Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Stefan Wilson Enters Indy 500 in Joint Effort by Cusick Motorsports, DragonSpeed

Stefan Wilson will drive a dual entry from Cusick Motorsports, DragonSpeed.
Cusick Motorsports and DragonSpeed are combining forces to become the 33rd entrant at this year’s Indianapolis 500. Image courtesy of Cusick Motorsports

Better late than never.

The long wait on a 33rd entry for this year’s 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 is over after Cusick Motorsports and DragonSpeed have confirmed a joint effort that will feature Stefan Wilson in the cockpit, with equipment supplied by A.J. Foyt Racing.

The No. 25 DragonSpeed/Cusick Motorsports Chevrolet elevates Wilson to a fourth-ever start in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” It marks the second consecutive year that Cusick Motorsports, founded by Don Cusick in 2021, and Wilson have entered the Indy 500 together, with last year’s involvement being an effort with Andretti Autosport.

Title partner LOHLA SPORT and co-primary partner Sierra Pacific Windows will continue their roles from last year’s edition of the Indy 500, with Gnarly Premium Cut Jerky joining the list of main partners supporting the entry.

“I’m so excited to be back at the event that ignited my passion for motorsports several decades ago,” said Cusick. “To be partnered with a young, hungry and professional organization like DragonSpeed makes it all the better. Last year was an incredible first on-site experience for Cusick Motorsports and our partners, and we’re so glad to have them with us again. To have LOHLA SPORT and Sierra Pacific Windows returning as the primary and co-primary partners is just fantastic, and we’re excited to welcome Gnarly Jerky to this group as well. A big thank you to (IndyCar president) Jay Frye from IndyCar, Team Chevy and Anders Krohn (manager of Cusick Motorsports) for being instrumental in putting this program together. We have some unfinished business from last year with Stefan Wilson and our partners, so we cannot wait to get the event going.”

DragonSpeed, which was founded by Elton Julian, has two of its four NTT IndyCar Series starts in the Indianapolis 500, with the most recent start coming in 2020 when Ben Hanley finished 23rd. According to the team release, DragonSpeed is targeting a full-time return to IndyCar in the future, “and sees the partnership with Cusick Motorsports and Stefan Wilson as the perfect springboard to achieving that goal.”

“This opportunity means so much to us,” said Julian. “Putting this program together with Don Cusick, Stefan Wilson, and the Cusick Motorsports partner group brings us back to Indy even earlier than we hoped, and a step closer to becoming a full-time IndyCar team. With that target in our sights, I can tell you we are not coming to the Brickyard to make up the numbers – we’re here to resume our IndyCar learning curve and build on our experience from 2019 and 2020, and Stefan’s past performances as well. I know that Don and Stefan share our ambitions, and I’m grateful to A.J. Foyt Racing and Larry Foyt’s racer spirit for helping make this effort possible through the use of their equipment. We also massively appreciate the support of Jay Frye at IndyCar and Jim Campbell at Team Chevy. Adding the 500 to our IMSA commitments is complicated, but everyone at DragonSpeed is 100 percent up for the challenge of Indy.”

For Wilson, who made his Indy 500 debut in 2016, added, “The journey to the 2022 Indianapolis 500 has been a rollercoaster ride for Cusick Motorsports, our partners and myself. A few short weeks ago it didn’t look like this was going to happen for us, but I’m so relieved all of the pieces came together to get another shot at this race. The Cusick Motorsports and DragonSpeed partnership couldn’t be a better fit and I know it’ll be a great combination for Indy this year, as well as for future opportunities.

“I’m also looking forward to joining Team Chevy and wearing a bow-tie this month. There are so many people I have to thank for making this happen for us. First and foremost, a big thank you to Don Cusick for believing in me and being by my side as we fought to make it back to the 500, Elton Julian and the DragonSpeed team for their commitment to join forces with us and a big thank you to Jay Frye and INDYCAR along with Jim Campbell and Chevrolet for their support in making this happen. Also a huge thanks to the partners making all this happen, LOHLA SPORT, Gnarly Premium Cut Jerky, Sierra Pacific Windows, ConnectDoc, Neptune Systems, Rayne Nutrition, Topping & Legnon Wines, and Mr. and Mrs. James Lowes.”

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