LONG POND, Pa. – Justin Wilson may be gone but he is certainly not forgotten in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
The affable Englishman, who died from injuries sustained in the 2015 ABC Supply 500, is being remembered throughout the Pocono Raceway paddock this weekend. At the behest of INDYCAR television partner NBCSN – and in particular, producer Terry Lingner – officials, team members and fans donned pairs of Justin Wilson tribute socks today at the track. Among those to wear the socks was driver Carlos Munoz, as shown in the tweet below.
In addition, at the suggestion of Andretti Autosport, the last team for which Wilson drove, on every timing stand antenna in pit lane this weekend, the British “Union Jack” flag flies at half-mast to honor the fallen driver.
The socks are from USWAG, a company Wilson and partner Michael Waddell started in early 2015. The company, an officially licensed INDYCAR supplier, also makes socks in the colors of other Verizon IndyCar Series drivers as well as English Premier League soccer, colleges and high schools.
Proceeds from the sale of the Wilson tribute socks benefit the Dyslexia Institute of Indiana, a charity dear to Wilson, who suffered from dyslexia. To purchase a pair, visit http://www.uswag.us/new-gallery/5qeke8z6gddpgtmz9rddg8a5tc5s39.
The INDYCAR community is also paying tribute this weekend to Bryan Clauson, the short-track racing star and three-time Indianapolis 500 starter who died Aug. 7 from injuries sustained the night before at the Belleville Midget Nationals in Kansas.
Dale Coyne Racing driver Conor Daly has changed his car number to 88 for the weekend, the same number teammate Clauson drove at Indy in May, with the car entered as the BC Forever Honda. Other teams are also running Clauson memorial decals this weekend.
Castroneves a multi-sport star
Helio Castroneves has shown that he is a star in Indy cars and dancing. The 41-year-old Team Penske driver displayed his skills on the baseball diamond when he threw out the first pitch Thursday night at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia prior to the host Phillies’ game with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Castroneves fired a strike.
On Friday, Castroneves attended practice for the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer, where he met with Brazilian soccer players Anderson Conceicao, Ilsinho Pereira Dias and Leo Fernandes, as well as Indianapolis native and INDYCAR fan Raymon Gaddis.
To cap off his day, Castroneves gave Tricky, the Pocono Raceway mascot, a thrill ride in one of the track's pace cars. Check it out below:
Present meets future of INDYCAR racing
The U.S. Auto Club is hosting a weekend of national .25 midget races at Pocono Raceway in conjunction with the ABC Supply 500. The .25 midgets, also known as quarter midgets, feature racers as young as 5 to teenagers competing on short, temporary ovals in various skill and age levels. Current Verizon IndyCar Series owner/driver Ed Carpenter is a product of quarter midgets.
Four of the young competitors took part in a news conference today to talk about their racing experiences. It followed immediately after a media availability involving three of Team Penske’s four Verizon IndyCar Series drivers, which was a dream come true for one of the youths.
When asked who his favorite driver is, Chase Spicola, 10, said, “I like Will Power because he’s a really good driver.” Spicola and the other youngsters were able to meet and have their photo taken with Power and Penske drivers Simon Pagenaud and Juan Pablo Montoya.