INDIANAPOLIS — Following his incident during Monday’s practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Katherine Legge, Stefan Wilson was transported to IU Health Methodist Hospital for further tests. It was then that it was disclosed that Wilson suffered a fracture of the 12th thoracic vertebrae and would stay overnight at the hospital for further tests and observation.
Following further observations and tests on Tuesday, it was determined by the hospital’s medical staff that Wilson will require surgery to stabilize the fractured area. The surgery will take place on Wednesday May 24.
At 2:11 p.m., Wilson, driving the No. 24 DRR/Cusick Motorsports/CareKeepers Chevrolet, was struck from behind by Legge’s IndyCar and forced into the outside safer barrier in turn one at the 2.5-mile oval.
Legge made front-to-rear contact with Stefan Wilson in Turn 1. It forced Legge to do a quarter-spin to the right and made right rear contact with the SAFER Barrier in the opening corner.
Wilson did a simultaneous three-quarter spin to the right and made front end contract with the same SAFER barrier. Legge would continue down the track and made secondary contact with the Turn 2 SAFER barrier. She would climb out of the No. 44 Dallara-Honda without assistance.
“The cars in front of me were checking up and I lifted as much as I could, downshifted, and hit the brakes, but that wasn’t enough,” she said.
Will Power notes that he’s not shocked either with the drivers checking up here as that’s always an issue. It’s the drivers needing to get used to the longer brake pedal instead.
“That’s always the case. You’ve got to be really on top of — because the brake pedal is super long,” he notes. “When a big pack checks up, it can surprise you, so I always — if I see a bunch of cars up front, I always leave a gap and are aware that you can come in and have nowhere to go.
“That’s just these days because people — it’s not like the race where you can never lift. There’s people lifting out of line, trying to get back in, people on different tire life and such. Yeah, it can all pack up for you really quickly if you’re not ready.”
Marco Andretti said that he felt like the incident likely occurred a lap earlier as everyone was checking up and going so slow out there.
“Literally a lap before that happened, we were in this string of cars, and I’m like, I can’t believe how slow the pack is going,” he said on the incident in Turn 1. “Like it caught me out in 3. I was way on the brakes, and I couldn’t believe how slow they were going.
“So I think from the looks of it, I only saw it from sitting in the race car, it looked like she just got caught out by how slow they were going.”