Strong Qualifying Precedes Unlucky Race for Coyne Drivers
August 03, 2014
Lexington, Ohio - The Dale Coyne Racing duo of Justin Wilson and Carlos Huertas returned to action this first weekend of August at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. A weekend off allowed for some rest and relaxation for the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers but they did spend one day this past week testing in preparation for the Honda Indy 200. The two and one quarter mile purpose built road course is a change of pace from past weekends with its 13 turns and elevation changes.
Wilson turned very quick laps in the final practice session and ended up running third quickest. Afternoon downpours forced the Boy Scouts of America crew to change to a wet setup for qualifying which saw Wilson proceed nicely in the first round and would end up qualifying eighth for Sunday’s race.
Justin Wilson was lucky to miss a first lap incident that occurred when the race went green but his evasive action caused him to drop back to 18th place where he would struggle to race his way from the back of the field. Wilson’s #19 crew put him on the favorable red tires and he ran blisteringly fast lap times as had all weekend. As he prepared to pit on lap 36, a caution came out and forced him to pit for emergency fuel while the pits were closed which resulted in a mandatory loss of lead lap track position. He would try his best to move up on an alternate strategy but fuel saving without a much needed yellow flag cost him a run toward the front. Wilson came home in 15th position.
Carlos Huertas felt comfortable driving the circuit on Friday as soon as the car was unloaded from the truck because of the test he recently completed. This was a unique opportunity for him to have a more level playing field with drivers that have been racing in Lexington for years. Although Huertas was not completely satisfied with his wet weather qualifying performance, he earned a top 10 starting place which would surely help his efforts on Sunday.
Huertas had a promising start to the race when he moved up five positions on the first lap and pressed the leaders with his very quick times on the Firestone red tires. He held off a pair of Andretti Autosport drivers for several laps of green flag racing and ran as high as second position before coming in for his first full service stop of the race. Huertas took a similar strategy as his teammate and tried to stretch the last stint on a tank of fuel. Realizing that the #18 Café de Colombia car would be just short without caution, Huertas was forced to make one more stop than the rest of the field. He would finish the race in 17th position.
Teams and drivers will enjoy another weekend off before the final three race stretch of the season. The ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 is one of two ovals left on the calendar and will give drivers a chance to battle it out on the one mile track. It remains nearly unchanged since its opening in 1903 and always creates lots of on track action. The race will air live on NBC Sports Network at 3:00 PM ET on August 17 and can also be heard on IMS Radio Network.
For Further Information Contact:
Trevor J. Moore