British driver Justin Wilson will be there - in the past four years, he's finished fourth, first, second and third in Edmonton, respectively. Earlier today I had a chance to chat with Wilson about an exciting weekend and his thoughts on the upcoming race in our city!
JW: Yeah, I always enjoy this track and I've been on the podium most years. So hopefully we can get back on that top step and get things moving again here in Edmonton.
JK: What do you like about the Edmonton Indy?
JW: It's just a great atmosphere and the fans that come out and support it - it's just fantastic to race in front of them and put on a good show. The track itself is very demanding, it's probably one of the most physical we come across all season because it's such high speeds and big cornering loads and no rest. You're turning pretty much the whole way round the track! I like that challenge and I like everything it does for a driver, the way it challenges you in every aspect.
JK: I’m sure you’re still buzzing after a huge, emotional win on Sunday at Watkins Glen. No shortage of storylines there - with the win, you give Dale Coyne his first victory as an owner in 23 years. Tell me about that whole experience...
JW: It was just fantastic, still on a high after a great weekend and to go out to Watkins Glen, on such a famous, historic race track [was exciting]. We generally went out there and were fast and was able to overtake Ryan Briscoe, take the lead and control the race from then on. So I've just got to thank everyone at Dale Coyne racing for working so hard and giving me the opportunity to drive this year. This is the best way I could to thank them for their support and also Z-Line Designs, who is our sponsor this year, they've been fantastic. We've had some difficult times but I think this more than makes up for it.
JK: And a bit of revenge over Ryan Briscoe too!
JW: Yeah! It was actually very similar circumstances at the first race of the year in St. Petersburg where I was leading, he was second, with a late restart on the yellow. He managed to get the jump on me there but it wasn't happening a second time I'll tell you! I was trying hard on that restart and opened up a nice gap, and from that point on my life was a lot easier.
JK: I bet! I read somewhere that you called this the most important win of your career. Why is that?
JW: Well, mainly because it's the first win for Dale and Dale Coyne Racing. He's been working at this for 25 years, somebody told me it was 558 starts without winning a race and it was pretty emotional to be the driver to give him that first win. Also, we're a growing team; we don't have the budget of the Gnassi's or the Penske's. We're still trying to work things out and improve, and to go out there and beat those on the day is just a really great feeling; to know that you've done everything right and it pays off - all your hard work is rewarded.
JK: And back to the Rexall Edmonton Indy - you’re obviously coming into the race on a high note. Is this going to be a breakthrough year for you?
JW: I hope so. We've still got some improvements to do; we feel like we're good on the street and the road circuits. We've got to work on our oval set up a bit more and I think that will come with time. We'll do a few tests and improve, but right now we're focused on the road courses and I think we've got a good shot here at Edmonton. I'll give it everything I can to go out there and claim another victory!
JK: Thanks so much for your time Justin. We’ll see ya at the track!
JW: See you at the track!