Q&A: Wilson reflects, looks to ovals


By Arni Sribhen

Through the first quarter of the IZOD IndyCar Series — four races on street/road courses — Justin Wilson has recorded a pair of runner-up finishes and is fourth in the championship standings.

Click it: Listen to the interview with Justin Wilson about transition to ovals

The driver of the No. 22 Z-Line Designs car for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing — who has two victories and 17 top-10 finishes in 37 starts overall — talks about the first set of road/street courses and the upcoming schedule of ovals.

Q. Justin, you’re off to a strong start to 2010 with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. You’re fourth in points and have a pair of runner-up finishes at St. Petersburg and Long Beach. Has the year started off the way you had hoped?

A. It’s been a great start to the season and exactly what I was hoping for. The Z-Line Designs 22 car has been pretty quick. We had a strong showing in qualifying in Brazil, but had everything happen to us in that race. I was disappointed with 11th, but I knew the potential was there.

Q. Next weekend is the first oval of the season at Kansas Speedway. Are you looking forward to that race, the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300?

A. I actually really like the way the series is laid out at the minute with the four road courses then four ovals then back to the road courses then back to the ovals to finish the season off. It’s divided up really nice so you can apply yourself and learn from weekend to weekend. You spend so much time focusing on one thing and you want to put into practice what you’ve just learned. It’s really good. I’m looking forward to Kansas and seeing what the Dreyer & Reinbold car is like on an oval. From what I remember last year, they were pretty strong. Looking forward to working with them, and seeing if we can move our championship along.  Obviously after that we have Indy, so hopefully, we can learn something at Kansas that will help us for Indy.

Q. Do you think the aerodynamic changes made for last year will make this year’s race at Kansas more exciting?

A. I think so. You never can tell. The slightest little changes on the ovals sometimes make the biggest differences. It’s not like the cars are changed that much to reduce the racing. After a few races last year, the (IZOD) IndyCar Series made some changes and you saw the differences at Kentucky and Chicagoland where we going wheel-to-wheel again. I hope we are going to be able to race (like that) at Kansas, but it seems to me that the wind has a bigger effect than anything. It blows the cars around and makes it a bit of a handful. I’m looking forward to getting out there and giving it a try.

Q. You have Larry Curry in your pit, who obviously has had a lot of success with drivers such as Tony Stewart and Ed Carpenter on ovals. Do you think having him calling your races is an ace up your sleeve?

A. Larry has a lot of experience and done this for years and he’s seen it all. It’s good to have him working with myself and also working with (engineer) Matt (Curry). We have a really good combination and I’m looking forward to learning from them on the ovals. That’s their background. My background is road racing and theirs is on the ovals. I think all in all we have a mix between the three of us and that is what has so being so competitive this year.

Q. We let some fans ask you some questions on Twitter. Mike in Iowa wants to know about your biking. You regularly tweet photos from his rides. Just how much bike training do you do?

A. I do quite a bit and I enjoy it. Living here in Colorado I have the benefit of doing road cycling and also mountain biking. Usually I take a picture and post it on Twitter when I get to the top of one of  my climbs. It’s a great view looking out at the mountains or back at the plains. It’s fun. I really enjoy it. I’d like to do more, but obviously as we get into the season and the weather picks up, we’re not here. Just try to make the most of it whenever I can.

Q. Matt wants to know how Mike Conway is as a teammate and if you can tell us who your other teammates for Indy will be?

A. Mike is a great teammate. We have a very similar driving style, and so far this year, when one of us is doing better than the other, we’ve been able to implement those changes to the other car and get the other car up to speed. So that’s a big benefit, and on top of that, Mike’s a good guy. It’s a good, fun, relaxed atmosphere. There’s no edge on the team. There’s no ego, so we’re able to concentrate on making cars go quicker. I don’t know who else is going to be my teammate at Indy. I’ve heard rumors on the Internet that we’re going to add a car, but I’m not in the loop and I don’t need to be. The team has its own business and we’ll leave them too it.

source http://www.indycar.com


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