INDIANAPOLIS — NTT IndyCar Series driver Stefan Wilson returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday to receive his 2023 Indy 500 starter’s ring.
Wilson qualified for last month’s running of the Indy 500 but could not compete after suffering a back injury during a practice accident days before the race.
The impact 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.
Today, Wilson was presented his 2023 Indy 500 starter’s ring by IndyCar President Jay Frye and IMS President Doug Boles.
“The support I’ve received from the IndyCar fanbase, and community has been overwhelming. Even seeing a banner that was signed by all the fans in the garage area was really special. I can’t thank all the fans enough,” Wilson said.
A long-time tradition at the track is for drivers in the field to get rings. The rings have their name and their four-lap average engraved.
“The Indy 500 means so much to me, and getting the ring is part of it,” Wilson said. “I qualified at 229.6 miles-per-hour, just shy of the 230 mark, in 2021. This year I was happy to get 231 miles-per-hour. This means a great deal to me.”
As Wilson continues to recover from his back surgery, he says he’s counting down the days until next year’s running of the Indy 500.