IndyCar Driver Justin Wilson Passes Away
37-year old Andretti Autosport driver Justin Wilson passed away Monday night after complications from injuries he sustained in Sunday's IndyCar race at Pocono.
Wilson was struck in the head with a piece of debris off of Sage Karam's car after he came off of turn 1 of the tricky-triangle and hit the wall. Wilson was knocked unconscious as his car veered toward the backstretch wall, striking the barrier. Wilson was later airlifted to an Allentown, Pennsylvania hospital where he was placed in an induced coma. Wilson passed away late Sunday evening with his family by his side.
An incident like this brings up another interesting topic in racing and more specifically IndayCar. Is it time to take driver safety to another level and push aside the open-cockpit design for one that can protect the drivers as they exceed 220mph at some tracks. IndyCar mainstays have been against the idea in the past, while drivers, including Wilson, have led the charge in driver safety. The technology and prototypes exist, but is IndyCar willing to part with tradition?
Wilson is the first IndyCar driver since Dan Wheldon in 2012 to pass away from injuries sustained in a race. Wheldon was involved in a wreck at Las Vegas Motor Speedway where he suffered a massive head injury after his car went airborne.
Wilson's career featured seven major U.S open series wins, including 3 in IndyCar. His teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay won the race, but thoughts continued to be with Wilson throughout the IndyCar community post-race. There is no word yet as to what the IndyCar sanctioning body will do as far as driver safety and remembering Wilson.