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Verizon INDYCAR Series

Stefan Wilson To Run Indy 500 For Andretti

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After getting his first shot at the Indianapolis 500 two years ago, Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires veteran Stefan Wilson will get a second helping at 16th and Georgetown next May.

The younger brother of the late Justin Wilson will join Andretti Autosport at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in a fifth entry, as the organization seeks a third-consecutive triumph in the Verizon IndyCar Series’ biggest event.

“I’m very excited to be officially joining the Andretti Autosport team for the 102nd Indy 500,” said Wilson. “It has been a roller-coaster ride to get here, but when looking back, I’m really pleased and feel very fortunate to be in the spot I’m in now. I’ve just kept thinking about the future, knowing that I’d be joining one of the most successful teams in Indy.”

The No. 25 Honda-powered Dallara will be supported by Driven2SaveLives.com and the Indiana Donor Network, organizations that encourage the public to donate their organs after passing.

Although his older sibling’s life was tragically lost in a crash at Pocono Raceway in August 2015, his decision to donate his body parts has gone a long way to aiding five patients in the time since.

“Ultimately, we are working to register more donors,” explained Wilson. “Organ donation and transplantation is a cause I’m connected to through the loss of Justin, who saved five lives. We’ll be working with Driven2SaveLives to provide hope to patients on the national wait list, and honor donor heroes.”

In a sense, the younger Wilson donated something different this past May. According to reports, the British prospect was believed to be connected to a seat at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Andretti for the 500, that was until things changed drastically. The surprise was the decision by Formula One entrant McLaren and its star driver Fernando Alonso to compete at Indy, a move that required Wilson to step aside.

Even without a ride, Wilson played a crucial role in preparing the multi-time World Driving Champion for his first attempt at the Indy 500, a challenge that netted a top-five starting spot and multiple laps leading the way. A possible victory, however, was lost when the Spaniard suffered a blown engine on lap 179. Alonso settled for a 24th-place result, but was still able to secure honors as the event’s top newcomer.

Wilson enters his sophomore year at the Speedway, looking to improve on a 28th-place showing in 2016. His addition bolsters a solid quartet of drivers, led by 2014 Indy champion Ryan Hunter-Reay. The Honda runners have proven to be the team to beat in recent editions of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, taking the twin checkered flags first in three of the past four years.

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @MattEmbury

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Matt Embury

An auto racing writer for over five years, Matt Embury's interest in auto racing was influenced from his father's side of the family. His first recollection of live racing attendance was in the early 1990s watching winged sprint car action at Butler Motor Speedway in Michigan with his uncle and dad.

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