Justin Wilson confirmed today during an IndyCar conference call that he will return to Dale Coyne Racing for a 3rd straight year in 2014. He has spent the better part of the off season recovering from injuries suffered in the season finale at Auto Club Speedway on October 19th. He has recovered from his injuries currently is set to run the Rolex 24 at Daytona this weekend driving for Michael Shank Racing, the team he won the 24 with in 2012.”The recovery went well,” he said. “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 initially drove for Coyne in 2009 and scored the teams maiden victory in 23 years at Watkins Glen International. Wilson rejoined the team in 2012 after a two year stint at Dreyer and Reinbold Racing and brought the team back to victory lane at Texas Motor Speedway, which was also Wilson’s first win on a road course.
Wilson’s 2014 campaign, albeit winless, made him best of the rest if you will with several spirited drives from the back to the front and was in contention for a top 5 finish in the standings until the crash knocked him down to 6th in the standings.
Wilson has always been able to mix it up with the big teams in IndyCar driving for Coyne and the former Champ Car World Series, finishing 2nd in points in 2006 and 2007 driving for RuSport, which really speaks wonders for the Britton. For 2014, however, Wilson feels that him and the team will need to work on several aspects to be more consistent.
He [Dale] promises me he’s going to get a couple of critical people in the right places and allow us 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.
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.
He will also have a new race engineer for 2014 in Michael Cannon, replacing Bill Pappas who was on Wilson’s pitbox in 2009 and 2012-13, who departed Dale Coyne Racing for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Cannon recently worked with EJ Viso’s Andretti/HVM outfit for 2013 and has worked with drivers such as Tony Kanaan, Simona de Silvestro and Robert Doornbos.