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IndyCar Series 2012

Round 07: Texas

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
  • Photo
Texas
U.S.A.
June 9, 2012

Wiley Wilson Wins in Texas

A “never-give-up” performance from Justin Wilson saw the popular veteran come from behind to win Saturday night’s Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway, the third consecutive IZOD IndyCar Series race victory and 1-2 finish for Honda in 2012.

Justin Wilson (Dale Coyne Racing)zoom
Justin Wilson (Dale Coyne Racing)
Justin Wilson (Dale Coyne Racing)zoom
Justin Wilson (Dale Coyne Racing)

Wilson, whose Honda-powered Dale Coyne Racing IndyCar ran faster and faster as the night wore on, was closing the gap to race leader Graham Rahal in the final laps of the 228-lap contest, then took the lead for the second and final time when Rahal brushed the wall exiting Turn 4 with just two laps remaining. Wilson powered by for his eighth career IndyCar victory and first oval track win.

After contact, Rahal was able to continue and nurse his damaged Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing Honda to a second-place finish, for Honda’s third consecutive 1-2 result this season. Honda drivers finished first and second (Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon) at the Indianapolis 500 two weeks ago, and 1-2-3 (Dixon, Franchitti and Simon Pagenaud) at last Sunday’s Belle Isle Detroit Grand Prix.

Dixon dominated the first two thirds of tonight’s race, leading 133 of the first 170 laps. But the Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver lost control while running in traffic on Lap 174, spinning and crashing without injury. Making his first start at Texas, Simon Pagenaud solidified his lead in the series Rookie of the Year standings and moved to fifth in the overall championship with a solid sixth-place finish tonight; while pole qualifier Alex Tagliani battled handling issues throughout the second half of the race to persevere for a ninth-place finish. In the second Dale Coyne entry, James Jakes rounded out the top-10 finishers, posting his best result of the season.

The June run of consecutive IZOD IndyCar Series races continues next week, with the first short-oval race of 2012, the June 16 IndyFest at The Milwaukee Mile in the Milwaukee suburb of West Allis, Wis.

Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan)zoom
Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan)
Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan)zoom
Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan)

Driver Interview

Justin Wilson (#18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda) started 17th, finished 1st, 1st win of 2012, 8th career victory, 1st oval track win; 3rd consecutive IndyCar win and 1-2 finish for Honda in 2012:
“This is just fantastic. I have to thank [engineer] Bill [Pappas] and everyone at Dale Coyne Racing. They work so many long hours, and everyone on the team made this possible. Honda gave us a great engine once again, and great [fuel] mileage. I’m just so pleased to be aligned with them. I had a blast out there tonight. Our car just got better and better as the race went on. I knew I was catching Graham [Rahal] and I could see him sliding more and more. So I said ‘it’s time to go’ and drove flat out, the car was four-wheel drifting all the way through Turns 3 and 4. Once he [Rahal] touched the wall and I got the lead, my car was still sliding a lot but I wasn’t about to lift until I saw the checkers.”
Graham Rahal (#38 Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) started 3rd, finished 2nd, led 27 laps before wall contact on Lap 226:
“Honestly, I just messed up. There’s not much more I can say. We were chasing the car all night, but worked really hard to put ourselves in a position to win, and we were there. The car was understeering, but the same amount every lap. Then, it just washed out and slid into the wall. We’ll win one here, but it should have been tonight. This one may haunt me for a long time.”
Scott Dixon (#9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) started 4th, finished 18th, led 133 laps before crashing without injury on Lap 174:
“We'd been getting loose at the end of each stint, and we were nearing the end of this one. I came up on some [lapped] traffic, and the cars in front of me slowed down more than I thought. My car got loose, I touched the apron and the back end snapped around. It was my fault. The team gave me a great car tonight, I’m just gutted for everyone.”
Roger Griffiths (Technical Director, Honda Performance Development) on tonight’s third consecutive IndyCar race win and 1-2 finish for Honda:
"This is a track where, even on a small team, a smart driver and engineer can combine to upset bigger teams – and that’s what we saw tonight. Credit to Justin, [engineer] Bill Pappas and the Dale Coyne team for pulling it off. Scott Dixon dominated the race until the car got away from him, and Graham Rahal did a superior job of positioning himself for the victory, but Justin appeared to have the strongest car when it mattered the most. Texas is a track where Honda has had a fair bit of success, and we’re extremely pleased to continue that tradition. It shows that the hard work and dedication of everyone at HPD now is earning results.”
IndyCar Series
Round 07: Texas
Rank Driver (Team)
1 Justin Wilson (Dale Coyne Racing)
2 Graham Rahal (Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing)
3 Ryan Briscoe (Team Penske)
4 James Hinchcliffe (Andretti Autosport)
5 JR Hildebrand (Panther Racing)
6 Simon Pagenaud-R (Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports)
7 Helio Castroneves (Team Penske)
8 Will Power (Team Penske)
9 Alex Tagliani (Bryan Herta Autosport w/Curb-Agajanian)
10 James Jakes (Dale Coyne Racing)
13 Josef Newgarden-R (Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing)
14 Dario Franchitti (Target Chip Ganassi Racing)
16 Mike Conway (A.J. Foyt Racng)
18 Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing)
22 Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan)
23 Charlie Kimball (Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing)

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