Watkins Glen, Baltimore stand out for Stefan Wilson’s favorite race memories of brother Justin


The number of English gentle giants in the IndyCar paddock doubled in 2009 from one to two.

That was the year Stefan Wilson made the move over from Sheffield to the United States, able to join his brother Justin on the traveling circus that is North American open-wheel racing.

At the time, Stefan Wilson made his first starts with Walker Racing in a very deep, 20-plus-car Indy Lights field. Stefan definitely shone in a handful of starts, and began to make his own mark on the paddock.

But being brother Stefan took precedence over driver Stefan when it came to his favorite racing memory of Justin, when Justin and Dale Coyne Racing played David to Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Goliaths, and flat beat them on outright performance at Watkins Glen.

It marked the first time Stefan had been able to see one of Justin’s race wins in North America, and it stands as Stefan’s favorite racing moment of his older brother.

“Truly my favorite moment was 2009 at Watkins Glen,” Stefan Wilson told MotorSportsTalk during an informal media availability session Sunday at Sonoma.

“It was my first year in the States. My first win I’d got to be there and witness. It was incredible, the team atmosphere at Dale Coyne Racing, it was like a tight-knit family.

“Him and Bill (Pappas, Justin Wilson’s engineer)… I’ve shared some memories with Bill this weekend. They had a great connection. That’s what made him so effective.

“Afterwards, everyone on the team got together at Seneca Lodge, and put Justin’s wreath on the wall there. It was the first time a winning driver had done that in a number of years. That was so special.”

That win was a special one, and so too was Texas in 2012 – Justin Wilson’s final win – when Stefan memorably tweeted about having to bring back cowboy boots from victory lane on the flight back to Indianapolis.

The moment that stands out in recent years, of course, was when Coyne provided the opportunity for the two brothers to be teammates at the 2013 Grand Prix of Baltimore. It was Stefan Wilson’s debut, and is thus far his only career IndyCar start.

It had been an interesting year for Coyne, similar to this year with a rotating driver lineup in the No. 18 car.

Stefan Wilson was the fifth different driver in the No. 18 car that season, following Ana Beatriz, Mike Conway, Pippa Mann and James Davison. Japanese driver Ryo Hirakawa had also tested, with an eye towards debuting late in the season.

Yet it was Stefan, who hadn’t tested since Barber in March, who got the call for Baltimore, in a memorable white-and-green Nirvana Tea livery.

It was a typically last-minute call from Coyne – Baltimore was only a week after Sonoma – so Stefan first showed up wearing his old Indy Lights firesuit from 2011, when he raced for Andretti Autosport and won his first two races. His new suit arrived later in the weekend.

The legend of the “bromates” was born that weekend, with a memorable press conference.

Where Stefan Wilson was so surprised was in getting to work alongside his brother and see first-hand what a font of knowledge he was. Justin was determined to make sure his younger brother learned as much as he could that weekend, and it showed with Stefan getting progressively faster with every successive session before he finished the race 16th. In typical “BadAss” form, Justin finished fourth that day.

“I want to say Baltimore (was my favorite), but that’s selfish reasons really,” Stefan Wilson told me in the Sonoma availability.

“It was so amazing to get that opportunity to race with him. That was a childhood dream of mine. I never thought I’d be his teammate. So that was pretty special.

“For me, that was pretty amazing because over the years I’d had so many people who’d been his teammates come up to me and be like, ‘I don’t know how I would have done it, or made that step… it wouldn’t have been that easy if it wasn’t for Justin.’

“I can’t believe how open he was, how much he tried to help me. I was always like, ‘Well, they’re saying nice things.’ Then I got to be his teammate. He was a genius in the engineering room! But at the same time he was so helpful, so open book. He’d tell you anything.

“He would not be afraid, or worried about self-confidence. He’d share everything with you, and he wasn’t afraid… or concerned others would do better.”

What Stefan Wilson has done in the last week is emulate his older brother to the maximum.

