Justin Wilson gained three positions in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship standings with a season-best fifth place in the Edmonton Indy. Now 14th (29 points out of 10th), the "what ifs" regarding the first half of the calendar emerge.
"We managed to stay out of trouble and no one hit my car for a change, so that's a bonus," said Wilson, who started 15th in the No. 22 Z-Line Designs car for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. "I think we were finally able to show what we should have been showing all year. It wasn't our strongest performance, but it was our best result, so it feels good."
On the 2.224-mile, 13-turn City Centre Airport circuit, Wilson was running ninth by Lap 32 of 80 and was sixth after the final round of pit stops. He inherited fifth place when Team Penske's Ryan Briscoe had to pit for a splash of fuel on Lap 79, and finished six-tenths of a second behind Tony Kanaan in the No. 82 GEICO KV Racing Technology-Lotus car.
Wilson was among Firestone Fast Six participants in the initial three road/street course races of the season, and recorded his previous best finish (seventh) on the rain-soaked streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil, after starting eighth. The stretch of five ovals proved unproductive with one top-10 finish. So the Edmonton Indy result provides a glimmer.
"The guys did a fantastic job and we can head into Mid-Ohio with our heads held high," he said of the Honda Indy 200 on Aug. 7.
Wilson joined 20 others, including teammate Ana Beatriz (who advanced 10 positions to finish 13th at Edmonton), for testing on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on July 28. He has two top-five starts (second in 2009 and fourth in '08) in three trips to the natural-terrain course.
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