Wilson Comes Home 13th in Fontana
August 30, 2014
FONTANA, Calif. - The 2014 Verizon IndyCar season came to a close outside Los Angeles this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. Dale Coyne Racing drivers Justin Wilson and Carlos Huertas entered the weekend hoping for a strong showing under the lights in Fontana. The MAVTV 500 was the final race of the 2014 Triple Crown and awarded double points to all entrants due to its length. The two mile track has been a tricky track since its opening in 1997. Its D-shape and 14 degree banking make it a unique stop on the calendar each year.
Justin Wilson produced a Friday afternoon qualifying performance that put him in the 15th starting position. On Saturday, as the sun set and the lights came on, the green flag was waved and Wilson took the fight to his fellow competitors. He had trouble moving forward on the first stint due to an imbalance not experienced in previous practice sessions. Wilson ran as high as third place before going a lap down as pit stops cycled through the field.
The team fought balance issues all night allowing Wilson to run extremely quick during some stints and fall back during others. “The balance was really all over the place from stop to stop tonight and it cost us from fighting for a top 10 finish. The team did a good job and really tried everything in their power to give me a competitive car but it just wasn't meant to be tonight,” Wilson commented after the race. He was able to push towards the end of the race and finished in 13th position.
Carlos Huertas started the MAVTV 500 in 21st position after working hard to get his pace up to that of the rest of the field. On his first visit to Auto Club Speedway, Huertas was forced to retire after completing 21 laps with concerns of dizziness. He finished in 21st position.
“All in all it was a good season for all of our team,” commented team owner Dale Coyne. “For Carlos to get a win in his rookie year and for Justin to be so close to winning at Long Beach and Indianapolis showed well for all of our guys. We look forward to getting after next year.”
The Coyne team will head back to the Plainfield, Illinois headquarters where an extensive plan of off season projects lie ahead. Testing will resume in late September in preparation for the early start to the 2015 season.
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Trevor J. Moore