Justin Wilson charged from 17th on the starting grid to overtake Graham Rahal's mishandling car on Lap 226 of 228 to win the Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway.It was the first IZOD IndyCar Series oval victory for Wilson, who led Rahal across the start-finish line by 3.9202 seconds. Ryan Briscoe finished third and James Hinchcliffe was fourth. All four led multiple laps in the fast and furious race."It's just fantastic," said Wilson, driver of the No. 18 Sonny's BBQ whose previous best IZOD IndyCar Series oval finish was seventh. "(Team owner) Dale (Coyne) has put so much into making us competitive, so this one is for him and the team. I just can't believe we managed to pull this off. The car was fantastic, and on the long runs, it just got better and better."Rahal appeared to be on his way to his first oval victory, but the No. 38 Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing car brushed the Turn 4 wall as he was fighting understeer.Earlier in the weekend, IZOD IndyCar Series drivers lobbied sanctioning body officials to put the race in their steely hands on the 1.5-mile, high-banked oval instead of relying on an aerodynamic package that has produced the pack racing everyone was attempting to avoid following the devastating accident in October on a similar configured oval.It worked to produce an entertaining race for competitors and spectators."I have to say this is the best racing I've ever had on an oval," said championship points leader Will Power, who also appeared to be on the way to strengthening his championship points lead until he was assessed a drive-through penalty for blocking on a Lap 184 restart. "You had to lift, you had to look after your tires, you had to really drive the thing, it was moving around. That is just the sort of racing that we need at these sort of tracks."DAY 2 NOTEBOOK:The following cars will have 10 grid spot penalties for tonight's race due to unapproved engine changes between the race at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park and tonight's race.#14 Conway#15 Sato#67 Newgarden#78 De Silvestro***Two-time USAC National Drivers Champion Bryan Clauson will drive the No. 24 Fan Force United entry in the Firestone Indy Lights races at Milwaukee on June 15 and Iowa Speedway on June 23, team officials announced on June 9.Clauson, who competed in the Indianapolis 500 in May, recorded top-five finishes at both tracks in 2011 as a Firestone Indy Lights competitors.Next weekend's Milwaukee race comes in the middle of "Indiana Midget Week," so Bryan has made the difficult decision to skip the Friday night race at Bloomington Speedway in order to be able to compete in Milwaukee.BRYAN CLAUSON (Driver, Fan Force United): "This a giant step forward. To be hired to race at the Indy level, whether in Lights or the big cars, is really exciting. Last year in Lights, and this year at Indy, I was able to use my Road to Indy scholarship funds to get myself in a seat. For these races, Fan Force United came to me and asked if I wanted to do this with them. So not only is Fan Force United giving me a chance to drive for them at two tracks that are a lot of fun to race, they are also doing it as an investment in me, which is a really great feeling. I've known Tyce for a long time. Since he came up racing the same way I did before he got to Indy, I've always kept an eye on his program. Everybody that really pays attention to these types of things, knows that they always put together a qualify effort. What those guys did at Indy this year was not lost on people. Given some really challenging circumstances, they did a fantastic job. Plus I get to work with Tim Wardrop (Fan Force United's chief engineer and director of competition). Tim's an Indy legend in his own right and I've always heard great things about him. There is so much to learn about this type of racing, and I hope to learn a lot from him. I feel like it certainly gives me a better shot at doing some winning along the way."TYCE CARLSON (Co-owner Fan Force United): "It's great to be able to give somebody like Bryan another shot to continue his development. We're excited that he was available and we're pretty pumped to be able to hop on the BC bandwagon." CHRIS WILLIAMS (Co-owner Fan Force United): "We hope to be the beneficiaries of Bryan's Indy Lights and Indy 500 experience, and that we are able to see a repeat performance of the great runs that he had at these tracks last year - maybe even a few spots better."
