Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Stefan Wilson Eager for ‘Critical’ Carb Day Tune-Up

Stefan Wilson is eager to get going on Carb Day.
Stefan Wilson is hopeful the rain can hold off just long enough to get some running in final practice on Friday. Image courtesy of Chris Jones / Penske Entertainment

Stefan Wilson is the last person that wants to see rain interrupt Miller Lite Carb Day on Friday.

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The 32-year-old Briton will start Sunday’s 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 from the 33rd and final spot after not recording a time during qualifying last weekend, which came as a byproduct of the No. 25 DragonSpeed / Cusick Motorsports Chevrolet enduring a mechanical issue that ultimately led to an engine change.

Factor in rain cancelling the second practice day for the month of May festivities, along with a windy Fast Friday last week, and the opportunity for consistent running for Wilson and Co. has been extremely limited. The uphill climb doesn’t need to get any steeper for the group either, but Mother Nature is currently in range again, this time with a 60 percent chance of rain threatening today’s scheduled two-hour final practice session.

AJ Foyt Racing helped provide the join effort of DragonSpeed and Cusick Motorsports with a chassis, which also comes with debriefs and shared data. While that could be viewed as a helpful starting point for race setup if rain should dampen one last shot to tweak Wilson’s ride before Sunday, he suggested the opposite.

During Thursday media availability, Wilson noted his technical alliance teammates – JR Hildebrand, Dalton Kellett and rookie Kyle Kirkwood – are each on vastly different setups to himself and each other.

“All four of the Foyt cars have gone kind of in different directions,” Wilson said. “Trying to achieve the same thing, but we’re all kind of on very, very different setups, all four of us. We’ve all been searching, but we’ve all gone into the wilderness ourselves on the setup side. We’re all kind of feeling decent about what we’ve got, but on the 25 side, we’ve got a list of two or three changes that are really critical that we think will make our car better, but we can’t just put them on for the 500-mile race and go for it because if what we suspect or think they will do is not accurate, if they do the complete opposite or something else, something evil with the car, then that’s not a good place to be starting the Indy 500 with.

“(Today) I would love to just get one hour of green track time because I want evaluate those changes that we have in mind and make sure if they give us the feeling that we want from the car. Then that’s going to be a gain and we’ll start the race with them, but we can’t go in blind and implement those changes without trying them.”

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