ICS: Justin Wilson Back With Dale Coyne Racing, Ready For Rolex 24

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Updated: January 22, 2014
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Photo Credit: IndyCar

 

By: Brian Eberly – NASCAR/IndyCar Contributor (@beberly18)

January 22, 2014

CHICAGO– Justin Wilson confirmed via an IndyCar conference call on Wednesday afternoon that he will return to Dale Coyne Racing for the 2014 IndyCar season.  Wilson has been recovering from injuries sustained in an accident at Auto Club Speedway last October. 

“Yeah, I can’t wait,” Wilson said about getting back in a race car.  “I mean, the recovery went well.  I was back walking five and a half, six weeks after the accident, so I was very fortunate the way my pelvis broke, it healed fast.  Didn’t need any surgery.  I had some good doctors, good advice.”

Wilson didn’t find victory lane in 2013, but did record seven top-five and 13 top-10 finishes.  His average finishing position of 8.9 led to a sixth-place result in the championship standings.

Wilson indicated the team plans to test on February 3rd.  The No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing team will have to adjust to a new engineer as Bill Pappas left at the end of the 2013 season for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.  Michael Cannon will take over as the Wilson’s race engineer and team manager.

One of the keys for Wilson in returning to Dale Coyne for 2014 was to work to get the critical people in the right places to be more consistent and make life easier.

“I think we had some good performances last year, but definitely felt like we need to work on that consistency and try and execute a little bit more in every aspect, not just the team, but the strategy, my driving, pit stops,” Wilson said.  “We wanted to look at everything.  Some of the other teams have got a couple more people and can analyze that deeper than we were able to do, so that’s why I wanted Dale to get one or two more personnel so we can do the same.”

This weekend, Wilson will return to competition when he drives for Michael Shank Racing, the same team which he won with in the 2012 Rolex 24.  Wilson indicated the Rolex 24 is the perfect way to start the year and get seat time when there’s not a lot happening in IndyCar.

“The teams are just prepping, getting things ready, and you come here and get plenty of seat time, get some good racing in, and some really good competition. The thing that attracts me is nothing else is going on this time of year so you don’t have to worry about you’re missing something else, and you’re racing against some of the best guys from all over the world, and you come here and try something different out,” Wilson said.

“It’s really a test of everything:  Your patience, trying to deal with the traffic, timing, getting through that traffic.  There’s so many things that can go wrong that stop you from winning this race, and you’re just trying to not make any of those mistakes, fall down any of those traps.  It’s just, like I said, the perfect way to get up to speed, blow off the cobwebs and get ready for the new season”

For more on the other IndyCar Series drivers joining Wilson in the Rolex 24, click here.