SCOTT WILLIAMSON (Co-owner, Fan Force United): "This is a time of transition for the team, and it's great to be able to go through it with a driver like Bryan, whose record of success everywhere he's gone absolutely speaks for itself. We can't wait to see what he can do, and we're looking forward to seeing the #24 near the front of the field. Hopefully we'll give our Fan Force a reason to bring and ring those cowbells the next couple of weekends." ***Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner and Houston native A.J. Foyt will serve as the grand marshal of the Firestone 550 and gave the command to start engines. Foyt and Johnny Rutherford are the namesakes of the Foyt-Rutherford Trophy which will be presented to tonight's race winner.***Tony Kanaan has ties to Texas through Mouser Electronics, the co-primary sponsor of his No. 11 Mouser Electronics/GEICO KV Racing Technology Chevrolet.Based a few miles away from Texas Motor Speedway in Mansfield, Texas, Mouser will bring several hundred employees and guests to the track tonight to cheer on Kanaan. All will be dressed in Mouser blue as the company watches its first race at its home track.Kanaan visited Mouser Electronics headquarters earlier this week to meet and sign autographs for the more than 800 employees based in Mansfield.***Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders was overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of the Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway. And that was only the pre-race festivities.Sanders, a former Dallas Cowboys cornerback and current NFL Network analyst, was a guest of Marco Andretti and Andretti Autosport for the race at the 1.5-mile, high-banked oval. Andretti started eighth in the No. 26 Team RC Cola car."This is unbelievable. You see it on TV and you read about it but it's so much bigger," Sanders said. "I'm getting a full education. I like to watch guys in their profession, so to see Marco walk around with a little bit of anxiety, he's so excited to race he can't sit still. He's got that swagger, his hair is flawless, he has his shades on. I like that. That's who I want to be when I grow up."***FIRESTONE 550 RACE SPECIFICS•The race is 228 laps, 342 miles on 1.5-mile quad-oval.•The pit road speed limit is 60 mph.•The green flag to start the race will be shown the third time by the start-finish line.•The E85 ethanol allotment for today's race is 89.5 gallons and the fuel window is approximately 50 laps under green-flag conditions.•Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford, a resident of Fort Worth, Texas, will drive the Chevrolet Corvette 427 Convertible Safety Car.•There will be no tow-ins or returns from the garage within the final 20 laps of the race.FIRESTONE 550 PRE-RACEAt 7:30 p.m., the ambient temperature was 89 degrees with a relative humidity of 44 percent. Skies were fair. The track temperature was 102 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.7:50 p.m., four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt gave the command, "Boys and girls, start your engines. All cars but #8 Barrichello and #78 De Silvestro have started and are rolling on the grid.FIRESTONE 550 RACE RUNNINGLap 1: GREEN. #98 Tagliani leads the field into Turn 1.***This is the second race in 2012 that #98 Tagliani has led. He led two laps at Indianapolis. This is the third-straight year that Tagliani has led at Texas. He led 33 laps in 2010 and 1 lap in Race 1 last year.***Lap 5: #98 Tagliani leads #9 Dixon by .2340 of a second.Lap 11: #98 Tagliani leads #9 Dixon by .3153 of a second.Lap 15: #98 Tagliani leads #9 Dixon by .3704 of a second.Lap 20: #98 Tagliani leads #9 Dixon by .1083 of a second. #10 Franchitti on pit road for four tires and fuel. #9 Dixon makes pass for lead in Turn 3.Lap 25: #9 Dixon leads #38 Rahal by 2.4620 seconds.Lap 30: #9 Dixon leads #38 Rahal by .7981 of a second.Lap 31: YELLOW. #83 Kimball does a half spin and makes left-side contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 4. Car comes to rest in the grass on the frontstretch. Kimball climbs from the car without assistance from the Holmatro Safety Team. Leaders under caution is #9 Dixon.***Scott Dixon has led six of the seven races this season. He did not lead a lap at Long Beach.***Lap 36: Leaders on pit road for four tires and fuel. #9 Dixon wins race off of pit road, followed by #38 Rahal, #12 Power, #27 Hinchcliffe, #26 Andretti.Lap 37: #12 Power back on pit road for additional service.
Lap 40: GREEN. #9 Dixon leads the field into Turn 1.
