Dale Coyne Racing pulled the upset in Saturday’s first race of the Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston. But problems for both Race 1 winner Carlos Huertas and Justin Wilson in today’s Race 2 kept them from earning a Space City sweep.
After claiming his first Verizon IndyCar Series win less than 24 hours before, Huertas was the first to bow out of today’s event.
The Colombian started 12th, but on Lap 3, he suddenly slowed on track and took his No. 18 Cafe de Colombia Honda off-course.
Race strategist Darren Crouser told NBCSN that the car simply “shut off” and Huertas himself didn’t have an exact reason for the failure.
“I feel really good for yesterday and today is disappointing, but it is impossible to finish every race without having at least one problem,” said Huertas, who suffered the first DNF of his rookie season.
“Hopefully, we don’t have any more. It was strange because the car just shut off completely. It must have been an electrical failure or something but we don’t know right now. All in all, I am proud of our accomplishments this weekend.”
That left Wilson to carry the DCR banner and despite having problems on restarts, he was able to put his No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda in the Top 5.
But shortly after a restart with 24 laps to go, Marco Andretti made slight contact with Wilson while racing for fifth. It sent Wilson into the tire barrier at Turn 9 to trigger another yellow.
IndyCar chose to take no action regarding the incident. Wilson was able to keep going but finished one lap down in 12th.
“We struggled a bit on restarts, so guys were all over the back of me,” Wilson said of his day. “I knew that if I could hang on for a couple of laps I would get going and be quick again.
“Marco tried to come down the inside and it wasn’t really going to happen. He tried to get out of it and he just tapped me into the wall. He came down and apologized and said ‘I didn’t mean to do that.’ It is just racing.
“I know it was just a mistake and it is a shame but we kept going on when we were a lap down and we were trying to salvage any points we can.”
Andretti also tweeted apologies to Wilson following the race.