Justin Wilson knew coming into Sunday’s Go Pro Grand Prix of Sonoma that he had a car that could win the race. He nearly proved it, but Will Power narrowly beat Wilson’s No. 19 Boy Scouts of America car across the finish line by 1.1930 seconds following the last of a race-record seven restarts on Lap 82.
“I was battling hard at the end of the race,” Wilson said.
Wilson, who started the race in seventh, was spun out on lap 8 when his car made contact with the No. 5 car of E.J. Viso. That forced him to pit and restart all the way back to 24th position. That prompted the team to a unique race strategy that lead to Wilson assuming the lead of the race on lap 26. He would lead until lap 35 when Scott Dixon was able to pass him on fresher tires.
“It was great to be back on the podium again with the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America car,” said Wilson. “Everyone at Dale Coyne Racing has worked so hard to get a great result this weekend. We have had some ups and downs this year, and have run some really good races, but ended up finishing eighth or ninth. So today was some redemption and it helped us in the championship point standings.”
Wilson was able to move up from ninth in the IZOD IndyCar Series Championship point standings to seventh after the second place finish in Sonoma. This is his third podium finish (Long Beach and Detroit) of the year.
Coming into Sunday’s race in Sonoma there were two things that rookie driver James Davison wanted to accomplish: Drive a mistake free race and finish on the lead lap. Davison accomplished both on his way to a 17th-place finish in the Go Pro Grand Prix of Sonoma.
Davison easily had a top-10 car today if it wasn’t for contact once with Charlie Kimball and another one later in the race with Sebastian Saavedra. Each incident cost Davison four or five track positions. He ran in eighth place for much of the race.
“It was a pretty good race today for the No. 18 Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Honda,” said Davison. “We had a top 10 car today if it wasn’t for a couple on track incidents that cost us some track positions. We lost a couple positions at the end of the race due to tire wear, but we did manage to finish on the lead lap for the second straight race.”
This was Davison’s second career IZOD IndyCar Series start after making his debut three weeks ago at Mid-Ohio where he finished 15th and also on the lead lap.
“Justin drove a fantastic race today,” said team owner Dale Coyne. “It was even more special that he could get a podium finish in front of all the Boy Scouts of America people that came out for the race today.”
The next round of the IndyCar Championship is next weekend in Baltimore, MD on September 1. The Indy Grand Prix of Baltimore can be seen live starting at 2 p.m. (EDT) on the NBC Sports Network. DCR PR
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