In an announcement that is going to be popular with many fans, Stefan Wilson will attempt to make his fifth Indianapolis 500 mile race next May, driving for Cusick Motorsports in association with Dreyer& Reinbold. Wilson takes over car 24, which was driven by Sage Karam in 2022. The car will have Chevrolet power.
“As soon as the checkered flag fell on the Indy 500 this year, we set out to find the best possible partner for the future,” said Don Cusick, Founder and CEO of Cusick Motorsports. “We have immense respect for what Dreyer & Reinbold Racing have done both on and off track over the years and quickly identified them as our ideal partner for this endeavor. We couldn’t be happier to partner with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, along with several long-standing and new partners in CareKeepers, Sierra Pacific Windows, Jay Paul Company’s 181 Fremont, Gnarly Jerky, LOHLA SPORT, Romak Iron Works, Mosaic Animal Care, The Thermal Club and Mr. and Mrs. James Lowes. We’ve created a special relationship with our partners and Stefan Wilson over the last two years – joining forces with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will have a significant impact as we move forward.”
Stefan Wilson is excited to drive for a team his late brother, Justin, also drove for.
“I’ve been very impressed with how hard Dreyer & Reinbold Racing has worked at and focused on the Indy 500,” said Wilson. “It’s such an honor for me to join them in partnership with Cusick Motorsports and work on our collective goal of trying to win the Indy 500. There’s a great opportunity here for us to all grow together. I hope this leads to more 500’s, and maybe even more races together. There’s history here with this team. Justin [Wilson, Stefan’s late older brother] spent two years with DRR back in 2010-2011 and secured podiums. I got to know Dennis (Reinbold), Brett De Bord and Chase Selman really well back then, so it just feels great to be rejoining them in a sense. I also have to say a big thank you to Don Cusick, who has put more faith in me than anybody else in my career. I’m honored to represent Cusick Motorsports and all our partners and will do my utmost to make the most of this fantastic opportunity.”
This announcement accounts for one of two Dreyer & Reinbold cars I assume will enter the 500. No word on the second car as of now.
Update: At 6:51am there is light rain falling. The rain should end around 8 am. After 1 pm he rain chances are significant.
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Public Gates Open Noon-6 p.m. Open Practice–Peacock
TICKETS: General Admission tickets are $15 for Indy 500 practice days. Children 15 and under are admitted free with paying adult.
PUBLIC GATES OPEN (10 a.m.-6 p.m.): Gate 1, Gate 2, Gate 4, Gate 6S, Gate 7, Gate 7S, Gate 10 and Gate 10A.
PARKING: Free parking for Indianapolis 500 practice is located in Turn 3 and Lot 7 (North 40), in the South Carousel Lot for motorcycle parking and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum Lot for ADA parking.
There is a 54% chance of rain at 9 am this morning, and chances increase every hour after that until 5 pm. If this forecast holds, running today is unlikely.
Will Ganassi cars stay at the top of the charts? I don’t think we have seen everything Team Penske has yet. It’s always a question on Day 2. Let’s hope cars get on track today.
Wilson Completes Refresher
Stefan Wilson completed his refresher test in a 2 hour session dedicated for rookie and refresher test. Cusick Motorsports and Wilson did not participate in the open test last month.
Check back for weather updates and some driver features.
Don Cusick has teamed with Elton Julian of Dragonspeed and with some huge assistance from A.J. Foyt Racing, has put together the 33rd and final entry for the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500. Stefan Wilson will drive the number 25 Chevrolet in the race. A few weeks ago chances for the Cusick Motorsports entry looked grim. Finding a chassis, arranging to lease one of the few remaining engines, and putting a crew together were some of the challenges in getting the final entry together. A meeting with Julian set things in motion, and the final entry for the race is now official. Asked when the team will begin planning for 2023, Cusick said,
“We don’t want to do that again, I can assure you. I would tell you that we’re going to start working on 2023 on May 15, 2022. I think everything we’re doing, everything we’re putting into this effort is leading us towards that, and everything we learn is going to be applied to that.”