***IZOD IndyCar Series officials have given #77 Pagenaud a drive through penalty for a pit safety violation - hitting pit equipment.***Lap 45: #9 Dixon leads #38 Rahal by .7632 of a second.Lap 50: #9 Dixon leads #38 Rahal by .9596 of a second.***Medical update from Dr. Michael Olinger, INDYCAR Medical Director: Charlie Kimball has been checked and released from the infield care center. He is cleared to drive.CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda): "It's disappointing. The car was going to get better and better, especially in clean air. I had really good pace but the No. 5 car of Viso was all over the road in front of me. I had no idea what he was going to do for five laps in a row. I'd go low and then he'd chop me, and I'd take off toward the fence. Then I went on the high side that lap and coming off the corner he moved right up, I got a face full of dirty air and the thing snapped around. It's real unfortunate for the guys because I think toward the end of the race we were going to make the car a lot better and be in good shape. "***Lap 55: #9 Dixon leads #38 Rahal by .6664 of a second.Lap 60: #9 Dixon leads #38 Rahal by 1.609 secondsLap 62: #28 Hunter-Reay off the pace and reports of engine going bad.Lap 65: YELLOW. #15 Sato makes contact on the backstretch. Leaders under caution are: #9 Dixon, #38 Rahal, #27 Hinchcliffe, #26 Andretti and #2 Briscoe.Lap 66: #28 Hunter-Reay on pit lane. Lap 67: Leaders on pit road for service. #9 Dixon wins the race off of pit road followed by #38 Rahal, #27 Hinchcliffe, #4 Hildebrand and #20 Carpenter.***Richard Huggins was evaluated and released from the infield car center after a minor incident during pre-race stage teardown.***Lap 71: GREEN. #9 Dixon leads the field into Turn 1.Lap 75: #9 Dixon leads #38 Rahal by .6535 of a second.Lap 80: #9 Dixon leads #38 Rahal by 1.1329 seconds. #27 Hinchcliffe is third 2.6033seconds behind the leader.***Medical update from Dr. Michael Olinger, INDYCAR Medical Director: Takuma Sato has been checked and released from the infield care center. He is cleared to drive.TAKUMA SATO (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): "I don't know what happened in the end. I just lost it in Turn 2 when the back end just suddenly slid (around). It was really a shame because up until then we were running strong after starting at the back of the grid and moving up with good strategy. We had a good pit stop and a good restart and everything seemed to be OK. I was a little loose after the pit stop and I just suddenly lost the rear end."***Lap 85: #9 Dixon leads #38 Rahal by 2.1122 seconds.Lap 88: #22 Servia on pit lane. #22 Servia is out of the race with a mechanical issue - fuel pressue.Lap 89: #14 Conway on pit lane for four tires and fuel.Lap 95: #9 Dixon leads #38 Rahal by 3.9646 seconds.Lap 100: #9 Dixon leads #27 Hinchcliffe by 6.9277 seconds.Lap 105: #9 Dixon leads #27 Hinchcliffe by 3.0953 seconds.Lap 110: #9 Dixon leads #18 Wilson by 3.3719 seconds.Lap 111: #26 Andretti on pit road for four tires and fuel. Car is on fire as he exits the pit lane.Lap 112: #3 Castroneves on pit road for four tires and fuel. #26 Andretti back on pit road and driver climbs from car.Lap 114: #27 Hinchcliffe on pit road for four tires and fuel.Lap 117: Leader #9 Dixon on pit road for four tires and fuel. New leader is #18 Wilson.Lap 118: #38 Rahal on pit road for four tires and fuel.Lap 120: #20 Carpenter and #11 Kanaan on pit road for four tires and fuel.Lap 121: #98 Tagliani on pit road for four tires and fuel. #18 Wilson leads #77 Pagenaud by 22 seconds.Lap 122: #77 Pagenaud on pit road for four tires and fuel.Lap 125: #18 Wilson on pit road for four tires and fuel. New leader is #9 Dixon.Lap 126: Green flag pit stops complete, #9 Dixon leads #27 Hinchcliffe 6.03 seconds.Lap 130: YELLOW.#5 Viso is stopped on the frontstretch. Leader under caution are: #9 Dixon, #27 Hinchcliffe, #20 Carpenter, #12 Power and #18 WilsonLap 132: Leaders on pit road for four tires and fuel, except for #27 Hinchcliffe who is the leader of the race and #20 Carpenter who is now second. #3 Castroneves can't get into pit stall because #67 Newgarden overshot pit stall. #9 Dixon leads the field off of pit road.Lap 138: GREEN. #27 Hinchcliffe leads field into Turn 1.***IZOD IndyCar Series officials have given #67 Newgarden a drive through penalty for entering the wrong pit.***James Hinchcliffe leads for the fourth time in 2012 and the fifth time in his career.***Scott Dixon has clinched the two bonus points for leading the most laps in the Firestone 550. It is the fourth time he has led the most laps this season.***Lap 140: #27 Hinchcliffe leads #9 Dixon by .5445 of a second.Lap 141: #9 Dixon passes #27 Hinchcliffe for the lead.Lap 145: #9 Dixon leads #12 Power by 1.0175 second.Lap 150: #9 Dixon leads #12 Power by .8193 of a second.Lap 155: #9 Dixon leads #12 Power by .9250 of a second.Lap 160: #9 Dixon leads #12 Power by 1.0064 seconds. #27 Hinchcliffe on pit road for four tires and fuel.Lap 165: #9 Dixon leads #12 Power by 1.4050 seconds.Lap 168: #98 Tagliani pits for four tires and fuel.