He has been nothing short of graceful, strong, and a rock of faith as he tries to cope with the loss of his older brother and move forward.

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Seattle: Cooper Webb, Eli Tomac overtake Chase Sexton


Another crash while leading at Seattle dropped Chase Sexton from the top of the NBC SuperMotocross Power Rankings while solid performances by Cooper Webb and Eli Tomac allow them to climb the chart and threaten to make this a two-rider battle with six rounds remaining in the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross season.

SuperMotocross Power Rankings Seattle
Cooper Webb wags his finger at Chase Sexton after winning his heat in Seattle. – Feld Motor Sports

During the race, Webb knew he had ground to make up. Riding behind both Tomac and Sexton early in the Main, he was as far back as fifth on Lap 7 at Seattle. That position would cost him the red plate and give away the advantage he began to build with his first win of the season in Tampa. Sexton is often at his best as he battles from the back and he methodically worked his way through the field. At the end of the feature, he was nearly five seconds off Tomac’s pace, but during the past 45 days, he holds the advantage. A resurgent Tomac that could erase that advantage quickly though.

Tomac struggled in Indianapolis with a neck strain. That contributed to his worst performance of 2023 and his second result outside the top five. He finished third in Detroit two weeks ago, but it was a distant third after finishing off the podium in his heat during that round. In Seattle, it appeared the same thing might happen when Tomac finished third in the prelim behind his two principal competitors Webb and Sexton. The Main was a different story.

Tomac dropped to fourth in the opening laps behind both of his rivals early in the race, but he got around Webb on Lap 2 and kept charging. When Sexton fell to the ground on Lap 11 and dropped to fourth, Tomac was in position to strike. He scored his sixth win of the season to tie James Stewart for second on the all-time wins list. He now shares the red plate with Webb as the rounds wind down.

MORE: Eli Tomac gets rebound win in Seattle

Sexton has the speed, but he lacks the seasoning of Webb and Tomac. He’s pressing hard on every lap and that has bitten him several times this year. Sexton’s mistakes are costing him with a 10th-place finish at Indy, the loss of seven points at Detroit and a fifth in Seattle as the riders he’s battling stood on the podium. No one seriously questions Sexton’s talent or speed, but ultimately the results are what counts.

Justin Barcia is hitting his stride. He advances two positions this week after scoring his fourth consecutive top-five and second podium in that span of races. Barcia finished between sixth and eighth in five consecutive rounds from Anaheim 2 through Arlington, but he’s mostly avoided controversy and that puts him fourth in this week’s SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Seattle.

Jason Anderson had a solid performance in Seattle, but with a fifth-place finish in his heat and fourth in the Main he just keeps losing a little ground to the leaders. The biggest impact to his standing in the NBC Power Rankings is a 10th-place finish in Indianapolis that will take a while to age out of the 45-day formula. He’s tied for fourth in the championship points with Ken Roczen, who sits sixth in the rankings below. It’s important to be the rider “best in class” with Webb, Tomac and Sexton stealing the show.

450 Rankings

Rider Power
1. Cooper Webb 87.77 2 1
2. Eli Tomac 86.23 3 1
3. Chase Sexton 85.77 1 -2
4. Justin Barcia 80.71 6 2
5. Jason Anderson 80.69 4 -1
6. Ken Roczen 80.46 5 -1
7. Aaron Plessinger 75.86 7 0
8. Adam Cianciarulo 71.13 8 0
9. Christian Craig 69.86 9 0
10. Justin Cooper 62.88 10 0
11. Justin Hill 59.86 11 0
12. Dean Wilson 52.86 12 0
13. Josh Hill 49.00 15 2
14. Colt Nichols 48.67 13 -1
15. Shane McElrath 45.62 14 -1
16. Benny Bloss 43.00 16 0
17. Grant Harlan 38.08 20 3
18. Max Miller 37.67 24 6
19. Lane Shaw 36.67 21 2
20. Cade Clason 34.67 19 -1

Supercross 450 Points

The 250 West riders were back in action in Seattle and that gave Jett Lawrence the opportunity to break out of a tie with his brother Hunter Lawrence on the all-time wins list. It also provided Jett the opportunity to take back the top spot in the NBC SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Seattle.

