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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Congratulations Justin Wilson and Dale Coyne Racing

Who said that perseverance doesn't pay? Justin Wilson gave team owner Dale Coyne his first win in 25 years of trying.

I was there when Justin Wilson earned his first career IndyCar Series victory at the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix in 2008. Sadly, that was the last win for American motorsports legend, Paul Newman, who passed away just weeks after the race. Last Sunday at Watkins Glen International, Justin Wilson recorded his second career IndyCar Series victory and a historic victory for team owner Dale Coyne. Dale Coyne Racing recorded its first victory; not only in the IndyCar Series but its first victory EVER. Justin Wilson, who signed before the start of the season, delivered the trophy that has eluded Coyne for 25 years and 558 races. Wilson climbs to 10th in the Championship points standings and will be seeking another first…an IndyCar Series Championship to be decided at Homestead-Miami Speedway following the Firestone Indy 300 Oct.10.

"Congratulations to Dale on his first IndyCar win," said racing icon Roger Penske. "Dale has been a great friend and a great competitor for many years and we are very happy for him and his team. They worked very hard for this. I thought Justin Wilson drove a great race and he certainly deserved the victory."

Dale Coyne Racing's previous best finish in the IndyCar Series was third in this year’s season opener at St. Petersburg. Coyne has spent a lifetime in motorsports as a driver with 34 major open-wheel racing starts and team owner that helped launch the careers of Paul Tracy, Michel Jourdain Jr., Alex Barron and Robbie Buhl among others. IndyCar Series team owner Eric Bachelart (Conquest Racing) drove for Dale Coyne Racing in 1992-93 and '95.

Coyne looks forward getting a win on an oval. Of the remaining races, four will take place on an oval but none more important than the 1.5 mile, 18-20 degree variable banked Homestead-Miami Speedway during the Firestone Indy 300 Oct.10.

"The only thing that's going to taste sweeter than this win is our first win on an oval,” said Coyne from Victory Lane at Watkins Glen. “And that's what we'll work towards and we'll get there."

(photo of Justin Wilson celebrating at Watkins Glen courtesy of Ron McQueeney, IndyCar Media)

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