Justin Wilson's brother calls accident a freak incident
SONOMA, Calif. (AP) Stefan Wilson was spotting for his brother in last year's Indianapolis 500 when a crash in front of Justin Wilson sent debris flying at the British driver. The broken parts and pieces covered Wilson's car like a cloud, creating so much damage his race ended.
''But he had not a scratch on him,'' Stefan Wilson said Sunday.
That crash in 2014 has helped the Wilson family as it struggles to understand what happened. Wilson died Monday, a day after he was struck in the head by debris from another driver's car.
''It sounds weird, but there's no one to blame,'' Stefan Wilson said before the IndyCar season finale at Sonoma Raceway.
''I looked at it, and it's so freak, there's no one to be angry with. It wasn't like we missed this or something was preventable. You think about all the things that equaled that (accident) and you change a parameter by the smallest amount, we're not having this conversation. It's not easier to accept, not harder to accept, there's just been no anger. All we feel is the love from everyone for him. It sounds so cliche, I know, but that's how I feel.''
The Wilson family has been moved by the support they've received. IndyCar arranged for Julia Wilson to travel from her home in Colorado to Pennsylvania to be with her husband the night of the crash; Tony Stewart got Stefan Wilson to the hospital from Indianapolis.
A tribute T-shirt has been made with all proceeds earmarked for a fund for Wilson's two young daughters.
''I expected maybe a few T-shirt sales, but not a few thousand,'' Stefan Wilson said. ''Everyone has just been so amazing and helping us take care of them, and secure their future.''
Decals honoring Wilson have been distributed to teams to place on the cars. Reigning IndyCar champion Will Power qualified Saturday with a token in his pocket that was a node to the paddock saying, ''Justin Wilson always had two-tenths (of a second) in his back pocket.''
Honda and Firestone have made results-based pledges for the weekend, with a combined $95,000 potentially going to the Wilson Children's fund.
Stefan Wilson lauded his sister-in-law's strength. His parents flew in Monday from England. No one, however, is sure Wilson's daughters understand the situation completely because they were so used to their father being gone from home while racing.
Stefan Wilson, also a race car driver, idolized his older brother and counted among his favorite memories the 2013 race at Baltimore when he made the only IndyCar start of his career and raced against Justin and as his teammate.
He had been working on a ride for next year's Indianapolis 500 before Wilson was killed. He intends to keep chasing his dream of becoming a full-time driver.
''The first priority has been Justin's family, that's really the only thing I thought about the past week,'' he said. ''But no, it's not really deterred me. If anything, it's made me really determined to continue and continue racing. Justin would want me to fulfill those plans, and Justin would want me to carry on racing.''