Photo: Luis Torres/Motorsports Tribune

Stefan Wilson to Miss Indianapolis 500 after Monday Practice Crash

By David Morgan, Associate Editor

The first crash of the week leading into the 107th Indianapolis 500 came with disastrous results for Stefan Wilson, who will have to miss out on the race after suffering an injury in a practice crash on Monday.

Wilson, who was set to take part in his fifth Indy 500 in the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing/Cusick Motorsports entry, tangled with fellow British driver Katherine Legge just past the halfway point of the two-hour session, sending both drivers hard into the Turn 1 wall.

As the freight train of cars was slowing in front of her, Legge was unable to get slowed in time before her Honda and Wilson’s Chevrolet made contact to set off the crash. Legge’s car sustained heavy damage to the front and side in the two impacts she made with the SAFER barrier, while Wilson’s car went head-on into the wall.

While Legge was able to climb from her car under her own power, the AMR Safety Team came to the aid of Wilson and worked to methodically extract him from the car with a back brace before placing him on a stretcher and loading him into the ambulance. Wilson was awake and alert after the crash and gave a thumbs up as the doors closed on the emergency vehicle.

Instead of taking the trip to the Infield Care Center, Wilson was transported straight to the hospital for further evaluation. Later in the evening, his team released a statement that he had suffered a fracture of the 12th thoracic vertebrae and as a result would not be allowed to race next Sunday.

The team added that Wilson would remain in the hospital overnight for further evaluation and they would have more information on their path forward in the days ahead.

As for Legge’s Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team, it’s another hit in what has already been a tough road leading into the race.

All four of their cars have struggled to find speed this month, with Monday’s crash coming a day after Graham Rahal failed to qualify for the event. They will now be scrambling to get Legge’s car back in racing shape before Carb Day and next Sunday’s race.

“The cars in front were all checking up and I lifted as much as could and downshifted and hit the brakes, but it wasn’t enough. Got into the back of Stef and we both ended up in the wall,” Legge said after being evaluated and released from the Infield Care Center after the incident.

“I know it’s another blow to the team after yesterday. Those guys don’t deserve it. It’s not right.”

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David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.