Justin Wilson finishes second at Mid-Ohio, best result in two years

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Like a gentleman, Justin Wilson raced against a “demon” for his first Verizon IndyCar Series win in three years and the demon, Graham Rahal, won.

The part-time driver for Andretti Autosport finished second in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, his best result since finishing third at Houston in 2013.

Wilson’s last, best shot at Rahal came on a restart with eight laps remaining. Wilson’s No. 25 and Rahal’s No. 15 cars drag raced toward Turn 1 and Wilson utilized his last push-to-pass.

“I was pushing hard. I knew I had one push-to-pass left and Graham was out,” Wilson told NBCSN. “I knew he was going to take the inside, I had to go to the outside and then try to get ahead and brake as late as I could.”

But the push-to-pass wasn’t enough for the Englishman against the braking ability of Rahal, who was racing in front of his home crowd.

“Graham was demon on the brakes today and there was no way to beat him,” Wilson said. “He was a man possessed.”

Wilson was near Rahal through a few corners, but as a part-time driver during the season’s final five races, he wasn’t about to be the person to create a hazardous obstacle for Rahal’s championship hopes.

“I so wanted it, I was close to being able to pull ahead there.  But I know Graham’s going for the championship and contact wasn’t an option,” Wilson said, later adding, “He braked so late. I can’t believe he actually made it stick. He can’t either.”

The race was Wilson’s fifth of 2015 for Andretti and he has two more left at Pocono and Sonoma as he drives to earn a permanent ride in 2016.

“It’s not going to hurt,” Wilson said of his finish. “It’s great to get a result here and we’re just building toward next year to see what happens. I have no idea at this point. We’re pushing hard, but it’s never easy.”

Scott Dixon fastest on the second day of Indianapolis 500 practice

Indy 500 practice Dixon
James Black/IndyCar
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Scott Dixon was fastest on the second day of Indy 500 practice Thursday, turning a lap at 226.102 mph in his No. 9 Dallara-Honda at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Takuma Sato was second, followed by Marco Andretti, Conor Daly and rookie Alex Palou.

The rest of the top 10 were: Colton Herta, Charlie Kimball, James Hinchcliffe, Fernando Alonso and James Davison.

THURSDAY PRACTICE: Click here for Day 2 speeds at Indianapolis

COMBINED SPEEDS: Click here for the overall speeds from the first two days

The session had one incident as Alonso crashed with just less than an hour left in the session. The Arrow McLaren SP driver was optimistic that the car could be repaired without a backup.

Among the other notables on the speed chart Thursday: Ryan Hunter-Reay (11th); Tony Kanaan (14th); Helio Castroneves (16th); Josef Newgarden (18th); Graham Rahal (19th); Will Power (23rd); Alexander Rossi (26th) and defending race winner Simon Pagenaud (27th).

Felix Rosenqvist (24th) and rookie Dalton Kellett turned the most laps (141) around the 2.5-mile oval.

Teams mostly focused on race setup Thursday as they will receive 80 extra horsepower in the “Fast Friday” practice that will feature speeds above 230 mph for qualifying Saturday and Sunday.

The Indy 500 will take place Aug. 23; coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on NBC with the green flag at 2:30 p.m.

HOW TO WATCH THE INDY 500 ON NBCDetails for the Aug. 23 race

DAILY INDY 500 SCHEDULEClick here for all on-track activity in August at Indy