Justin Wilson, who drove the Boy Scouts of America IndyCar in 2013 and 2014, died Monday after a head injury sustained in a race over the weekend.
Wilson, a 37-year-old father of two, was hit by a large piece of debris from another car on Sunday at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania.
This season, Wilson was a driver for Andretti Autosport. Before that, as the driver of the No. 19 car for Dale Coyne Racing, Wilson represented the Boy Scouts of America well.
Wilson drove Dale Coyne Racing’s No. 18 car in 2012 and moved to Coyne’s No. 19 BSA car for the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
Wilson wore a large BSA fleur-de-lis on the chest of his racing suit those seasons. Before races he would invite Scouts and Scouters to see his car, giving them a chance to pose with the red, white and blue Honda emblazoned with the words “Be a Scout!”
Wilson finished fifth in the 2013 Indianapolis 500. His success on the track conveyed the message that the BSA is closely connected to science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM.
In a statement on his website, team owner Dale Coyne (pictured with Wilson at right), offered this remembrance about Wilson:
“Justin was the kindest, gentlest racer that we have ever known. His wife Julia and their adorable girls, Jane and Jessica, are shining lights of Justin’s spirit. All of us that got to know Justin or just met him in passing must be saddened by this astonishing loss. Our thoughts and prayers continue with his entire family from all of us at Dale Coyne Racing and beyond.”
The Boy Scouts of America expressed its sadness at Wilson’s passing in an official statement. During his time driving the BSA car, the statement said, Wilson “attended countless events on behalf of the BSA and worked to educate, inspire and invest in America’s youth.
“While he was a world-class driver, he was an even better person. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this very difficult time.”
All photos Copyright John R. Fulton Jr. and may not be used without permission.