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BSA IndyCar turns in top-five finish on racing’s biggest stage

indy-1When the going gets tough, Scouts shift into high gear.

And as it turns out, so does the Boy Scouts of America IndyCar team.

Justin Wilson, driver of the Dale Coyne Racing No. 19 car, overcame a tire problem that dropped him to 24th midrace all the way to a fifth-place finish in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500. Wilson had the fastest lap of the day — 226.940 mph — don’t try this at home — and had the highest-finishing Honda behind four Chevrolet engines.

With a crowd of 300,000 watching from the stands and 5.7 million viewers in front of TVs at home, Wilson zipped around the track, showing off his racing skills and the BSA colors and logos that cover his car.

Whenever the BSA car does well, Scouting benefits from the positive exposure and the almost-subliminal message that the BSA is closely connected to science, technology, engineering, and math.

And don’t forget, all of this publicity comes at no cost to the organization or its members. For that, we have to thank Scouting benefactors Dale and Gail Coyne, who were surely smiling at Indy on Sunday.

Wilson was smiling, too.

“The No. 19 Boy Scouts of America car was fantastic today,” Wilson said after the race. “Early on we were moving forward. We made adjustments on every pit stop until by the end of the race we had a great racecar. The guys gave me great pit stops, and we just kept working away at it to get a top-five. There is nothing quite like doing 225 mph around here.”

The IndyCar Series resumes next weekend at the Detroit Grand Prix in Belle Island, Mich. Both races can be seen live on ABC starting at 3:30 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2.

View lots more photos of Sunday’s Indy 500 after the jump, all courtesy of my friend and colleague John R. Fulton Jr. … 

Photos of BSA Racing’s big day

Boy Scout guests meet driver Justin Wilson and check out the No. 19 car.

Boy Scout guests meet driver Justin Wilson and check out the No. 19 car.

A Scout snaps a photo of the BSA car, ready to show his friends back home.

A Scout snaps a photo of the BSA car, ready to show his friends back home.

Team owner Dale Coyne speaks with Boy Scout guests in the No. 19 garage before the race on raceday.

Team owner Dale Coyne speaks with Boy Scout guests in the No. 19 garage before the race on raceday.

On goes the balaclava which goes on Justin's head just before the helmet. It helps with fire protection.

On goes the balaclava which goes on Justin’s head just before the helmet. It helps with fire protection.

A BSA crew member kisses the yard of bricks just before the race starts for good luck. The yard of bricks is the start/finish line for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

A BSA crew member kisses the yard of bricks just before the race starts for good luck. The yard of bricks is the start/finish line for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

Wilson checks final cockpit settings in the morning before the race.

Wilson checks final cockpit settings in the morning before the race.

Wilson keeps a sharp focus throughout the grueling race.

Wilson keeps a sharp focus throughout the grueling race.

Speed is everything in the pits.

Speed is everything in the pits.

Another pitstop, another chance to refuel and change tires.

Another pitstop, another chance to refuel and change tires.

Scouts know the importance of hydration. Wilson, too.

Scouts know the importance of hydration. Wilson, too.

Justin Wilson, with helmet still on, gets a congrats for his fifth-place finish from team owner Dale Coyne in the pits after the race. Justin started 14th and dropped as low as 24th during the race.

Justin Wilson, with helmet still on, gets a congrats for his fifth-place finish from team owner Dale Coyne in the pits after the race. Justin started 14th and dropped as low as 24th during the race.

A line of cars takes Turn 2.

A line of cars takes Turn 2.

Wilson leaves the pits and stays on the pit apron while he gets up to speed and can  smoothly transition onto the track. Here he's going into the second turn.

Wilson leaves the pits and stays on the pit apron while he gets up to speed and can smoothly transition onto the track. Here he’s going into the second turn.

The BSA car zooms out of the pits.

The BSA car zooms out of the pits.

Pitstop time for the BSA No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing car. Change of tires and refuel are in order.

Pitstop time for the BSA No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing car. Change of tires and refuel are in order.

Wilson was happy and humble after his race.

Wilson was happy and humble after his race.

Justin Wilson talks to the media after his fifth-place finish in the 2013 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

Justin Wilson talks to the media after his fifth-place finish in the 2013 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

Tony Kanaan is lead through the crowd after winning the 2013 Indy 500.

Tony Kanaan is lead through the crowd after winning the 2013 Indy 500.

Tony Kanaan, winner, 2013 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

Tony Kanaan, winner, 2013 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

Tony Kanaan was the eventual race winner.

Tony Kanaan was the eventual race winner.

The Pagoda at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway early on race day.

The Pagoda at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway early on race day.

A Scout is thirsty? Wilson sips from a small bottle of milk after final practice, Friday. Milk is an icon of the Indy 500 since the winner of the race sips from a bottle of milk while he's in Victory Lane.

A Scout is thirsty? Wilson sips from a small bottle of milk after final practice, Friday. Milk is an icon of the Indy 500 since the winner of the race sips from a bottle of milk while he’s in Victory Lane.

Wilson, after final practice at timing stand, debriefs with team engineers.

Wilson, after final practice at timing stand, debriefs with team engineers.

Wilson had his second top-five finish of the season on Sunday.

Wilson had his second top-five finish of the season on Sunday.

Wilson speaks to Boy Scout guests before the race.

Wilson speaks to Boy Scout guests before the race.

 

An important reminder about BSA Racing

To, hopefully, stave off any misconceptions, I’ve started including this reminder with all of my posts about BSA Racing, which includes the IndyCar team and the NASCAR Nationwide Series team:

In past blog posts about BSA Racing, some commenters intimated that the Boy Scouts of America was investing heaps of its own money to support these cars. That’s not true. In fact, the program is a royalty-free arrangement, meaning that thanks to the generous support of Dale Coyne Racing, IndyCar, and Scott Lagasse Racing, there’s no cash investment from the BSA.

Instead, in return for the support from those three groups, the BSA lists them as national sponsors in its promotional materials — that’s it. It’s the kind of relationship where everyone sees the checkered flag.


All photos Copyright John R. Fulton Jr. and may not be used without permission.

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