INDYCAR News and Notes – September 2015

Posted: September 15, 2015 in Uncategorized

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– To Participate in the Justin Wilson eBay Charity Auction …. CLICK HERE –
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— Rahal Sets Million-Dollar Goal for Auction to Benefit Wilson Family —
— Friends, Family Remember Wilson at Funeral —
— Verizon IndyCar Series Test at Road America Open to Public —
— Of Note — 

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Rahal Sets MillionDollar Goal for Auction to Benefit Justin Wilson Family

Graham Rahal has a lofty goal for an online auction to raise money for Justin Wilson’s family – bring in $1 million to the Wilson Children’s Fund. The eBay auction launched September 14th and there’s reason to believe the goal can be met.

The racing helmet of Wilson’s Andretti Autosport teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay pre-sold at a charity event during the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma race weekend August 28-30.

And though the nearly $25,000 that Hunter-Reay’s helmet brought to the fund won’t count toward Rahal’s million-dollar goal, the hope is that the sale of other race-used helmets from Verizon IndyCar Series drivers could bring as much, if not more, money to the cause. Wilson died August 24 from a head injury sustained in a race the day before.

As Rahal did following the death of fellow Verizon IndyCar Series driver Dan Wheldon in 2011, he has partnered with eBay and online auction facilitator Auction Cause to conduct the online auction of all memorabilia, with proceeds going directly to the Wilson Children’s Fund.

Items signed by legends such as Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt were donated and teams and drivers throughout the racing world have pledged additional articles. Rahal reported on social media that Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton is donating the firesuit he wore while driving to victory in the Sept. 6 Italian Grand Prix and F1 driver Jenson Button is donating his race-worn helmet from the event. A one-of-a-kind original painting of Wilson’s car by noted artist Bill Patterson will also be made available.

“There will be items up for auction you simply cannot buy or get access to anywhere else,” Rahal said.

Through eBay’s direct involvement, all transaction fees will be waived and all proceeds will be deposited into the Wilson Children’s Fund, which benefits Wilson’s wife, Julia, and daughters Jane and Jessica.

For auction updates or to contribute directly to the Wilson Children’s Fund, visit WilsonChildrensFund.com. Contributions may also be mailed to: Wilson Children’s Fund, c/o Forum Credit Union, P.O. Box 50738, Indianapolis, Indiana 46250-0738.

Tribute T-shirts and decals, with proceeds also going to the fund, are available by CLICKING ON THIS LINK

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Friends, Family Remember Wilson at Funeral

The Union Jack-draped coffin of Justin Wilson was carried into St James the Great Church in Paulerspury, England, for a service September 10 attended by hundreds of family, friends and members of the international racing community, including reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, retired champion Dario Franchitti and Formula One legend Sir Jackie Stewart.

Wilson succumbed August 24 to a head injury sustained in a Verizon IndyCar Series race a day earlier. He was 37.

A poem by Wilson’s wife, Julia, entitled “Today I Washed You Away,” was read aloud during the service in which she wrote, “It’s not fair you had such a short life.”

Formula One driver Jonathan Palmer – Wilson’s former manager – delivered the eulogy, telling mourners that “Justin died doing something he loved. He wasn’t in denial about the risks.”

Following the service, a wake was held at the nearby Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire. Wilson had moved to Northampton from his boyhood home in Sheffield to further his motorsports career. A memorial service in Indianapolis will be held later this month.

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Verizon IndyCar Series Test at Road America Open to Public

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Fans and media will have a chance to preview the return of Indy car racing to the historic Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on September 22, as several teams from the Verizon IndyCar Series will take part in a test session.

The test is in advance of Indy car racing’s return to the revered road course for the Road America Grand Prix, June 23-26, 2016. Admission to the test session is $20, with 50 percent of every ticket sold going to the Wilson Children’s Fund to benefit the family of the late Justin Wilson. Road America season pass holders will be admitted with a $10 donation to the fund and Fans will also be able to make additional contributions on site.

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The test session will run from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. Fans can watch from many locations surrounding the 14-turn, 4-mile road course, however the paddock will be open only to the teams.

This will mark the only test session open to the public before race weekend in June. Teams scheduled to participate include AJ Foyt Racing, CFH Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Team Penske. A second test at Road America is scheduled for September 28.

To purchase tickets for the test session, visit www.roadamerica.com or call (800) 365-7223.

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Of Note

DES MOINES September 10, 2015 – Our good friend Jack “J.D.” Housby passed away today after a valiant battle with cancer.

Housby has been a friend of A.J. Foyt’s for over five decades but it was in the last two decades that their paths crossed more frequently and their friendship deepened. At Indianapolis, Housby often accompanied Foyt on the golf cart as the two rode out to pit lane and back. And while Foyt would duck into the garage, Housby would hold court outside of it as friends from all walks of life would stop by to chat with him. After attending 65 straight Indy 500s, he made a lot of acquaintances.

As the largest Mack Truck dealer in Iowa, Housby was a successful businessman who had a passion for racing. A fixture at the Knoxville Nationals, he owned teams in NASCAR and sponsored teams on every level, including our IndyCar team. He was a friend to the legends in IndyCar and NASCAR, and everyone seemed to know – and respect – Gentleman Jack Housby.

In lieu of a funeral (Jack disliked funerals and didn’t want one), the Housby family put together a terrific video — a celebration of Jack’s life which can be viewed below.  It is hosted by his three sons Kelly (left), Kevin (center) and Michael.

Indy will be a bit sadder for us next year—especially when we see that empty golf cart sitting outside Garage A1–but we know Jack will be riding with us in the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500!

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