Dallas, Texas (4 June 2014) – Fresh from a tough double header fight on the streets of Detroit, it will be yet another dramatic scene change for Justin Wilson as the Verizon IndyCar Series returns to high-speed oval race action this Saturday night with the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.
The 248-lap event on the 1.5-mile super speedway (NBCSN, 8:00 PM ET Saturday) marks the first of three night races this year as the green flag drops at 8:50 PM ET.
Wilson enters the weekend with the confidence that comes from being a previous winner at the track after his dramatic 2012 triumph with Dale Coyne Racing in which he took over the lead in the closing laps to score a big win.
With an intense month of May leading directly into the double-header in Detroit, the schedule has been an intense one for Wilson. That non-stop action kicked off well before Indianapolis, with Dale Coyne Racing having tested at Texas in the days following the Long Beach Grand Prix.
The Texas Motor Speedway rewards the teams that can find the best balance between outright speed and tire wear, with downforce being the mediator for both. New regulations for the 2014 season will give the Verizon IndyCar engineers an even bigger range of options in the downforce department, adding to the ever-changing puzzle to find the best solution for a fast night in Texas.
“This year, they (IndyCar) have opened it up and you can run more downforce so some guys will run more, some will run less like it’s been in the last few years,” said Wilson. “You have to find the right trade off to find who can make tires last longest, but also have the speed to make it work. I think it is going to be quite an interesting race, and there is going to be a lot of strategy that goes into a result.”
Wilson has opened the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series campaign with promising speed, but is still looking to avoid the multiple doses of bad racing luck that have kept him from scoring a podium finish so far this year.
“The second race at Detroit was pretty frustrating, so I’m looking forward to putting that one behind us,” said Wilson. “Texas is an up and down place for me. Last year we started near the back and then moved up early on. I think it’s exciting for the fans and we just want to be on the up side of things in the closing stages of the race. We don’t have a ton of track time, so coming off the trucks with a quick car will be key and hopefully we can be competitive at the finish.”
Wilson will start out the Texas weekend by taking part in the Racing 4 Kids initiative with a visit to Cook Children’s Medical Hospital on Thursday.