Racer Stefan Wilson Out of Indy 500 After Fracturing Vertebra in Crash During Monday's Practice
Wilson crashed into the wall and was stretchered off the track following a wreck with Katherine Legge
Racer Stefan Wilson fractured a vertebra in the middle of his back after a frightening crash with Katherine Legge during Monday’s practice session, which will leave him unable to race at this weekend’s Indianapolis 500.
The crash happened when Legge ran into the back of Wilson’s car as they were coming around the track’s first turn, roughly an hour into Monday’s practice session. The two vehicles tangled up, turned right, and smashed into the wall.
Legge, 42, was able to step out of her vehicle and is okay. Wilson, 33, remained in his vehicle and was helped onto a backboard before he was transported to a local hospital, according to Yahoo! Sports. Wilson gave the crowd a thumbs up and the track’s medical adviser, Dr. Julia Vaizer, told Monday’s television broadcast the driver was “doing well.”
“He’s being transported to a local hospital for advanced imaging and further evaluation, but he’s in good spirits,” the doctor said.
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Wilson had previously qualified to start in 25th place at this weekend’s marquee Indy car race, which has 33 participants. ESPN reports he’ll be replaced by veteran Graham Rahal, who has qualified and started the Indy 500 for 15-straight years. Under the race’s rules, Rahal will now start last because he’s a substitute.
Saturday’s race would’ve been Wilson’s fifth Indy 500 start. His best finish came in 2018 when he placed 15th in the race, dubbed the “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
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Legge will race in her third Indy 500, and her first in 10 years. Her best finish in the race was 22nd place in 2012. Legge will also be the only woman in the field of 33, telling PEOPLE this week she’s “trying to do the best job that I can do regardless of gender.”
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"I'm trying to encourage more women to get into racing if that's what they want to do," Legge said. "If you can see it, you can be it. Right? And so while the car doesn't know the difference, the people do and it gives them somebody to cheer for because they can relate to me."
The Indy 500 begins at 11:45 am CT on Saturday.
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