Justin time for Toronto

DEAN MCNULTY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:34 AM ET

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- It was the equivalent of the Columbus Blue Jackets winning the Stanley Cup yesterday at the Indy Racing League Camping World Grand Prix at the Glen.

Dale Coyne Racing, with Justin Wilson behind the wheel of the No. 18 Dallara Honda, gave the team its first victory in 558 tries -- after more than 25 years of trying -- in top tier open-wheel racing.

Wilson drove a near perfect race on a near perfect day on the 11-turn, 5.43-kilometre classic road course nestled in the hills of the Seneca Lakes wine region of northern New York.

To put it another way, Dale Coyne who has run a mostly one-car team in CART, Champ Car and now IndyCar since 1984, handed the Indy big dogs -- Penske Racing and Ganassi Racing -- their first defeat in any race in almost a whole season.

In fact, it was Wilson again, then with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, who last beat those two teams at the Grand Prix of Detroit in 2008.

Penske driver Ryan Briscoe finished second and Scott Dixon was third for Ganassi yesterday.

The win puts Wilson squarely in the favourite's seat for this week's Honda Indy Toronto, where the 30-year-old British native won his first race in North America back in 2005.

In the winner's circle yesterday, he said that the confidence of winning at the Glen will carry the team into Toronto.

"We hope we can be a factor in both Toronto and Edmonton," Wilson said. "We chose to concentrate this year, because of budget reasons, on road and street courses.

"We just need to keep the momentum going into the Canadian races."

Wilson cautioned, however, that when he won in Toronto it was in a Champ Car and that the IndyCar Dallara is a different animal.

"We'll know on Friday if we are close (on a setup) or if we have to make changes," he said.

Dixon said that in spite of finishing third yesterday, he thought it was good for IndyCar racing to have another team -- other than Penske or Ganassi -- to be on the top step of the podium.

Coyne, meanwhile, was near tears while hugging Wilson at the start/finish line, but composed himself enough to joke about the win: "That didn't take us very long, did it?"

On the serious side, Coyne said that it was his passion of the sport that has kept him going through all the losses, all the frustrations.

"We have less people (working for us) than most teams but we just keep battling," he said. "It just makes you try harder."

Coyne said that he went to his wife Gail this year and asked her to make a commitment to the team, knowing it would be a financial burden.

"I said it's either let's go for (racing) or a new house," he said. "And she's here today and she's a big part of our win."

While it proved to be a perfect day for Wilson, it wasn't for Toronto's Paul Tracy who had hoped to use Watkins Glen to get some of his racing rust off in preparation for this week's Honda Indy Toronto, where he is a two-time winner.

It has been almost a year since Tracy was most recently in a road-course race when he finished fourth in Edmonton in 2008.

But his day ended yesterday when he spun his No. 15 KV Technology Honda Dallara into a tire barrier coming out of Turn 7 on Lap 30.

Until that mistake, Tracy had climbed as high as eighth from his 14th-place starting position.

"I just made a mistake," he said. "I was just trying to get through the race; I just outdid myself and threw it into the wall."


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