Julian, who entered a car in the 500 in 2019 for Ben Hanley, is excited to return to I
“Obviously Indy has been a passion of mine when I was a driver, as a team owner. Now, it’s firmly a target that I’ve always wanted to get to. We made strides in that direction and got killed during the lockdowns. We couldn’t hold on to the INDYCAR side of things, and it was disappointing. A large part of, call it excitement, is the fact that we’re coming back basically a year earlier than I had hoped. We shifted a lot of our focus back to the States this year, racing full-time in the States, but in the back of my mind was always ’23, ’23, whatever, even if it’s just the 500, but I can start preparing properly was always the mission. So I wasn’t thinking too much about it this year. Heard all the rumblings about I would but I can’t, or I would but I can’t, so I just put my hand up and said, well, we’ll do it. If personnel and the will and just having the fortitude to say yes and go for it, knowing that we have the quality, of course, it took some traction, and Jay instantly put us together with Stefan.”
Wilson said that the expanded full time Indycar field makes it difficult for one offs to enter the 500.
“It was not from a lack of interest, it was just there was so much interest in the INDYCAR Series right now. There’s 27, 28 full-time entries. A big issue that a lot of teams have run into is just personnel and having that bandwidth to take on more cars or to commit to the 500 in that kind of time. So we tried multiple different avenues, and we just kept hitting stumbling blocks. The later it got, the less likely it looked that we were going to be here. I think Elton tweeted out something was it four weeks ago maybe, that hey, we want to go back to Indy, and it was like, hey, huh, that’s interesting. Jay connected us and we started exchanging a few texts, and I wasn’t sure what Elton thought of me. I didn’t know if he respected me as a driver, wanted to work with me, but I was like, I’ll just see where this goes.”
In addition to a scarcity of cars and engines, Julian said that crew shortages make assembling a team difficult. He also noted that Indycar needs younger personnel.
“I think we’ve suffered a little bit from getting new blood in. Racing sports car and racing around the world, I will say that the average age of the crew member in INDYCAR is way older than anywhere else I see, and the first time we went to INDYCAR with my European crew, they were like, wow, we’re really young here. So I think there’s been a lack of new blood.”
He added that kids coming out of college aren’t interested in crew work before they begin their engineering careers “Some of the older talented guys that are in retirement mode now, that have left, you’ve got to beg the Andy Browns and these guys to come back out and do a race with you. So there’s been very little backfill from that, and you have a lot of kids now that go to school that have engineering degrees that want to get paid like 150 coming out of school. Nobody wants to just go work. So I think that’s part of it.” But I can tell you 100 percent I fight with Penske in Europe for personnel. They poached my systems engineer last year. I was like, why don’t you just take the whole team. But it’s like that, and it’s happening everywhere. There is a serious lack of people out there, and at the same time there’s people falling out of Formula 1 because they can’t hack the schedule. So there’s places to go find people.”
It will be very tempting to just focus on the race car, but we have to kind of also try and improve our starting position, as well. But I think we’ll know straight away on that first day of what’s realistic, and if we think that it’s going to be better time served just focusing on the race car straight away, then that’s what we’ll do. But if we think we’ve got a chance of starting much higher up the grid, then we’ll be splitting that time between both and making sure that we can try and make both as good as possible, because it is really important where we start. I found that out last year, just very, very difficult to pass. I think I passed like two cars in 20 laps, and that felt like a victory. I think that’s going to be our sort of mentality. We’ll kind of see where we start on that Tuesday.
It’s only Wednesday and the emotions in the Indycar family have been riding a roller coaster since Sunday. The joy of Pato o’Ward’s victory was tempered with the news of Bobby Unser’s death. But yesterday, two of the nicest guys in the paddock had great days. Robert Wickens drove a car at speed for the first time since his horrific crash at Pocono in 2018. Stefan Wilson confirmed he has a ride for the Indianapolis 500.
