INDIANAPOLIS – When Stefan Wilson passed Oriol Servia on the Lap 193 restart of Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500, he joined his brother Justin Wilson as just the fourth set of brothers to lead the prestigious race. They join Louis and Gaston Chevrolet, Al and Bobby Unser and Buddy and Jacques Lazier as the only brothers to pace the Verizon IndyCar Series field on the famed 2.5-mile track.
But, when Wilson did take the lead, he was trying to pull off the near impossible. Could he steal a ‘500 win? Unfortunately, he came up four laps short.
Wilson, had to hit pit road with four laps-to-go in the race, as he’d finish 15th as a result. His brother Justin made eight career starts and led 13 total laps. He led two laps in the No. 25 Honda in 2015. Unfortunately, that was the year he was killed in Pocono in that same Andretti Autosport entry.
Fast forward three years later. His younger brother is driving a car with the same paint scheme, same number, for the same team, with a primary sponsor of an organ donor network in which his big brother saved lives by being an organ donor.
In the closing laps of the race, he was leading.
“It was so close – a helluva strategy call by the team,” Wilson said. “The No. 25 Driven2SaveLives team did a great job all day. With that strategy call we knew we were gambling – we knew we were rolling the dice. We were just hoping for another yellow flag at the end. I was leading, and I knew we were strong enough and wouldn’t be able to be passed, but the yellow just didn’t come. While I was out there leading, I was just out there thinking if it goes yellow now my dreams are made. It didn’t happen, but we led our first laps, we learned a helluva lot this month and it was mad fun, so I’m leaving here with a smile on my face and my head held high.”
It was a great story even if he didn’t win. Wilson, gave fans a lot to cheer about in the end.