Houston:Justin Wilson made the best of a bad situation in last year's Grand Prix of Houston.
He's looking for better luck this time and moved up in the starting grid to improve his chances.
The 28-year-old Englishman qualified third Saturday for Sunday's race with a top lap of 57.553 seconds, his fastest of the season.
Wilson is breaking in a new engineer, Mike Talbot, and the two have quickly developed chemistry.
A drive shaft problem left him with a disappointing 14th-place finish in the season opener in Las Vegas, but Wilson qualified seventh in Long Beach and finished fourth.
"Every session this year, we get a little better, a little bit stronger and we understand the car a bit more," Wilson said. "I've been very pleased with the progress we're making."
Wilson started seventh in Houston last year, but his car sustained a punctured tire when Oriol Servia smacked him in the rear on the first turn of the race.
"We're meant to be single file," Wilson recalls. "I'm not sure why the guy behind me was in such a hurry."
Wilson immediately dropped a lap down to the field, then went to the pits when his car's front-wing assembly jarred loose. But after five pit stops, Wilson weaved his way to a surprising fifth-place
"It shows you can't give up in these races," said Wilson, who has three career wins.
"There are usually people having a much worse day than you were. If you can keep your head up, keep pushing, you'll get some kind of a result out of it."