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SPEED TV - Wilson Gives Team E First Victory
June 01, 2008

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Written by: Kevin Krefting

Driving the No. 17 Team E Patriots Banks car, Bobby Wilson recorded his first Firestone Indy Lights oval victory at an appropriate place - The Milwaukee Mile.

Wilson passed pole sitter Pablo Donoso for the lead on Lap 13 and checked his rear view mirrors often afterward. The only driver he had to keep an eye on was Jeff Simmons in the bright yellow No. 2 No. 2 TMR-Xtreme Coil Drilling car.

"The Team E guys put together a great car this weekend," said Wilson, who led Simmons across the finish line by 0.0893 of a second. "Our first win together couldn't have happened at a better place than The Milwaukee Mile.

"Coming to The Milwaukee Mile as a kid, it was always a dream for me to race here one day. To win here is even better. Team E Racing and owner Neil Enerson put together a great program and gave us the tools we needed to be here."

It's the third Firestone Indy Lights victory for Wilson, who became the second driver in series history to win in three consecutive seasons (also won at Watkins Glen in 2006 and on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road circuit in '07).

Raphael Matos finished third in the No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers Inc. car and Andrew Prendeville was fourth in the No. 5 Best Friends Animal Society car. His RLR/Andersen Racing teammate, J.R. Hildebrand, advanced nine positions to finish fifth in the No. 25 Allied Builders Products car.

Wilson led 88 laps (he previously led 39 total laps in the series) and was beginning to be challenged once Simmons overtook traffic in the final laps. He cut the deficit from 1.9114 seconds on Lap 90 to under a second on the white flag lap. Still, Wilson knew the situation.

"There were cars fighting for position and I was getting a lot of dirty air," he said. "I didn't want to get right in the middle of that with the potential for an accident to happen. I knew I was faster than (Simmons), and I knew the lap countdown and time intervals, so I only used as much of the car as I needed to stay up front. (Simmons) did get close at the end, but timing is everything. Jeff had a run on me, but I really wasn't worried."

Simmons, who competed in the Firestone Freedom 100 and Indianapolis 500 the previous weekend,secured his best finish since St. Petersburg in 2006.

"We had a good car, especially on the long run," said Simmons, who started a season-high third. "I had to work the tools to keep me good. We were quick. We had a shot of it there at the end. When our tires were cold, I was really, really loose. That hurt us on the first couple laps. We just came a little bit short. I'm really happy. The guys on Team Moore Racing-Xtreme Coil Drilling do a great job. We just came up about 12 feet short."

James Davison finished a career-best sixth in the No. 11 Lifelock/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car and Donoso also posted a series best in seventh in the No. 22 TMR-Xtreme Coil Drilling car.

"We were on the pole; we did an awesome job yesterday," said Donoso, who led his first lap in the series. "The car today was a little bit hard to drive. It was a little bit loose, and I lost a couple positions. But then I had some slow guy bugging me for like 20 laps, and I lost more positions. Then I fought hard with some drivers. Anyway, we finished in the top 10. It was our first top-10 finish and I'm looking forward to the next race to try to improve a bit more and try to pick up more points."

Speaking of points, the championship race tightened again. Richard Antinucci, who finished 16th in the No. 7 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, leads Dillon Battistini 193-192. Battistini, the Firestone Freedom 100 winner, moved up six positions to finish 14th at The Mile in the No. 15 Panther Racing car. Hildebrand is third with 178 points.

"I definitely wasn't looking forward to starting mid-pack for this race, but I screwed up in the first practice session and that put us behind," he said. "I owe everything to the guys for putting this car back together and being as good as it was. I had a good race car and was picking off guys one by one. It's definitely tough to get by guys around here. You could be a couple of tenths of a second faster and never get by. I forced the issue a couple of times and made up a couple of spots late in the game and it feels good to complete another good drive."

Arie Luyendyk Jr. finished eighth, followed by Guthrie Racing teammates Logan Gomez and Sean Guthrie.