Texas Drift: IndyCar Star Justin Wilson Claims Surprise Win at Firestone 550


Count on Texas to deliver big story lines and big action.

After a race that resembled more of a drift contest than an IndyCar event, Oakley star Justin Wilson emerged triumphant at the Firestone 550 following a series of abnormally dramatic events and an abundance of crashes on track.

Graham Rahal was more than on his way to cruising to victory after Lap 200, when he took the lead. Fast-forward to less than two laps to go in the race and Justin made the final pass to victory after Rahal’s slam into the Turn 4 wall just a few laps before.

“I saw him sliding more and more every lap,” Justin said, rocking his Oakley racing suit, gloves, boots, base layer and eyewear. “It was four-wheel drifting all the way through Turn 3. You were having to hang on out there.”

The win in the Lone Star State detonated his 46-race winless streak.

“I just can’t believe we managed to pull this off. I saw people sliding around, and knew I just had to hit my marks. I saw (Rahal) sliding more and more every lap. I didn’t think it was much chance, but then when I saw him hit the way, I thought `OK, it was time to go.’”

The conditions claimed a handful of big names throughout the day – beginning with Oakley star Scott Dixon.

A late wreck took him out of contention after holding the lead 133 of 228 laps. The resulting restart pushed Will Power to the front of the pack – but after some incidents with Tony Kanaan and a crash into the wall in Turn 2, more lead changes and visits to the wall occurred throughout the race – eventually leading to Justin’s cruise to victory.

“I thought it was a lot of fun,” Justin concluded. “I had a blast out there.”


Andrew De Lara


June 11, 2012

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