Andretti Autosport announced Stefan Wilson as the driver of car 25 in the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500. Wilson’s entry will be the sixth car in the Andretti stable. The announcement from the team:
STEFAN WILSON RETURNS TO ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT WITH LOHLA SPORT FOR THE 105th RUNNING OF THE INDIANAPOLIS 500
• Wilson and LOHLA SPORT to complete Andretti Autosport’s six-car Indy 500 lineup • Premier women’s golf lifestyle brand LOHLA SPORT to make their debut in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and Indianapolis 500 for Wilson’s third start at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing
Andretti Autosport announced today that Stefan Wilson and new partner LOHLA SPORT will join the five-time Indianapolis 500 winning team for the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 to complete the team’s six-car lineup. Wilson, who ran the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 with Andretti Autosport and competed for the team in Indy Lights, will team up with the new premier women’s golf lifestyle brand to run the No. 25 LOHLA SPORT Honda.
“We’re excited to not only welcome Stefan back to the team, but also to have a new partner in LOHLA SPORT come on board to experience their first Indy 500,” said Michael Andretti, Chairman and CEO, Andretti Autosport. “We have a great history with the Wilson family and we’re hopeful we can build on successes we’ve had in the past this May.”
“After leading laps with Andretti Autosport at the Indianapolis 500 in 2018, I’m hungry to return and finish the job. I’ve worked tirelessly to make this return happen and I am so thankful that LOHLA SPORT has believed in me to represent them,” said Wilson. “It’s a dream come true to rejoin Andretti and also partner with Honda once more in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. The icing on the cake is we get to do this with a brand new company in LOHLA SPORT, a premium women’s apparel brand already captivating the golf lifestyle scene. Among the fans and partners involved with the Indianapolis 500, we have a huge amount of golf enthusiasts, so I’m excited to get them exposed to what LOHLA SPORT is all about. None of this would have happened without Don and Carolyn Cusick, who are avid racing and golf enthusiasts and also shareholders in LOHLA SPORT. This program also represents the birth of Cusick Motorsports, and I am hopeful the 2021 Indianapolis 500 will be a springboard to many exciting opportunities for the Cusick Motorsports brand in the future. Lastly, I am thankful to have Expedia Group’s VIP Access join the effort, along with Menlo Ventures, VSRS and Liberty Group.”
Debuting in January of 2021, LOHLA SPORT has quickly captivated the golf, country club and resort market. The brainchild of recognized fashionista Lisa O’Hurley, former Golf Channel and GOLFINO executive with more than two decades in the industry, the brand’s impeccable sense of style features colorful, on-trend European designs with Los Angeles flair. Formal collaboration with London-based Paul Rees – renowned creator of countless Burberry, Aquascutum and GOLFINO hits – has LOHLA SPORT in roughly 100 exclusive golf shops coast to coast.
“Taking this cool, market-broadening road to Indy doesn’t happen every day,” said O’Hurley. “LOHLA SPORT is proud to support women who love golf and love all sports as our outfits are fit for the course, court, racetrack and everywhere between.”
Also joining the effort is Cusick Motorsports, created by Don and Carolyn Cusick as a business incubator in racing; VIP Access, Expedia Group’s network of premium, invitation-only properties; VSRS, specializing in forging exclusive relationships in the automotive sector; Menlo Ventures, an investment firm having backed 70+ public companies and Liberty Group, specializing in wealth management, tax planning and estate law.
“As a lifelong INDYCAR fan I have always wanted to attend the Indianapolis 500 live, but never found my way there until now,” said Don Cusick. “Thankfully the stars aligned this year, meeting Stefan Wilson and creating this amazing partnership. From casually asking Stefan if he had any contacts for great seats at Indy and half-jokingly telling him the best seat would have him driving in it. As it turns out I’m getting the second-best seat in the house as the sponsor of the number 25 Andretti Autosport Indy car driven by Stefan. LOHLA SPORT is a company I am invested in, owned by our family friend Lisa O’Hurley. I couldn’t be more excited for the month of May and this opportunity to sponsor Stefan Wilson, one of the truly great people in motorsports.”
The No. 25 LOHLA SPORT Honda and Wilson will make their 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut on with Opening Day on May 18 before the green flag waves for the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Sunday, May 30 with broadcast on NBC.