On Monday evening, IndyCar announced that driver Justin Willson passed away from head injuries suffered Sunday when struck by debris on lap 180 of the ABC Suppy 500 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. He was 37.
After the on-track incident, Wilson, driver of the No. 25 Andretti Autosport Honda, was airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Allentown, Pa.
Wilson’s family released the following statement:
“Justin was a loving father and devoted husband, as well as a highly competitive racing driver who was respected by his peers. The family would like to thank the staff at the Lehigh Valley Health Network Cedar Crest Hospital, Pocono Raceway, Andretti Autosport, and the Verizon IndyCar Series as well as the entire racing community for the amazing outpouring of support from fans around the world.”
Wilson is survived by wife, Julia; two daughters; and a brother, Stefan Wilson.
Wilson was a seven-time winner in the Verizon IndyCar Series, with his most recent win coming in 2010 at Texas Motor Speedway. He made 174-career starts in the series. He also competed in Formula 1 in 2003.
Andretti Autosport released the following statement:
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Justin Wilson. He was a tremendous racer, a valuable member of the team and respected representative to our sport. While Justin was only part of the Andretti lineup for a short time, it only took a second for him to forever become part of the Andretti family. His life and racing career is a story of class and passion surpassed by none. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Wilson family and fans worldwide.”
Funeral arrangements are pending. In lieu of flowers, expressions may take the form of donations to a fund set up for Wilson’s daughters. Contributions to that fund may be sent to Wilson Children’s Fund, c/o IndyCar, 4551 W. 16th St., Indianapolis, IN 46222.