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IndyCar Driver Justin Wilson Dies After Being Hit With Debris at Pocono Raceway 

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Old 08-24-2015, 11:00 PM
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IndyCar Driver Justin Wilson Dies After Being Hit With Debris at Pocono Raceway

AP By DAN GELSTON AP Sports Writer

August 24, 2015

LONG POND, PA -- IndyCar driver, Justin Wilson, has died from a head injury suffered when a piece of debris struck him at Pocono Raceway. He was 37.

IndyCar made the announcement on Monday night at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Wilson is a British driver who lived outside Denver in Longmont, Colorado. He was hit in the head during Sunday's race by piece of debris that had broken off another car. Wilson's car veered into an interior wall at the track, and he was swiftly taken by helicopter to a hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Pocono Raceway issued the following statement on Wilson's passing:

"It is with heavy hearts we express our deepest condolences to the Wilson family. Justin was a talented driver on the track and an amazing person to be around off it.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Justin's family, his friends, his fans and everyone at Andretti Autosport. He will be missed."


The last IndyCar driver to die because of an on-track incident was Indianapolis 500 champion, Dan Wheldon, who was killed in the 2011 season finale at Las Vegas, after his head hit a post when his car went airborne.

"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," said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., the parent company of IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

After Wheldon's death, Wilson became one of three driver representatives to serve as a liaison between the competitors and IndyCar. It was no surprise. The 6' 4" Wilson, easily the tallest in the series, was well liked by everyone in the series.

He won seven times over 12 seasons in open-wheel racing and finished as high as fifth in the Indianapolis 500. An acclaimed sports car racer, Wilson won the prestigious 24 Hours of Daytona with Michael Shank Racing, and he competed in 20 Formula One races in 2003 before moving to the U.S. to join Champ Car.

He finished third in the Champ Car standings in 2005, and was runner-up in both 2006 and 2007.

To support his career, his management team in 2003, created a program that allowed fans to invest in the driver. Hundreds of people bought shares in Wilson, who was dyslexic and a strong supporter of foundations related to the disorder.

Wilson, a native of Sheffield, England, entered this season without a full time ride. He latched on with Andretti Autosport and was in the sixth of seven scheduled races with the team. The agreement began as a two-race deal for events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and then was increased to the final five races of the year. The IndyCar season concludes Sunday in Sonoma, California.

Wilson finished a season best second at Mid-Ohio in early August. He said after the race that he raced clean and did not take any risks that would have jeopardized eventual race-winner Graham Rahal because Rahal was part of the championship race and Wilson was not.

Wilson broke a bone in his back at Mid-Ohio in 2011. He missed the final six races of the season and wore a back brace for more than two months while he was restricted from any physical activity. The injury kept him out of the season finale at Las Vegas, the race where Wheldon died. He also broke his pelvis and suffered a bruised lung in the 2013 season finale at Fontana.

Wilson once said that his injuries and Wheldon's death did nothing to change his perspective or make him question his career choice.

"You've got to know the risks and work out if those risks are acceptable," Wilson told The Associated Press upon his return to racing in 2012. "To me, it's acceptable. But I'm not going to stop trying to improve it. All the drivers, this IndyCar, we're always trying to make it safer, but at the end of the day, it's a race car. We're racing hard, we're racing IndyCars and it's fast. When it goes wrong, it can get messy."

In addition to his wife, Julia, Wilson is survived by two daughters, 7 and 5. His younger brother, Stefan, is also an IndyCar driver.

Photo - Justin Wilson, of England, walks on pit road during qualifying for Sundays Pocono IndyCar 500 auto race, Saturday, August 22, 2015, in Long Pond, PA

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Old 08-24-2015, 11:09 PM
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Re: IndyCar Driver Justin Wilson Dies After Hit With Debris at Pocono Raceway

They should just go ahead and make those cars safer. And then speed them up.

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Old 08-25-2015, 01:27 PM
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Re: IndyCar Driver Justin Wilson Dies After Hit With Debris at Pocono Raceway

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Originally Posted by niknik View Post
They should just go ahead and make those cars safer. And then speed them up.
For the speeds that these cars reach, they are as safe as our modern vehicles can get. Small tweaks may make it safer, but then speed or performance is lost. All the luxuries are stripped out as rollcages, 5 point harness belts, collapsing carbon fiber impact-absorbing material is installed. Every millisecond counts in these races so sometimes a cracked panel or an untightened nut is overlooked. There are rules and regulations that the organizers for most races must adhere to, and in the more expensive, more famous races they are completely scrutinized and looked over. Sometimes some peoplr just have awful luck on a bad fucking day.

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Old 08-25-2015, 03:03 PM
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Re: IndyCar Driver Justin Wilson Dies After Hit With Debris at Pocono Raceway

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Originally Posted by vipersna View Post
For the speeds that these cars reach, they are as safe as our modern vehicles can get. Small tweaks may make it safer, but then speed or performance is lost. All the luxuries are stripped out as rollcages, 5 point harness belts, collapsing carbon fiber impact-absorbing material is installed. Every millisecond counts in these races so sometimes a cracked panel or an untightened nut is overlooked. There are rules and regulations that the organizers for most races must adhere to, and in the more expensive, more famous races they are completely scrutinized and looked over. Sometimes some peoplr just have awful luck on a bad fucking day.
Oh I agree that things will happen, and they shouldn't make changes every time something goes wrong.

But these indy cars have room for more safety. It's just a question if they'll do it. Or better yet, how many more will have to die before they do it.

I'm talking about a windshield, with a halo type roll cage. Which I believe they'll eventually do, because this guy as well as Dan Weldon would most likely be alive today with those features.

I love the way it is now, But I also think enclosing the cockpit wouldn't hurt the racing, might even improve it because they could design it to give more downforce.

I don't know, I just hope whatever they do it doesn't suck. I love going to their races at Texas Motor Speedway. If they slow the cars down, I probably won't go anymore.

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Old 08-25-2015, 10:03 PM
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Re: IndyCar Driver Justin Wilson Dies After Being Hit With Debris at Pocono Rac

You go for rhe wrecks not the racing. I dont go to see a car make left hand turns all day.

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Old 08-25-2015, 10:20 PM
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Re: IndyCar Driver Justin Wilson Dies After Being Hit With Debris at Pocono Rac

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Originally Posted by vipersna View Post
You go for rhe wrecks not the racing. I dont go to see a car make left hand turns all day.
Who goes for the wrecks? Not me. I go for the speed, and the racing. Ovals are way more fun to watch in my opinion.

I think watching cars speed up and slow down trying to out brake someone in a passing zone is boring. Well sometimes, sometimes road races are fun to watch. Especially Nascar road races.

I like to watch racing where the pedal is on the floor, where cars go into and out of corners two wide.

My guess is you've never been to Texas Motor Speedway. Or watched cars race two and three wide at 200+mph. It's quite a site to see. And it's great racing. I dont know how many times I've heard someone say what you said. "oh they just turn left". Until they go to a race, then they don't shut up about how cool it is.

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