Sunday Watkins Glen Notebook – Race Postscript

After the race Tony George was smiling ear-to-ear and was one of the first to congratulate the Dale Coyne Racing team on their first win before Justin Wilson had brought the car into Victory Lane……..It was really special to see the Coynes get their first victory. Imagine how hard it would be to compete in 558 events and not get discouraged that you would really win someday……..Evidently the IRL has never had their winners show up at Seneca Lodge on Lake Seneca. It's possible they are clueless. It's possible no one told them about the tradition. There are a number of F1 driver wreaths hanging which include Emerson Fittipaldi's, Nikki Lauda, Graham Hill, etc. from the '70s. When someone reminded the Coynes about this tradition, they celebrated their victory with a team dinner at the Lodge….openwheelworld.net reports that Justin, his wife & daughter, his parents and his brother Stefan entered the lodge through the main doors, and patrons immediately applauded. Soon afterward Dale & Gail Coyne made the same entrance to a standing ovation, Dale wearing the winner's wreath and carrying the victory circle champagne. After a symbolic exchange of the wreath from owner to driver, Wilson slipped behind the bar, as many of the most famous names in open wheel history had done before him many decades ago, to hang his victory wreath on the wall, the bright green leaves a sharp contrast to the long since dried out wreaths of days gone by. Beckoned by the now large, and loud, gathered crowd, Dale joined Justin behind the bar, both still beaming from the day's events, for an impromptu photo op for those lucky enough to be there………On another note one of the local journalists happened to tell us they had heard that the ISC owned Watkins Glen wasn't interested in renewing their contact with the IRL as a general trend. From our viewpoint the crowd was very good. Based on what you have read on Autoracing1.com, the new head of Watkins Glen is interested in renewing the contract with the IRL so that is good news……..Some were surprised most people want a fall race in the vote, probably because it is a beautiful time of year in the Finger Lakes region. Only problem is a much higher chance of rain We were told when the race took place in June it was too early and when it took place in the fall, it was too late. Weather-wise the 4th of July weekend seems like a great time for everyone……………In closing, wasn't it great that finally, a non-red and white car has won? Mark C. reporting from Watkins Glen

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