By: Ashley McCubbin
After missing out on the Indianapolis 500 the past couple years, Stefan Wilson will not have to endure that feeling once again in 2021. It was announced on Tuesday that he will run the Greatest Spectacle in Racing for Andretti Autosport.
Wilson competed last in the event in 2018, scoring a 15th-place driving for Andretti. It marked his third start in the series, following a 16th in Baltimore in 2013, and a crash in the 2016 Indianapolis 500.
With having been out of the car for a couple years, Wilson knows the challenge ahead in getting used to the ever-evolving changes in the sport since then, including the aeroscreen.
“It’s going to be a few things to learn on the first day, beginning with the aero screen and getting adapted to that and understanding how it changes the car’s handling, feeling, etc.,” he told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “A couple drivers already told me it’s weird because there’s no wind noise coming through the helmet. Getting used to that is the number one thing – and that’s the main thing that I need to get used to. There’s also been a few aerodynamic changes to help the competition over the last few years so that’ll be something that I am trying to get educated on here before I jump in the car with the engineers.’
Fortunately, Wilson will be surrounded by experience to help him along the way, as Wilson marks the sixth entry for Andretti at Indianapolis alongside full-time competitors Colton Herta, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, and James Hinchcliffe, as well as Marco Andretti.
“It’s invaluable,” he commented. “You have two Indy 500 winners there, two Indy 500 pole sitters, so being able to relay what I am feeling in the car, and potentially hear similar things from the other drivers makes me know I’m feeling the right things and if it’s not feeling good, they’ll be say8ng similar things as well it’s nice to know you have reassurance in your feedback if they’re saying similar things.”
While certainly being successful in the event is Wilson’s focus, certainly an opportunity to turn this into more events behind the wheel is on the table.
“Yeah, absolutely. It’s definitely desire of mine,” he admitted. “I think at the end of the day, the focus is on optimizing the 2021 Indy 500 as successful as possible and making the most of the opportunity.”