Stefan Wilson’s selflessness key to Alonso’s Indy 500 arrangement

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Last year, Stefan Wilson made his debut in the 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil as part of an entry supported by the Indiana Donor Network and Gap Guard, in an emotional entry. He’d always dreamed of racing in the event with older brother Justin, but that dream went away after Justin’s accident in August 2015 at Pocono Raceway.

Alas, Wilson held onto the third KV Racing Technology Chevrolet as best he could but was never in with a proper shout at success. He retired past the halfway mark with electrical issues.

Wilson, now 27, and his team were working towards a second appearance in the race this year and were close to a deal with Andretti Autosport. But just in recent days, this has changed, with a rather seismic announcement coming Wednesday morning that Fernando Alonso will be racing in this year’s event.

Wilson first poked a bit of fun at the announcement with his first tweet this morning:

He then expanded on it in a series of other tweets, to follow a story done overnight by NBCSN contributor Robin Miller for RACER.com.

More to come on this angle of the story on NBCSports.com in the coming days.

IndyCar race weekend doubleheader schedule at IMS road course

IndyCar weekend schedule Indianapolis
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The NTT IndyCar Series will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the third time this season but with a weekend schedule that will put the action in front of fans for the first time in 2020.

The track’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course will play host to IndyCar and sports cars series over four days. The action will begin Thursday with practice and concluding with an eight-hour race Sunday featuring the Intercontinental GT Challenge and GT World Challenge America.

The NTT IndyCar Series will hold a Friday-Saturday race doubleheader called the Harvest GP presented by GMR.

ENTRY LISTS: Who’s racing IndyCar at IMS this weekend

The name is a nod to the Harvest Classic, which was held Sept. 9, 1916 to help the track stay solvent during World War I. The event had three races of 20, 50 and 100 miles (all won by Johnny Aitken) that was the only racing held outside May at IMS from 1911-93.

A limited crowd of 10,000 will be allowed each day this weekend, and those fans will be the first to experience new video boards, concession stands, restrooms and 5G wireless connectivity.

Here’s the IndyCar weekend schedule for Indianapolis Motor Speedway Harvest GP:

(All times are Eastern)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Thursday, Oct. 1

Noon — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America test session
2:25 p.m. — IndyCar practice (NBC Sports Gold)
6:20 p.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 1 (NBC Sports Gold)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Friday, Oct. 2

10:20 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
1:40 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
3:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 1 (USA Network, NBC Sports Gold)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Saturday, Oct. 3

10:20 a.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC Sports Gold)
12:10 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America qualifying
2:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC, NBC Sports Gold)
5:30 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America pole shootout

IndyCar weekend schedule: Sunday, Oct. 4

10 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America race