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Jul 08, 2013 - 06:42 AM
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2013 Pocono: Justin Wilson IndyCar Race Recap
Posted by: newsla on Jul 08, 2013 - 06:39 AM
IndyCar Weekend Team Reports
2013 Pocono: Justin Wilson IndyCar Race Recap

After a frustrating start to the INDYCAR 400 Fueled by Sunoco race weekend at Pocono Raceway, Justin Wilson and his Dale Coyne Racing crew persevered to race to a seventh place finish on Sunday.


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The result moves Wilson up one position in the provisional IZOD IndyCar Championship standings as the series prepares to stage seven street or road course rounds before closing the 2013 season at the Auto Club Speedway in California. 

Sunday’s Pocono event marked the first IndyCar appearance at the track in nearly 30 years, giving the field a brand new track to conquer. Wilson opened the race from 22nd on the grid after the team made an overnight motor change following a frustrating qualifying session on Saturday. 

The early laps of Sunday's race didn’t hold much promise for Wilson, as he had to fend off the charges of the leader to keep the Honda-powered No. 19 Boy Scouts of America machine on the lead lap.

“After we made the motor change, we tried a few things overnight before the race with the set-up to try to improve the car,” said Wilson. “As it turns out, that first stint we were pretty loose and it felt like a very long stint I was just hanging on there, trying to hold off the leaders and make it to the first pit stop.”

But on a track that features three very different corners, Wilson was able to respond to the pressure, fighting back to stay on the lead lap as he and Dale Coyne Racing engineer Bill Pappas continued to work on adjustments for the car.

Those small tweaks soon started to pay dividends, as Wilson was up to 12th by the time a caution fell for a pit lane incident involving Takuma Sato and Ryan Hunter-Reay some 69 laps into the race. As the field took the green flag for what would be the final restart of the race on lap 72, Wilson was up to ninth in the order.

“Once we were able to make a few little changes, we were pretty much right there with our pace,” said Wilson. “It was a busy race, and we were just trying to pick up spots, one at a time. We kept improving, but I was still a little loose at entry and tight in the middle so was just trying to work with that and make the most of the traffic when I could.”

A frenzied green flag run over the final 80 laps featured two pit stops from the Dale Coyne Racing squad, with Wilson staying in top-10 contention throughout. The Boy Scouts of America machine showed consistent pace through the full stint, with Wilson also counting on the strong mileage on offer from the Honda powerplant to move up two positions late in the race and finish seventh for his seventh top-10 result of the year so far.

Honda celebrated a victory, which marked the brand’s 200th in IndyCar competition.

“All credit to Honda, they made some improvement performance wise and we had great fuel economy and that was definitely a factor for us in the end,” said Wilson, who like many of the IndyCar field, was effusive about the “new” track. “Racing at Pocono was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed it. It was very challenging, having the three different corners. It is hard to find the perfect sweet spot, so you would be strong in one corner, but less stable on the other side of the track and it was just a big compromise but a great challenge.”

After a few welcome days at home with his family, up next for Wilson will be the Honda Indy Toronto race event July 12-14. Set to broadcast on NBCSN, the doubleheader race weekend will see the debut of the standing start in Saturday’s race

Justin Wilson No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda-Dallara
2013 IZOD IndyCar Series:
Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg – Start: 13 Finish: 9
Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama - Start: 8 Finish: 8
Grand Prix of Long Beach – Start: 24 Finish: 3
Sao Paulo Indy 300 (Brazil) – Start: 9 Finish: 20
Indianapolis 500 – Start: 14 Finish: 5
Detroit Grand Prix Detroit Dual 1 – Start: 16 Finish: 3
Detroit Grand Prix Detroit Dual 2 – Start: 8 Finish: 19 (contact)
Firestone 550 (Texas) – Start: 20 Finish: 15
Milwaukee IndyFest – Start: 13 Finish: 9
Iowa Corn Indy 250 – Start: 10 Finish: 11
Pocono 400 Start: 22 Finish: 7

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