IndyCar » 7 July 2014
Wilson disappointed with pace at Pocono
Justin Wilson admitted that he was struggling to find pace this weekend at Pocono, where he eventually finished a lap down in 14th place.
Britain's Justin Wilson admitted that this weekend's race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylviania never really clicked for him, as he was unable to make much of an impression on the leaders during the two and a half hour record-setting event.
"This was a long race for me," he said afterwards. "We struggled for pace all day and weren't even able to make good enough fuel mileage to go for that kind of strategy.
"I tried my best to stay on the lead lap and get back with the pack on a caution but since it went green for so long, it was just a matter of time before the leaders caught me," the Dale Coyne Racing driver added. "I guess we just have to put this one behind us and look forward to the next two weekends in Iowa and Toronto."
Also frustrated with how the weekend went was Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay, who suffered from a suspension issue ahead of the first round of pit stops that forced the team to take the car to the garage to effect repairs, leaving him 18 laps off the lead and well out of contention.
"Not really the day we were looking for," Hunter-Reay admitted. "With that broken suspension early on, you think to yourself, 'Why does this have to happen in a double-points race?'
"The DHL guys did a great job getting the car fixed, but unfortunately we lost too many laps to hope for a win today," he continued. "We salvaged all the points we could, which is what you have to do in a situation like this.
"There are still a lot of points on the line this season and we're still in contention for the championship, so we really have to look at making every lap count and getting all the points possible in any given situation."
There was also disappointment this weekend for Graham Rahal, Carlos Huertas and Takuma Sato, all of whom had premature ends to their race day at Pocono.
Rahal's retirement came when the Rahal Letterman Lanigan #15 spun in turn 2 on lap 157 to bring out the sole caution of the afternoon. Although he was able to hold the car off the wall and avoid damaging contact, it was clear that there was something terminally wrong with the car.
"I'm not really sure what happened. The car just snapped. I think something broke and ended our day early,: he sighed.
Rahal had earlier had issues with a headrest coming loose, a serious problem with the sort of G-forces that drivers experience on their heads at the high-speed Pocono Raceway.
"The helmet pad blew out of the car right away and unfortunately I fell back," he said. "I was trying to hold my head up and it took me a couple of laps to adjust. We fought back. I'm proud of the National Guard guys; we had good pit stops all day. They even did a great job getting the spare pad taped in the cockpit in a hurry."
Huertas' day came to an end as he made for the pits on lap 111 when the car simply died leaving him marooned on the outside of pit lane while other cars streamed in, cutting him off from the Dale Coyne Racing crew seeking to retrieve the stricken #18.
"Unfortunately, this race ended like the last one," said Huertas. "We had trouble with the car when we came down pit lane and had trouble getting it fixed. We just took the car back to the garage to look at it and were not able to figure it out in time to go back out.
"The guys will have to keep working on it and I will have to get ready for the next race. I hope we can do better next time," he added.
As for Sato, an early electrical issue plagued the AJ Foyt Racing #14 from the start, and after several visits to pit road the team decided enough was enough and retired the car on lap 25.
That was at least further than Jack Hawksworth got, after the Bryan Herta Autosport driver was forced to skip the race entirely as a result of a crash during practice on Saturday in which he suffered a 100G impact into turn 1 that left him with a myocardial contusion. The British driver was kept in hospital overnight on Saturday and was only finally allowed to leave on Sunday evening.
"Thanks to everybody for there wishes and the medical team that looked after me. I'm sore but feeling better!" he said on Twitter "Not one to shy away from a challenge and neither are the BHA team. We'll come back at Iowa and give it all we have!"
Hawksworth will have to undergo evaluation by the IndyCar medical team before he is cleared to drive for next weekend's race at Iowa Speedway. The team meanwhile are busy building up a new race car, as the one that crashed at Pocono proved too badly damaged to be repaired.
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