Wilson Scores Seventh Top 10 Finish of the Season in Sonoma
August 24, 2014
Sonoma, California - A week after the Dale Coyne Racing team participated in the Midwest’s last stop on the 2014 calendar, they made the long journey to the Pacific Coast for the final two races of the season. Justin Wilson was hoping to best his second place finish in the 2013 GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma while teammate Carlos Huertas got his first crack at the hilly, technical road course. The 2.385-mile, 12-turn natural-terrain track played host to a beautiful Northern California weekend.
Justin Wilson started the race in 16th position but remained optimistic about his chances from the middle of the field. “It is about who can look after their tires the best,” he commented. “If you can get them to last longer than the guy ahead you'll drive right by him.” Wilson was able to have a strong showing in the race but, as he predicted, tires falling away quickly kept him from a repeat of last year’s podium.
Wilson gained five positions on the first lap of the race and ran in 11th place for the first 20 laps when pit stops began. With a multitude of strategies playing out in the field, it was nearly impossible to tell who would finish at the front. Wilson ran as high as sixth position but ultimately would cross the line ninth. This top 10 finish was Wilson’s seventh of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Season.
“In the end, moving up from 16th to ninth isn't the worst result in the world. The team did a great job and if things had fallen a bit differently, I think I could have finished a little bit higher,” commented Wilson.
Starting from 21st position, Carlos Huertas continued the consistent pace he has shown all season as the race began. After a first lap incident in front of him, Huertas passed four cars and moved up to 17th place. His good fortune would not last as his car lost power and spilled fluid onto the track on lap 29. The engine failure took him out of the race and he would finish in 22nd position.
Huertas tried his best to remain positive after the short day. “The team did a great job all weekend and I just wish I could have finished the race. I have to put today aside and focus on having a good race next week,” he said.
The final race of the season occurs just six days after the Sonoma race and is sure to put an exclamation point to the end of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Season. The last race of the Triple Crown awards double points to all drivers so a strong showing is key to the final championship standings. Viewers can watch the MAVTV 500 on NBC Sports Network on August 30 with live coverage starting at 9:00 PM ET. It can also be heard on the IMS Radio Network.
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Trevor J. Moore