Graham Rahal to fill in for Stefan Wilson in Indianapolis 500
SPEEDWAY, IN. — Graham Rahal will get a new lease on his Indianapolis 500 life as DRR/Cusick Motorsports named him to fill in for Stefan Wilson.
Wilson suffered a fractured vertebra during practice Monday. While he gave a thumbs-up as medics stretchered him into an ambulance, the organization ruled him out of the 500.
“We are very sad that Stefan was injured Monday and now is unable to compete this Sunday in the No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing/Cusick Motorsports/CareKeepers Chevrolet,” said Dennis Reinbold, DRR team owner. “Stefan put so much effort into this race that it is just heartbreaking for this to have happened.”
“First and foremost, the only thing that matters is that Stefan is doing well considering the circumstances,” said Don Cusick, founder and CEO of Cusick Motorsports. “We are completely gutted for Stefan and now will miss his favorite racing event, the legendary Indy 500. We wouldn’t be here without him, and we are committed to supporting him every step of the way to recovery and beyond.”
Rahal, who failed to qualify at the last minute Sunday, will fill in for Wilson.
“I’ll admit it was a very tough weekend for me and my team. We tried everything and we just didn’t have the speed. I’m very sad that Stefan was injured in practice on Monday. I wish him a quick recovery. I want to thank Dennis and Don for giving me this opportunity in the No. 24 car. I’m anxious to work with the team and prepare for the greatest race in the world, the Indianapolis 500,” Rahal said.
This will be Rahal’s 16th try at winning the 500. The second-generation driver’s best finish is third in 2011 and 2020. He also finished fifth in 2015.
“We have known Graham for over a decade, as he drove our car in 2010 at Iowa Speedway. He suffered through a tough weekend here, but we believe Graham can perform very well this Sunday. I want to thank Bobby Rahal and his entire Rahal Letterman Lanigan team for granting us the opportunity to have Graham join us this week,” Reinbold said.
“Graham knows the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval very well and we wish him the best this Sunday in the ‘Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” Cusick said.
The DRR/Cusick Motorsports team is preparing a backup chassis for Rahal. He will turn laps during the two-hour Carb Day practice session this Friday.
Rahal-Letterman-Lanigan Racing issued the following statement on this move Tuesday:
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