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Stefan Wilson says he's preparing for the 2024 race as he returns to the track to watch the Indy 500

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Posted at 7:02 PM, May 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-28 19:02:56-04

INDIANAPOLIS — “It’s good to be back.”

Stefan Wilson returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday to watch the Indianapolis 500, days after undergoing surgery for the serious injuries he sustained in a crash while practicing for the race a week earlier.

Wilson was involved in a crash when hit from behind by Katherine Legge during practice. Theimpact of the crash into the turn one wall caused a fracture to a vertebrae in Wilson's back.

The IndyCar driver underwent surgery at Methodist Hospital on Wednesday.

“It’s been a painful week,” Wilson said. “The pain of the injury itself is no fun to deal with, but the pain of not being in this race is the harder thing to deal with.”

Wilson shared a video from his hospital bed, noting that he told his surgeon he was dreaming of running qualifying laps when he came out of anesthesia.

“All the work that goes into this all year and to not get the chance to be here today racing is really tough. It's a lot of time and effort working the whole year to get to this point and now it just means I've got to do it all over again,” Wilson said.

Wilson says when the crash first happened, he knew something was wrong but he had hope he would still be able to race. However, when he got the MRI scans back it became evident that he was going to be unable to participate in today’s running of the Indy 500.

He says his current goal is to get through recovery and begin focusing on the 2024 race.