighth position. He started the Honda Indy 200 in 20th position, but immediately began climbing through the field, picking off cars one by one. On Lap 40, Jakes cracked the top-ten and ran most of the rest of the race there. The caution-free race left Jakes just short of enough fuel to finish the race, which forced him to pit for a splash with less than ten laps to go.
“I’m really pleased with the speed that we were able to find with the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda car today,” said Jakes. “We had a really great position at the end, but we gambled on a two-stop strategy. Weneeded a caution to make that strategy work, but it never came. We had to do a splash-and-go at the end, which dropped us back down in the field. It was great to spend so much time in the top-ten this weekend, and I think that shows we’re only getting stronger.”
The IZOD IndyCar Series next heads to Sonoma Raceway for the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma in three weeks. The race can be can be seen live on NBC Sports Network starting at 4:30 PM (EDT) on Sunday, August 26.
Dale Coyne Racing
Chris Gallas, Director of Public Relations