Stefan Wilson will make IndyCar debut at Baltimore

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Philadelphia may be the “City of Brotherly Love,” but the title will shift to Baltimore during the IZOD IndyCar Series weekend in September.

Stefan Wilson has been confirmed to make his anticipated and long-awaited series debut in the rotating door that is Dale Coyne Racing’s second car. Wilson, younger brother of Justin, will be his teammate at DCR in the No. 18 Nirvana Tea Honda at Baltimore.

“It’s exciting for so many reasons,” said Wilson.  “Not only will I be making my debut in the IndyCar Series, but it will mark the first time that I will be competing against my older brother Justin. It’s very cool that we will be working together as teammates for Dale Coyne Racing.”

“I am very happy for Stefan and this great opportunity he has,” said his older brother Justin Wilson.  “It should be a lot of fun racing against each other as we both have similar driving styles.”

The younger Wilson tested for Coyne at Barber at the official preseason test in March, in preparation for what could have a ride-share situation in the No. 18 with Ana Beatriz.

Beatriz started the season’s first five races, before Mike Conway came in and starred at Detroit (pictured). Beatriz came back for Milwaukee and Iowa, with Pippa Mann at Texas and Pocono. Conway returned for Toronto, and is confirmed for Houston, while James Davison makes his debut this weekend at Mid-Ohio.

NHRA Gatornationals: John Force has another spectacular motor explosion

Photo courtesy NHRA
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Legendary NHRA Funny Car driver John Force endured yet another spectacular motor explosion – his third in the NHRA’s first three national event races – during Friday’s qualifying at the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.

It’s the kind of consistency the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ could do without.

The 68-year-old Force came to Gainesville hoping to break the jinx that saw him endure explosions in both the season-opening Winternationals and the second race of the season in Phoenix.

Both motor explosions sent Force to the hospital for examination before he returned to the race track.

Friday, even though the motor in his Chevrolet Camaro blew up again (in the second round of qualifying), at least this time, Force didn’t wind up in the hospital.

He did have his right hand bandaged from a cut suffered in the explosion, but did not have to go to the hospital this time.

He even joked about not having to add yet another ambulance bill to the nearest Gainesville hospital.

But the explosion still proved costly.

“That was another body and that hurts the financial (bottomline),” Force said. “I was out $500,000 to $600,000, and now we are probably out $800,000, going on a million. In drag racing, you have to be tough.”

He ended the day qualifying 14th, not a very comfortable position with two more rounds of qualifying set for Saturday.

Force continues to be mystified why the motors keep exploding.

“I really thought we had it, I thought we were there,” Force said. “In the first round we drove it 500 feet and shut it off. It looked great. We ran it again that run and I was only going to drive it 800 feet even if we didn’t make The Show.”

Force will attempt to improve his qualifying spot during Saturday’s final two rounds to make Sunday’s eliminations.

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