Wilson pushing Edmonton race after big win

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:43 AM ET

Justin Wilson was still grinning ear-to-ear, as though still trying to register the accomplishments of the weekend.

The Sheffield, England native gave Dale Coyne Racing their first IndyCar victory in over 25 years Sunday with his win at Watkins Glen.

Yesterday, Wilson was in town to help promote the upcoming Rexall Edmonton Indy taking place July 26 at the City Centre Airport.

"It feels great to have got that win for Dale Coyne Racing," Wilson said.

'VERY SPECIAL'

"That was a very special moment for myself and the team. It's something that hasn't happened for a long time.

"We had a great car on the day. We were able to get to the front early on and we were able to control the race from then on. This despite having a slight problem with our fuel tank, we weren't able to drive with a full fuel load. We had to conserve fuel the whole way, which was pretty nerve-racking."

The win was Wilson's second on the IndyCar circuit. Last season driving for Newman/Haas/Lanigan, Wilson won the Detroit Grand Prix. He also finished third in Edmonton that year.

This season, Wilson signed on with Dale Coyne, a small team by comparison to Penske or Ganassi Racing, who have dominated the circuit for the past two seasons.

"I think what this win does prove is that IndyCar is all about the team," Wilson said. "You buy the equipment and then you spend a lot of money developing it.

"We have the straight-forward basic equipment, but we have really good people in our mechanics and engineers that are able to maximize what we have. It feels great when you're able to go up against some of these big teams. We're still growing, we're still learning and we're not there completely yet."

Wilson, 30, has been racing in North America since 2004.

He twice was points runner-up in the Champ Car circuit, winning the Edmonton event in 2006.

"I love this track in Edmonton, dating back to the first year we came here with Champ Car," Wilson said. "It's a fantastic layout, it's very demanding, but at the same time you have to be precise. You have to carry speed, you have to attack and obviously, with some of the bumps and the surface changes, you have to be in control.

"It's tough. Some of those challenges are some of the toughest we come across all season. I love it, I think it's all about that controlled aggression and trying to maximize everything. It always has a good atmosphere to go with that. It has great fans that come out and support it and they're very knowledgeable as well, so you feel very welcomed every time you come here."

Following the Watkins Glen event, the series shifts to Canada with the Honda Indy Toronto this weekend. Two weeks later, they'll come to Edmonton.

"I hope being able to win this weekend will have a big effect coming up here," Wilson said. "I said to my team -- who are working so many hours, they're a small tight-knit team -- that their efforts will be rewarded and we will win a race this year.

"So to finally get that, it hopefully repaid some of their faith, which will allow us to go out there and do well in the next couple of races."

With both Toronto and Edmonton being essentially street circuits, making for a more technical race, Wilson likes his team's chances of contending for the checkered flag again.

'A CONTENDER'

"We want to go out there and prove we can be a contender week in and week out," he said. "We know out on street circuits is where we have the best chance this year, so we put more effort into that. That's where we put most of our emphasis this year. We haven't privately tested on the ovals yet, but that's what we'll work on next. We'll take that next step and raise our game for the whole season, so next year maybe we can challenge for a championship."


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