SuperMotocross Power Rankings Seattle
Jett Lawrence regained the top spot overall in the NBC SuperMotocross Power Rankings with a near-perfect race in Seattle. – Feld Motor Sports

Jett has stood on the podium in every race this year with the exception of the second Triple Crown race at Anaheim 2 and that level of perfection gives him bragging rights. Rest assured that while the two brothers have a bond that is unapparelled in motorsports, there is no one they would rather beat. Neither has been particularly successful in Triple Crown rounds this year, however, and Jett could lose his advantage in two weeks in Glendale, Arizona under that format.

Lawrence is now two wins away from capturing the fourth-most wins at this level.

A rivalry is developing between Lawrence and Cameron McAdoo. Tired of losing to the affable Australian, McAdoo pushed the envelope last week in Seattle. He crowded Lawrence in the whoops during their heat race and sent both to the ground. That frustration could bubble over with four rounds remaining. One thing is certain, when these two riders are in proximity on the track, the cameras will be aimed in their direction.

Supercross 250 Points

A little means a lot this season. Finishing second to Lawrence in four of five rounds, RJ Hampshire would be losing ground to the leader no matter what, but an 11th-place finish in the overall at Anaheim 2 places him eighth on the chart below behind two of the 250 West riders and five 250 East competitors.

In the mains, Levi Kitchen has been all over the board with a win, one more top-five, two results on the high side of the single digits and a crash-induced 21st at San Diego. He’s really shown his speed in the heats, however, with a perfect record of top-fives and a win.

Mitchell Oldenburg makes the top five list among West riders with a perfect record of top-10 finishes. He’s heading in the wrong direction, however, falling from ninth overall to 11th after finishing outside the top five in both his heat and the Main last week.

250 Rankings

Rider Power
1. Jett Lawrence – W 90.75 2 1
2. Hunter Lawrence – E 90.43 1 -1
3. Nate Thrasher – E 84.00 3 0
4. Cameron McAdoo – W 80.50 4 0
5. Haiden Deegan – E 78.21 5 0
6. Jeremy Martin – E 78.00 6 0
7. Jordon Smith – E 76.77 7 0
8. RJ Hampshire – W 76.75 10 2
9. Levi Kitchen – W 76.67 8 -1
10. Max Anstie – E 74.43 11 1
11. Mitchell Oldenburg – W 73.67 9 -2
12. Max Vohland – W 72.55 13 1
13. Tom Vialle – E 72.07 12 -1
14. Pierce Brown – W 68.64 19 5
15. Enzo Lopes – W 67.83 17 2
16. Chris Blose – E 67.43 15 -1
17. Chance Hymas – E 67.10 16 -1
18. Michael Mosiman – E 65.80 18 0
19. Stilez Robertson – W 64.45 14 -5
20. Phil Nicoletti – W 59.25 20 0

* The NBC Power Rankings assign 100 points to a Main event winner and 90 points for each Heat and Triple Crown win, (Triple Crown wins are included with heat wins below the rider’s name). The points decrement by a percentage equal to the number of riders in the field until the last place rider in each event receives five points. The Power Ranking is the average of these percentage points over the past 45 days for the 450 class and last 90 days for 250s (because of the split nature of their season).

POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 10 AT SEATTLE: Chase Sexton narrowly leads Cooper Webb
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 7 AT ARLINGTON: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 6 AT OAKLAND: Perfect night keeps Tomac first
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 4 AT HOUSTON: Tomac rebounds from A2 crash, retakes lead
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 3 AT ANAHEIM 2: Consistency makes Ken Roczen king
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 2 AT SAN DIEGO: Roczen moves up, Sexton falls
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 1 AT ANAHEIM 1: Tomac, Jett Lawrence gain an early advantage