(ALLENTOWN, PA) – INDYCAR has announced that driver Justin Wilson, who enjoyed success in multiple motorsports series during a two-decade professional career, died last night from a head injury sustained in the Verizon IndyCar Series race August 23 at Pocono Raceway. He was 37.
“This is a monumentally sad day for INDYCAR and the motorsports community as a whole,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman and Co, the parent of INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “Justin’s elite ability to drive a race car was matched by his unwavering kindness, character and humility – which is what made him one of the most respected members of the paddock. Our efforts moving forward will be focused on rallying around Justin’s family to ensure they get the support they need during this unbelievably difficult time.”
Wilson was struck by debris from a single-car crash on Lap 180 of the 200-lap race on the 2.5-mile triangular oval. Wilson was attended to by the Holmatro Safety Team and airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Allentown, PA.
A native of Sheffield, England, Wilson recorded seven career Indy car victories, his most recent in 2012 at Texas Motor Speedway, and eight pole starts in 174 races. He totalled 711 career laps led, including two in the August 23 race.
Wilson competed in Formula One in 2003 with Minardi and Jaguar, and his initial F1 points were scored that year in the US Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
He also co-drove a Michael Shank Racing sports car entry to the overall victory in the 50th anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2012.
Wilson, a road cycling and mountain biking enthusiast, was also an ambassador for dyslexia, a learning disorder characterized by difficulty reading that challenged him as a youth. He would often speak to groups at the racetrack and visit schools near INDYCAR race venues.
Justin Wilson is survived by his wife, Julia, and two daughters. His younger brother Stefan is an accomplished race car driver who has competed in the IndyCar Series and Indy Lights.
Funeral arrangements are pending. In lieu of flowers, a fund has been set up for Wilson Children. Donations may be sent to Wilson Children’s Fund, c/o INDYCAR, 4551 West 16th Street, Indianapolis, IN, 46222.