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IndyCar Indy 500

Wilson “doing well”, targets 2024 Indy 500 return from hospital bed

Stefan Wilson says he’s “doing well, all things considered” in a video filmed in hospital where he’s recovering from a fractured vertebra, and is already targeting next year’s Indy 500.

Stefan Wilson, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet

Wilson, 33, fractured the T12 bone in his spine after hitting the SAFER barrier at Turn 1 head-on, following a clash with Katherine Legge in Monday’s practice session.

The injury has ruled him out of this Sunday’s 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 and he will be replaced in his Cusick Motorsports entry, which is run by Dreyer & Reinbold, by Graham Rahal – who used to be a team-mate to Stefan's late brother, Justin.

“Doing well, all things considered,” said Wilson in a video posted on his social media channels. “Just really thankful for all the support that’s been shown to me over the last 24 hours. The outpouring of support from the fans means so much.

“Glad to see that Graham will be taking over the role of driver for Cusick Motorsports, Dreyer & Reinbold and Carekeepers. Can’t thank the team enough, and all the partners, who made all this possible this year.

“Now the focus is on recovery and I’m already looking towards 2024 and trying to get back here to this race. Obviously, this race means so much to me. That journey towards 2024 starts now.”

 

His entrant, Don Cusick, is keen for Wilson to get well enough to return to the track to watch the race on Sunday.

“I did speak with Stef this morning, obviously he’s fairly crushed emotionally,” said Cusick at the announcement of Rahal taking Wilson’s place. “But he’s supportive of what we’re doing and we can’t wait to get him better and back here.

“He really appreciates all the outpouring and concern. Hopefully we’ll get him back here on Sunday and walk down the track with him.

“We are super-thankful that Graham was able to do this. We’re excited for Sunday. It’s going to be a little bittersweet obviously, but glad we can go forward and do it.”

Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Team owner Dennis Reinbold added: “Graham was first choice, but it was all so sudden, there wasn’t a lot of time to think when it was clear that Stefan would not be approved to run. It was a short list!

“Our car will look a bit different to accommodate all of the things, sponsorship-wise. We have some announcements coming on Ryan [Hunter-Reay’s] car as well. We’re trying to turn it into a win-win situation, hopefully a win-win-win on Sunday.”

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