Interview with Justin Wilson
Q: How do you feel moving to Dale Coyne Racing?
JUSTIN WILSON: Iām looking forward to the new season. Weāve not officially signed a contract yet, but Iām looking forward to getting out there and showing what I can do. Itās a long, hard road ahead. Weāve got lots to learn, new engineer for me. Itās just a lot of things to work on, whereas a lot of the others teams are further ahead. Itās just the way it is, and weāll keep our heads down, keep working on it and get faster. Hopefully on the road courses we can get close to the front, and weāll see where that takes us. The best thing about Dale Coyne Racing is Daleās a racer. He understands it all, and thatās a big asset in this kind of racing.
Q: How did the opportunity come about?
JUSTIN WILSON: (Dale) called me about 10 days ago. We chatted on and off prior to that, and he called me up and said he wanted to move ahead, so thatās when we progressed things. I went over to the workshop and got fitted for the car, and here we are.
Q: How is the process of securing a ride?
JUSTIN WILSON: Thereās a lot of uncertainty. The whole offseason was a bit of a lot of ups and downs, times when you think, āO.K., weāre set and ready to go,ā and then it was all off. That happened a few times. Itās just how it is. You canāt get too excited until youāre in the car.
Q: Is it a bit frustrating, given your success in Champ Car and winning a race in the IndyCar Series last year to have to be out looking for a new ride?
JUSTIN WILSON: I thought we made a progress last year. We got a win at Detroit, we were getting stronger at all of the other tracks. It was a such a learning year. I thought the stuff we were doing that year, the stuff we would be doing in the offseason we should be right at the front and challenging for wins every weekend come this season. Obviously, we donāt have that opportunity now. Before that, we finished in the top three in Champ Car the last three years ā if you look back on it, you think well weāve been hard done to, but itās just how it is. If you live in the past, you wonāt go forward. So, weāve got to start with a fresh sheet of paper. Thatās what we did yesterday. Weāre starting completely fresh, and just working it out for ourselves and moving forward.
Q: Assuming you race for Dale Coyne Racing, where do you set your goals and expectations for 2009?
JUSTIN WILSON: Itās just to keep progressing. Itās going to be a tough year, but hopefully we can get stronger and be competitive on the road circuits. On the ovals, it will be just like last year where we slowly got better and better. Iād like to get a couple more top-five finishes. You just never know. If we can take another victory, that would be a fantastic result for us. Right now itās just keep our heads down, keep progressing, and if we do that weāll be happy.
Q: Whatās your outlook for Dale Coyne Racing for this season?
JUSTIN WILSON: Itās the very early stages. Bill Pappas is the engineer. Heās very good, lots of experience, and Dale is set on getting out there and being competitive. Weāve had a couple of days together so far. Itās all very, very new. As thing settle in and we start to work it out and everything starts to get, I think weāll get more and more competitive. The road courses are what I know. Weāll work on the ovals. Iām confident weāll get more competitive. My aim is to win a race, but thereās just a lot of work to be done. Weāre not afraid of that.
Q: Who are the guys to beat week in and week out?
JUSTIN WILSON: The usual suspects really. I think the two Ganassi cars are going to be really fast. There the two, the Penske cars. I think it will be between those for the championship. Everyone else looks so close. Itās going to be a lot of interesting or repetitive comments on how, āI just missed out.ā It will not take much to be at one end or the other.
Q: Do you know if there are plans for Dale to run a second car?
JUSTIN WILSON: I think heād like to, but I donāt know what his plans are or what heās thinking. Itās helpful to be two cars. You can learn faster and you can use each other, so itās always good. But, if you canāt do that right, itās better to be car and focused and go out there and do the right job.
Q: Can you bring over some of what youāve learned from last year?
JUSTIN WILSON: Thereās bits that I remember and bring over. Thereās so much to take in you canāt remember enough of the details, and thatās what this series is about is all in the details. You can remember springs or whatever but without some of the finer detail stuff itās worthless. Thatās kind of what we were doing yesterday was just working on the basics. Weāve got to learn the basics and get them just right so we can start to deal with the details later on. Thatās where we got to last year. We did all that basic stuff and were working on all that fine tuning. Thereās time in all that fine tuning, but youāve got to put the foundation in first. Thatās what weāre aiming to do right now.
Five questions with Justin Wilson:
1. Whatās the best part about being a dad?
Definitely the best part is watching your child learn and work things out. Iām really fortunate to have a 10-month old daughter. Sheās a lot of fun, and every day she does something new and makes you laugh and smile. Itās just a great feeling.
2. Whatās the No. 1 thing on your bucket list?
Part of me wants to go skydiving, but the other part of me says thatās stupid, so maybe skydiving at some point in my life.
3. Whatās your worst habit?
Biting my nails. I donāt know why I do it. I think I was about four years old and was watching my dad sit at home biting his nails, and I thought Iād give it a try, and I havenāt stopped since. It drives me crazy. I just canāt stop.
4. Fastest thing youāve been in besides a race car, and how fast?
I guess itās a passenger airliner. We take them every weekend. On the road, I have no idea. Obviously, you donāt go above 75 mph in Colorado ā itās the law.
5. Which celebrity did you have a crush on as a teenager?
Thatās going back a while. Thatās OK when youāre asking someone like Graham (Rahal), whoās 20. I have no idea.
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