Justin Wilson, Dario Franchitti score podiums despite differing opinions on track grip

Jonathan Ferrey

Justin Wilson and Dario Franchitti scored overshadowed podiums on Sunday afternoon in the IndyCar race at Sonoma Raceway.

Lost in the controversy surrounding the Scott Dixon penalty was the actual race podium of Will Power, Justin Wilson and Dario Franchitti.

For Wilson, it was his best finish at Sonoma and his third podium of the 2013 season. He didn't fully understand his team's strategy during the race and was pleasantly surprised to see it send him from a seventh starting spot to second place by the end of the afternoon.

"Yeah, we basically looked at what happened at Mid-Ohio and did the opposite," Wilson said. "We got beat pretty good at Mid-Ohio with that strategy. We figured it was going to be the same this time. We're going to take our hit on the black prime tires early and then the out-lap is going to be better on the option tire, we should run better and faster...

"I'm really pleased with how the team executed.  At one stage I was scratching my head saying, This doesn't turn out well.  When you pit three laps after a caution, it usually doesn't work.  But it did.  The team did a great job.

Wilson says he was committed to the strategy until the next to last caution with 18 laps to go. At that point, everyone made one final stop and fuel wasn't a question. Wilson says that, combined with the general lack of grip on the track contributed to the exciting racing on Sunday.

"I think it's a combination of the low grip, people going off more than others," Wilson said "I think there's enough frustration built up over the course of the season.

"You could actually get close enough, people would get checked up, people would get close enough to crash.  Last year it all kind of spread evenly, and nobody could get close enough to do anything stupid, whereas this year we had a good chance. "

Franchitti was the polesitter and actually expected less grip over the course of the race on Sunday. He finished third behind Power and Wilson.

"I thought it was better than expected, both the reds and the blacks," Franchitti said. "I mean, it was clear the blacks had pace, an advantage.  The reds, the pace was there.  But the fall-off was a little better than expected.

"On new reds, the grip level is amazing, through two, three, three A, four, five.  That's a really fun series of corners on the new reds. "

The complete results of the race can be found here.

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