Lap 169: #20 Carpenter pits for four tires and fuel.Lap 170: #9 Dixon leads #12 Power by .4069 of a second.Lap 171: #12 Power takes the lead from #9 Dixon in Turn 1.Lap 173: YELLOW. #9 Dixon does a half spin and makes moderate contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 4. Dixon climbs from the car without assistance from the Holmatro Safety Team.Lap 175: Leaders on pit road for four tires and fuel. #12 Power wins race off of pit road followed by #2 Briscoe, #11 Kanaan, #3 Castroneves and #18 Wilson.Lap 177: #27 Hinchcliffe, #77 Pagenaud and #4 Hildebrand on pit lane for four tires and fuel.***SIMONA DE SILVESTRO (No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HVM Racing Lotus): "We have one update finally and then something like this happens, which is annoying. But that's kind of how the whole season has been going with our program. The guys are working their butts off and we're trying to make things happen, but we just don't have the pieces all put together right now."***Medical update from Dr. Michael Olinger, INDYCAR Medical Director: Scott Dixon has been checked and released from the infield care center. He is cleared to drive.***Lap 184: GREEN. #12 Power leads the field into Turn 1. #2 Briscoe makes bid for the lead on outside of Turn 1. On backstretch, #11 Kanaan makes slight contact with the #12 Power and damages his front wing.Lap 187: #11 Kanaan on pit road to replace front wing.Lap 190: #12 Power leads #2 Briscoe by .3493 of a second.***IZOD IndyCar Series officials have given #12 Power a drive-through penalty for blocking,***SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "We just got loose. We had been getting loose at the end of stints. For the last ten laps of that last stint I was just really fighting to hold on. That time there I kind of got into the middle of few people we were trying to lap and I was trying to get back up to (Will) Power there. I turned in and the rear just started to slide and I kind of dipped down onto the apron and shut around again. I feel bad for the guys. We had a really good car and I think we had a good chance to win here tonight."***Lap 194: #12 Power on pit road to serve his penalty. New leader is #2 Briscoe.Lap 200: #38 Rahal takes lead in Turn 3. He leads at the line by .5401 of a second.Lap 205: #38 Rahal leads #2 Briscoe by .5147 of a second.Lap 210: #38 Rahal leads #2 Briscoe by .7354 of a second.Lap 215: #38 Rahal leads #2 Briscoe by 1.5526 seconds.Lap 220: #38 Rahal leads #2 Briscoe by 2.6284 seconds.Lap 225: #38 Rahal leads #2 Briscoe by 1.4013 seconds.Lap 226: #38 Rahal brushes the wall off Turn 4. #18 Wilson makes the pass for the lead on the backstretch.Lap 227: WHITE #18 Wilson leads #38 Rahal by 1.5942 seconds.Lap 228: CHECKERED: #18 Wilson wins the Firestone 550.FIRESTONE 550 POST-RACE NOTES:· This is Justin Wilson's first win in 2012 and the seventh win of his Indy car career. It is Wilson's first win on an oval. His last win came at Watkins Glen in 2009, 42 races ago.· This is Dale Coyne Racing's second Indy car win. It previously won with Wilson in 2009 at Watkins Glen.· Graham Rahal finished second, his best finish of 2012. Previous best finish for the season was 4th at Barber. Rahal's previous best finish at Texas race ninth in race 1 at in 2011· Ryan Briscoe finished third, his best finish of 2012. Briscoe has finished in the top three in five of his last six starts at Texas· James Hinchcliffe finished fourth, his sixth top-10 finish in 2012.
· JR Hildebrand finished fifth, his second top-five finish in 2012.
IZOD INDYCAR SERIES POINT STANDINGS1. Will Power 2562. Scott Dixon 2223. James Hinchcliffe 2084. Helio Castroneves 2035. Simon Pagenaud (R) 1996. Dario Franchitti1927. Ryan Hunter-Reay 1818. Ryan Briscoe 1779. Tony Kanaan 16010. Justin Wilson 156IZOD INDYCAR SERIES MANUFACTURERS CHAMPIONSHIPChevrolet 54Honda 50Lotus 28SUNOCO ROOKIE OF THE YEAR STANDINGSSimon Pagenaud 199Josef Newgarden 104Katherine Legge 76Bryan Clauson 13Wade Cunningham 13Jean Alesi 13***The next IZOD IndyCar Series race is the Milwaukee IndyFest presented by XYQ on June 16 at The Milwaukee Mile. The race will be televised by ABC at 1 p.m. (ET) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network on SiriusXM (XM 94 and Sirius 212). The next Firestone Indy Lights race is the Milwaukee 100 on June 15 at The Milwaukee Mile. The race will be televised by NBC Sports Network at 5 p.m. (ET) on June 21