Rahal to Replace Wilson

Graham Rahal is back in the Indianapolis 500. Rahal, bumped out of the field on Sunday by teammate Jack Harvey, will drive the number 24 Chevy on Sunday in place of Stefan Wilson

Wilson was imjured in a crash during practice yesterday. He fractured the 12th thoracic vertebra and will not be able to drive.

Stefan Wilson

“I don’t feel good filling in for an injured driver…Unfortunately in racing, things happen. But (given his relationship with the Wilsons) I felt like it was my calling to come help,” Rahal said.

Wilson (right) was injured Monday in this crash

Rahal has been a long time family friend of the Wilson family. he owes his Indycar career to Stefan’s late other Justin, who advised him to not pursue a Formula 1 career.

Wilson qualified 25th, but the driver change means the car will start 33rd, ironically next to Harvey.

Rahal said had it been another team and driver, he is not sure he would have taken advantage of the opportunity.

On driving a Chevy powered car instead of a Honda, Rahal said, “There’s a lot to learn.”

Car owner Dennis Reinbold said that he is grateful that Honda, Chevy, and all the sponsors involved were able to work things out.

Rahal drove for Reinbold at Iowa in 2010

The 24 car will have a different look when it rolls ono the track for Carb Day Friday.

The Indycar community always comes together to hep each other out when a team or driveris in a difficult situation.The 500 is bigger than any one individual, and once again we see the community come together to for the good orf the race and the series.

Power Fastest in Crash Marred Practice

Will Power nipped Scott Dixon near the end of today’s post qualifying practice. Power turned a lap at 229,222 mph. Early in the session Dixon set the fast time of 229.184.Pokle sitter Alex Palou was fourth fastest.

Power said that he thinks he has a car that can win the 500.

The first crash since the track opened for the 500 involved Katherine Legge and Stefan Wilson. Legge made contact with back of Wilson’s car in turn 1 and both cars made contact with the wall. Wilson hit head on. He was assisted from the car by the AMR safety team and was sent to Methodist Hospital for further evaluation.

As we learned about an hour ago, Wilson suffered a fracture of the 12th thoracic vertebra and has been ruled out of driving in the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500. No replacement driver has been named, and probably won’t be until tomorrow. I will not speculate about whom might replace him.

This result is devastating for a driver who has worked so hard to enter the 00. He finally got together with a good organization for this year, only to be sidelined.


Legge and Wilson Crash Halts Practice

With about 45 minutes left in today’s two hour practice session, Katherine Legge ran into the back of Stefan Wilson, sending both cars into the wall. Legge made right rear contact with the SAFER barrier. Wilson did a three quarter spin nand contacted the SAFER barrier head on. Legge continued down the ntrack and made wall contact in turn 2.

Stefan Wilson

Legge got out ofmthe carb without assistance. Wilson was assisted out of the car by the AMR safety team and placed on a stretcher. he was taken to Methodist Hospital for further evaluation.

Katherine Legge

The accident was the first incident of the Indianapolis 500 preparation weeks. Indycar reset the clock to 30 minutes as practice resumed.

I will have a report on practice later today.

Stefan Wilson Focused on 500, Future Can Wait

Stefan Wilson enters this year’s 500 with a new association and a new teammate. He is thrilled with his situation. The Cusick Motorsports team has paired with Dreyer & Reibold fror 2023, He also has 2014 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay as a teammate.

“Ryan’san amazing teammate. He has just so much experience, I can rely on it. You know, it’s reassuring, you know, you make a change. And you have read on it. And you’re like, Okay, this is my read. And then you like, wait with bated breath. Like, what’s Ryan gonna say about the same change. And then when he comes in and has the same feedback, it’s like, it’s encouraging. It’s encouraging. It’s reassuring that your feedback is pretty, pretty accurate. Yeah, so it’s like a it’s a nice way to check yourself. Because he knows what’s up. He’s one here. So if my feedback matches, and that’s a good thing,” Wilson said.

Wilson was happy with yesterday’s practice.

“We’re close. I think we’re really close. If we can find a little bit more than will be fine,” he said. Wilson was 15th Wednesday, and Hunter-Reay was eighth.

Today the team will work on qualifying setup.

“We’re just gonna put the ball line set up on, see how fast it is. And then tomorrow, I think the weather is gonna come in late. So I think we might get a couple of runs in tomorrow with the qualifying boost.”

Wilson said they are not thinking about future expansion of the program just yet.

“I think right now, we talked about it, we thought about it, but right now it’s not in my mind. I’m just totally focused on the next two weeks. Next weekend, and trying to make the most of this opportunity. I think after that when the dust settles, we’ll think about okay, what do we need? “

Wilson likes the way the team is setup now ansd wants to continue.

” I think this is such a great combo me and Ryan. If I had my choice would be to just keep the same group together and just hold again next year, so that’d be the goal.”

Cusick, Wilson Return to Indy, Teamed with Dreyer & Reinbold

Photo from team press release

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.

Practice Day 2- Rain Tires Not Allowed

Update: At 6:51am there is light rain falling. The rain should end around 8 am. After 1 pm he rain chances are significant.

Today’s Schedule:

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.

Cusick-‘2023 Starts Now’

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.

A Great Day for Two Good Guys

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.