There will likely be heavy hearts, tears and a great deal of emotion at this weekend’s season-ending GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, as the mourning for IndyCar driver Justin Wilson continues.
But at the same time, there will also be a great deal of fond memories of Wilson as a driver, competitor and friend.
Many of those in attendance will likely flash back to Wilson’s race at Sonoma in 2013, when he finished a close second (1.1930 seconds) to Will Power.
It would be Wilson’s second-to-last runner-up finish in his IndyCar career, having also finished second earlier this month at Mid-Ohio. Wilson also finished an IndyCar-best sixth in the final standings that season (had better finishes in Champ Car).
While Wilson was not directly involved in the most contentious episode, the outcome of the 2013 Sonoma race was mired in controversy. Here’s how my NBCSports.com colleague Tony DiZinno described it:
However, the win was overshadowed in controversy after the last round of pit stops. Scott Dixon, who was pitted behind Power in the Target Chip Ganassi Racing No. 9 stall, hit a tire that was being carried by one of Power’s crewmembers, and went into a second crewmember, on exit.
“Dixon alleged that Power’s crew had moved into Dixon’s pit space and in fact jumped in front of the New Zealander on exit. Following a restart, Dixon was assessed a drive-through penalty for what was deemed a pit lane violation and fell to the back of the field. He ultimately finished 15th.”
Here’s a video of how that race played out: