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Photos of BSA IndyCar and driver Justin Wilson will rev you up for Indy 500

It’s officially race week. Yes, the Indy 500 — aka “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” — roars to life on Sunday.

Fans of racing, fast cars, or major sporting events are probably already planning to tune in and watch the Indianapolis 500 (noon Sunday on ABC).

But here’s a reason for fans of Scouting to watch: The No. 19 Boy Scouts of America car, driven by Justin Wilson and provided at no cost to the BSA through the generosity of Dale Coyne Racing, has a good chance to do really well. The car was the second-fastest Honda engine qualifier, and Wilson has proven himself a successful driver on big stages like this one.

On that note, Indy 500 is easily the biggest national sporting event of the year from which we can spread the news that Scouting is relevant, exciting, and perfectly linked to science, technology, engineering, and math.

Think about it. Some 6.8 million viewers watched last year’s race. If this year’s race gets similar numbers, that’s a lot of eyeballs seeing the words “Be a Scout!” and the website BeAScout.org zoom around the Indy oval. And if the car does well, that’s even more air time.

It’s essentially free advertising, all made possible by the gifts of Dale and Gail Coyne.

All this week, Wilson and the Dale Coyne Racing team are preparing the car for Sunday. And John R. Fulton Jr., former director of photography for Scouting and Boys’ Life magazines, is at the speedway to document their preparations. He sent in these great photos: 

Justin Wilson in the pits during practice for Indy 500. One of Justin's teammates on Dale Coyne Racing team, Ana Beatriz, is behind him in yellow suit.

Justin Wilson in the pits during practice for Indy 500. One of Justin’s teammates on Dale Coyne Racing team, Ana Beatriz, is behind him in yellow suit.

Team owner Dale Coyne watches his No. 19 Boy Scout car on the track at Indy 500 practice.

Team owner Dale Coyne watches his No. 19 Boy Scout car on the track at Indy 500 practice.

Dale Coyne Racing crew members work on the No. 19 Boy Scout car after practice at Indy 500 track in Indianapolis.

Dale Coyne Racing crew members work on the No. 19 Boy Scout car after practice at Indy 500 track in Indianapolis.

A reflection in Justin's glasses shows the pit crew hard at work.

A reflection in Justin’s glasses shows the pit crew hard at work.

The sun is shining on a cloudless day as Justin Wilson waits in the pits.

The sun is shining on a cloudless day as Justin Wilson waits in the pits.

Justin Wilson takes a break in the pits during practice for Indy 500.

Justin Wilson takes a break in the pits during practice for Indy 500.

Justin Wilson in the pits during practice for Indy 500. Staying hydrated is key so Justin's water bottle is resting on the rear view mirror between sips.

Justin Wilson in the pits during practice for Indy 500. Staying hydrated is key so Justin’s water bottle is resting on the rear view mirror between sips.

Justin Wilson drives the No. 19 Boy Scout car into third turn at Indianapolis during practice. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway "winged foot" is painted on the outside wall of Turn 3.

Justin Wilson drives the No. 19 Boy Scout car into third turn at Indianapolis during practice. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway “winged foot” is painted on the outside wall of Turn 3.

Justin Wilson focuses in the pits during practice for Indy 500.

Justin Wilson focuses in the pits during practice for Indy 500.

"Be a Scout!" side pod rests outside the Dale Coyne Racing No. 19 garage at Indy 500 garages while car is being worked on.

“Be a Scout!” side pod rests outside the Dale Coyne Racing No. 19 garage at Indy 500 garages while car is being worked on.

Justin Wilson, driver of the No. 19 Boy Scout car, takes his helmet off after practice for Indy 500.

Justin Wilson, driver of the No. 19 Boy Scout car, takes his helmet off after practice for Indy 500.

The No. 19 Boy Scout car is attended to during a pitstop at practice for Indy 500 by Dale Coyne Racing crew. The umbrella is to hold over driver Justin Wilson to prevent overheating of the driver.

The No. 19 Boy Scout car is attended to during a pitstop at practice for Indy 500 by Dale Coyne Racing crew. The umbrella is to hold over driver Justin Wilson to prevent overheating of the driver.

Justin Wilson driving the No. 19 Boy Scout car for Dale Coyne Racing, zooms out of the pits during practice for Indy 500 in Indianapolis.

Justin Wilson driving the No. 19 Boy Scout car for Dale Coyne Racing, zooms out of the pits during practice for Indy 500 in Indianapolis.

Justin Wilson in the pits during practice for Indy 500.

Justin Wilson in the pits during practice for Indy 500.

An important reminder about BSA Racing

To, hopefully, stave off any misconceptions, I’ve started including this reminder with all of my posts about BSA Racing, which includes the IndyCar team and the NASCAR Nationwide Series team:

In past blog posts about BSA Racing, some commenters intimated that the Boy Scouts of America was investing heaps of its own money to support these cars. That’s not true. In fact, the program is a royalty-free arrangement, meaning that thanks to the generous support of Dale Coyne Racing, IndyCar, and Scott Lagasse Racing, there’s no cash investment from the BSA.

Instead, in return for the support from those three groups, the BSA lists them as national sponsors in its promotional materials — that’s it. It’s the kind of relationship where everyone sees the checkered flag.


All photos copyright John R. Fulton Jr. and may not be reused without permission.

6 Comments on Photos of BSA IndyCar and driver Justin Wilson will rev you up for Indy 500

  1. This is a terrific article and really explains the important and generous relationship between Dale Coyne Racing and the BSA. The photos themselves tell a great story. We couldn’t pay for better advertising…and we don’t. Perfect!

    • Bill Sharp // May 21, 2013 at 6:14 am // Reply

      Go Justin & Dale! What is/was their involvment in Scouting prior to this?

  2. DALE COYNE for Chairman of the National BSA Board of Directors!

  3. Waiting for collectible cars and t-shirts

    • Bill Sharp // May 21, 2013 at 3:59 pm // Reply

      “Pine Wood” Cars will all have the #19 next season!

  4. Thank you, Bryan for a fabulous blog! As a traffic safety professional, engineer, Scouter, and auto racing enthusiast, you’ve touched my heart by demonstrating Lord Baden-Powell’s mantra… “Scouting is a game (fun) with a purpose.” Auto racing rocks! It gets the attention of youth and is a motivator for teaching driver safety, and opening their eyes to education and careers in STEM. It is as valuable as the outdoors for furthering the aims of Scouting, even offering a segue to emergency response and first aid. Auto racing is fun with a purpose when used effectively–and you’ve shown how. I developed a course for my council’s University of Scouting on strategies and resources for promoting teen driving safety (a special interest of my Venturing Crew) that also emphasized Dale Coyne Racing’s benevolence toward Scouting, which I’d be happy to share with other councils. Combining adrenaline-rushing fun with a valuable purpose is what Scouting (and Venturing) is about… And if it saves young lives and develops servant leaders in key career fields, while letting them have fun? Priceless! Thank you… And thanks to Dale Coyne Racing for its invaluable support of Scouting!

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