SONOMA, Calif. -- Stefan Wilson said he and his sister-in-law have been "overwhelmed" by the outpouring of support and tributes in the wake of the passing of his brother, Justin, on Aug. 24 from a head injury sustained in a race a day earlier.
"I'm very grateful for all the support that has been show to Justin's family, which was his No. 1 priority," Stefan Wilson said a few hours before the start of the Verizon IndyCar Series championship-deciding GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. "None of it was expected and it's been amazing."
Wilson singled out Verizon IndyCar Series drivers, who have donated their helmets worn in the race to an eBay auction, with net proceeds to be directed to the Wilson Children's Fund. Details are forthcoming. Click HERE to be apprised of updates.
Each of the drivers was presented a wood coin with the "JW" logo on one side and “0.2/for Justin,” which represents the two-tenths of a second that Wilson would mention to his engineers he always kept in his back pocket for when needed. Will Power pulled the coin from a pocket after earning the Verizon P1 Award with a track-record lap in qualifications.
Verizon IndyCar Series teams affixed a decal, created to honor Wilson's memory, on all the race cars throughout the championship race weekend. The American flag flew at half mast and the national anthem of England was played in addition to the U.S. national anthem during the pre-race ceremonies.
A moment of silence was observed and "25" -- Wilson's car number this season with Andretti Autosport -- was written by two airplanes above the venue. The Union Jack flew over the pit stand of the No. 25 entry driven by Wilson's longtime friend Oriol Servia. The LED track positioning system on all the cars displayed 25 on the pace laps.
"It's hard to watch (the on-track action) and know that we won't get more amazing memories," Stefan Wilson added.
Those wishing to contribute to the fund established electronically can do so HERE or via mail to:
Wilson Children’s Fund
c/o Forum Credit Union
PO Box 50738
Indianapolis, IN 46250-0738
UK-based supporters can send cards and other condolences to the family to:
Keith Wilson c/o Lisa Davis
The Old Post Office
West Sussex RH13 9EZ
Tribute T-shirts and stickers with the logo sold out quickly at Sonoma Raceway. They are available for purchase online HERE with 100 percent of the net revenues donated to the Wilson Children’s Fund. Additionally:
• American Honda Motor Company and Honda Performance Development contributed $50 per race lap completed by each of the 13 Honda entries.
• Firestone donated $25 – in honor of Wilson’s car number – to the Wilson Children's Fund for every tire used during the race weekend.
• The No. 98 Bowers & Wilkins/Curb BHA with Curb-Agajanian crew of Gabby Chaves, which claimed the Firestone Pit Stop Performance Award at the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway, donated its $10,000 award to the Wilson Children's Fund.
“It was (the crew’s) decision to make that contribution,” team owner Bryan Herta said. “It just felt right. I’m just so proud of our guys. This wasn’t the team’s money or my money. It was their money. They donated it and it shows how we feel as an INDYCAR family about taking care of our own.”