Indianapolis, IN (18 May 2014) – After earning a spot on the Indianapolis 500 grid on Saturday, Dale Coyne Racing pilot Justin Wilson returned to qualifying duty at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, stepping up to post his four fastest laps of the month and secure 14th on the grid for next Sunday’s 98th running of the 500 with a four-lap average speed of 230.256 miles an hour.
The 10-mile sprint was far from straightforward for Wilson, who had but one chance to make the most of his four laps to net a starting position.
“I felt the tires wearing just before I hit the apex of Turn-1 and thought ‘this is going to be a long four laps!” said Wilson. “And that is the thing, you wonder how long those tires are going to last through the run. But those laps felt pretty good, I have to thank everyone at Dale Coyne Racing. They have all put in a lot of time to get the cars ready and they gave me a great car for qualifying. It was pretty slick out there, I was sliding in all four corners, so I was just hanging on. You are abusing the Firestone tires because of how little downforce we have. But I just have to thank everyone at Dale Coyne Racing and Firestone for giving us a great product. I know I was losing a little bit of lap time every lap just because of the sliding. But I am pretty pleased with it, I think everyone did a great job.”
Last year saw Wilson score a career-best finish of fifth in the big race after posting the fastest lap of the race and coming home as the lead Honda-powered driver.
Wilson now looks forward to a busy week of practice and promoting the 500-mile spectacle ahead of the green flag Sunday May 25th at 12:12 PM (ET).
“I can’t wait for the race,” said Wilson. “I was hoping we could make it into the fast-nine, but I knew that was going to be a tall order. So we just did everything we could do. Where we start doesn’t make a whole lot of difference for the race. Today is all about ego and trying to understand how fast your car is honestly. Next week is an entirely different story. You have to be patient and aggressive at the right times and you have to be in the right spot at the right time. A lot of things have to come together and hopefully we can do that again next week. We have a good car and we will do a few more things tomorrow during testing and see what happens during the race.”
Saturday, May 17: Justin Wilson 1st qualifying run:
229.013 lap 1
228.924 lap 2
228.958 lap 3
228.895 lap4 228.957 average
Saturday, May 17: Justin Wilson 2nd qualifying run:
229.696 lap 1
229.721 lap 2
229.569 lap 3
229.397 lap 4 229.618 mph average
Sunday May 19: Justin Wilson 3rd qualifying run:
230.750 lap 1
230 .476 lap2
230.154 lap 3
229.646 lap 4 230.928 mph average