- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 25, 2013

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) - Justin Wilson had a chance to enjoy a weekend off for the first time in two months.

He’ll instead go racing this Sunday in Watkins Glen, N.Y.: Wilson is joining Michael Shank Racing to run the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen as co-driver of the No. 6 Ford-Riley with Gustavo Yacaman.

It will be Wilson’s seventh Grand-AM start with Shank, and second of the year. He also ran the Rolex 24 in January with Shank, finishing third.

Wilson is familiar with Watkins Glen International, where he gave Dale Coyne Racing its first IndyCar Series victory in 2010.

“I’m very happy to get the chance to race with Mike again, particularly at Watkins Glen,” said Wilson. “Mike has a great group of guys so it will just be like seeing some old friends again, and we can just pick up where we left off at Daytona.”

The opportunity became available for Wilson when usual driver Antonio Pizzonia ran into sponsorship issues.

“Unfortunately Antonio’s group had some sponsorship challenges, so we needed to develop a new plan for this weekend,” Shank said. “It is a shame. Antonio is a true talent, and we really appreciated his efforts _ he was quick right from the start for us. We are very lucky to have someone like Justin available on this short notice, and I want to thank (Coyne) for letting him race with us at the Glen.”

Wilson will be paired with Yacaman, who heads into the race on probation from Grand-AM officials for his involvement in various incidents earlier this month at Detroit. The probation was extended because he wrecked out too early at Mid-Ohio to be assessed by series officials.

Yacaman and Wilson know each other from running separate Shank entries in the last two runnings of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

“He is a great guy whom I am sure I will be able to work with very well and learn a lot from,” said Yacaman, who also thanked the MSR team for rebuilding the car that was almost totally destroyed in a fire following Yacaman’s accident.

“I want to take a moment and thank the whole MSR crew who after the unfortunate events that occurred at Mid-Ohio worked hard to get our No. 6 car ready to rock for this weekend at the Glen. I also want to thank Michael Shank for the support he has given me the past few weeks.”