With the IndyCar season in the books and a limited amount of news to come since the season finale at Fontana, my MotorSportsTalk colleague Chris Estrada and are taking a look back at the 2013 season just past. Chris and I each ranked our top 10 drivers and some of the biggest stories; now we take a look back at the field driver-by-driver.
In sixth place, IndyCar’s tallest driver and perpetual giant-slayer, Justin Wilson…
- Team: Dale Coyne Racing
- 2012: 15th Place, 1 Win, Best Start 3rd
- 2013: 6th Place, Best Finish 2nd, Best Start 4th, 4 Podiums, 7 Top-5, 13 Top-10, 19 Laps Led, 12.2 Avg. Start, 8.9 Avg. Finish
DiZinno says: This was exhibit F, G, or H in the Wilson career file: outperform machinery, take underdog team to a level higher than you’d predict, and get overlooked by the bigger teams. Yes, while Penske and Ganassi have added a Montoya and a Kanaan for 2014, here was Wilson yet again doing his usual giant-killing performance – funny since he’s the giant of the IndyCar paddock at 6’4” or so – and doing so almost anonymously. There were four podiums and seven top-five finishes before Wilson’s unfortunate and untimely accident at Fontana. Still, it marked the best series finish for both team and driver since the final Champ Car season of 2007 (second, Wilson and seventh, Bruno Junqueira).
Estrada says: I’m not sure if Wilson will ever get the chance to climb into equipment that truly makes him a title contender. But it sure is fun to watch him make the most out of lesser gear and elevate a smaller operation up the pecking order. While not quite able to get back to Victory Lane, Wilson put Dale Coyne Racing on the podium with game efforts at Long Beach, Belle Isle Race 1, Sonoma (best 2013 finish of second), and Houston Race 1. You just hope that the injuries he sustained at Fontana don’t wind up slowing down his progress next year.