When Stefan Wilson stepped aside from a deal with Andretti Autosport for the 101st Indianapolis 500 in May to allow Fernando Alonso a chance to race with the team, Michael Andretti insisted that Wilson would drive for his team in 2018.
Andretti made good on the promise, as his team announced today that Wilson will race the No. 25 Driven2SaveLives Andretti Honda at the 102nd Indianapolis 500 alongside Verizon IndyCar Series teammates Alexander Rossi, Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Zach Veach.
"I'm very excited to be officially joining the Andretti Autosport team for the 102nd Indy 500,” said Wilson. “It has been a roller-coaster ride to get here, but when looking back, I'm really pleased and feel very fortunate to be in the spot I'm in now. I’ve just kept thinking about the future, knowing that I'd be joining one of the most successful teams in Indy."
Wilson, 28, returns to the team where he had much of his success driving in Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires, the top level of the Mazda Road to Indy development ladder. The Englishman scored two Indy Lights wins and five podiums with Andretti Autosport in 2011.
“We’re really happy to welcome Stefan back to Andretti Autosport and proud to see him running the No. 25,” said Michael Andretti. “While not on track, Stefan was a big part of our Indy 500 effort in 2017, and we’re looking forward to getting him back behind the wheel at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
Wilson will again partner with Indiana Donor Network to advance its Driven2SaveLives campaign to promote awareness of the importance of organ, tissue and eye donation and transplantation.
"Ultimately, we are working to register more donors,” said Wilson, whose brother, Justin, gave the gift of life after sustaining a non-survivable head injury in a 2015 racing accident. “Organ donation and transplantation is a cause I'm connected to through the loss of Justin, who saved five lives. We’ll be working with Driven2SaveLives to provide hope to patients on the national wait list and honor donor heroes.”
Since inception, more than 1,000 individuals have made the decision to register as an organ, tissue and eye donor as a result of the Driven2SaveLives campaign. Approximately 118,000 people nationwide are waiting for a lifesaving organ donation.
“Stefan is uniting race fans and elevating the conversation around donation and transplantation, and with his help, we hope to get more people across the country to register their decision to donate,” said Kellie Hanner, president and CEO at Indiana Donor Network. “We are grateful for his efforts.”
Stefan Wilson made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut as a teammate to his brother on the streets of Baltimore in 2013. He drove in his first Indianapolis 500 in 2016 with KV Racing Technology with the Driven2SaveLives program as a sponsor.
“Andretti Autosport and I won a few (Indy Lights) races together but came up short in the 2011 championship hunt," Stefan Wilson said. "Since then, my career has been a bit of a rocky road. It's taken a tremendous amount of determination, and that determination only grew stronger when we lost Justin. In a way, I feel like I'm racing for him as much as I am for myself. I do want to succeed in my own career and prove that I belong, but also, I want to do something he never got the chance to, I want to win the Indy 500. That’s part of what drives me.”