2023 Indy 500: Stefan Wilson fractured a vertebra in practice crash with Katherine Legge, will not race
Update as of 2 p.m. ET Tuesday, May 23: Graham Rahal to fill in for injured Stefan Wilson
Stefan Wilson is officially out of the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500. Wilson suffered a fractured vertebra in the middle of his back after Katherine Legge tangled with him in Turns 1 and 2 during Monday's practice session.
With teams running race simulations in a big pack, cars ahead of Legge and Wilson slowed going into the turn, causing a chain reaction. Legge, though she lifted out of the throttle and downshifted, was unable to slow her car enough and ran into the back of Wilson, sending both into the wall.
Huge crash involving Stefan Wilson and Katherine Legge in practice; Legge is okay, Wilson was stretchered out but gave a thumbs up#Indy500pic.twitter.com/NwinAEI9R1
— Dom (@Wom_Dings) May 22, 2023
Wilson gave the crowd a thumbs-up as he was placed on a backboard before being transported to the infield medical center, while Legge got out of her car under her own power. Track medical personnel said Wilson was communicative, in good spirits and was transferred to an area hospital for advanced imaging.
Per Dr Julia Vaizer, Stefan Wilson is in good spirits and heading to hospital for further evaluation. pic.twitter.com/L95D0oZiS8
— Mr Matthew CFB (@MrMatthewCFB) May 22, 2023
Wilson, driving for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, was taking part in his fifth Indianapolis 500 and qualified 25th. His best qualifying (23rd) and race result (15th) at the speedway came in 2018 while driving for Andretti Autosport.
Legge, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan racing, qualified for her third Indy 500 safely in 30th Saturday, while three of her teammates had to sweat it out in Sunday’s last-chance qualifying. That session ended with RLL’s Jack Harvey bumping Graham Rahal — son of team co-owner and 1986 Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal — in a dramatic, last-gasp run.
RLL said it will not run its backup car, which is already set up for the Detroit street circuit the series visits next, instead choosing to fix the oval car in time for Friday’s "Carb Day" final practice session.
Dreyer & Reinbold have not yet announced what it will do with the wrecked car or who will replace Wilson. Rahal would be an obvious option as he took part in the entire first week of practice and both days of qualifying, but earlier Monday he indicated that he wanted to earn his way into the field rather than get in another way. JR Hildebrand, who has 68 IndyCar series starts including seven at Indianapolis, has been at the speedway all month despite not lining up a ride for this season.