Wilson and Cusick join forces with DragonSpeed for Indy

Wilson and Cusick join forces with DragonSpeed for Indy

IndyCar

Wilson and Cusick join forces with DragonSpeed for Indy

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The Indianapolis 500’s 33rd and final entry belongs to the No. 25 Chevy that will be driven by Stefan Wilson in a partnership between Cusick Motorsports and DragonSpeed, making use of a Dallara DW12 chassis supplied by A.J. Foyt Racing.

The alignment between Wilson, Don Cusick and DragonSpeed leader Elton Julian came together swiftly as the trio, along with Cusick Motorsports manager Anders Krohn, began exploring their options days after the Long Beach race to unite and run the Briton in his fourth Indy 500 while helping the NTT IndyCar Series to solve the mystery of where the 33rd entry would be found.

“I’m so excited to be back at the event that ignited my passion for motorsports several decades ago,” said Cusick, who partnered with Andretti Autosport to run Wilson at the 2021 Indy 500. “To be partnered with a young, hungry and professional organization like DragonSpeed makes it all the better. Last year was an incredible first on-site experience for Cusick Motorsports and our partners, and we’re so glad to have them with us again. To have Lohla Sport and Sierra Pacific Windows returning as the primary and coprimary partners is just fantastic, and we’re excited to welcome Gnarly Jerky to this group as well.

“A big thank you to Jay Frye from IndyCar, Team Chevy and Anders Krohn for being instrumental in putting this program together. We have some unfinished business from last year with Stefan Wilson and our partners, so we cannot wait to get the event going.”

After months of toiling over where the 33rd entry would emerge, it took a call from DragonSpeed owner Elton Julian to IndyCar president Jay Frye to make his intentions to return to the series known, and with Cusick and Wilson continuing their active search for ways to return for their second Indy 500 together as a driver/owner tandem, the parties were assembled and a deal was eventually struck for DragonSpeed to run a Foyt Racing DW12.

DragonSpeed’s sports car crew, which ran England’s Ben Hanley in four IndyCar races and two Indy 500s from 2019-20 and is comprised of veterans spanning Formula 1 to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, will prepare and run the car. Veteran race engineer and former IndyCar technical director Will Phillips has joined the effort to look after Wilson from the timing stand.

The story between Julian and Cusick has another interesting wrinkle as the DragonSpeed team found itself in a recent test at the Thermal Club circuit in California to prepare for last weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Laguna Seca.

By sheer coincidence while walking through the Thermal paddock, Julian spotted a car with “Cusick Motorsports” on the side, inquired among its crew if the car belonged to Don Cusick and learned it was his and that he was at the track. Moments later, they met and spent the next two hours having lunch and finalizing the details of what would become the Cusick Motorsports/DragonSpeed Indy 500 program.

“This opportunity means so much to us,” Julian said. “Putting this program together with Don Cusick, Stefan Wilson, and the Cusick Motorsports partner group brings us back to Indy even earlier than we hoped. I can tell you we are not coming to the Brickyard to make up the numbers — we’re here to resume our IndyCar learning curve and build on our experience from 2019 and 2020, and Stefan’s past performances as well. I know that Don and Stefan share our ambitions, and I’m grateful to AJ Foyt Racing and Larry Foyt’s racer spirit for helping make this effort possible through the use of their equipment. Adding the 500 to our IMSA commitments is complicated, but everyone at DragonSpeed is 100 percent up for the challenge of Indy.”

For Wilson, completing the Indy 500 starting grid is meant to be another step in growing Cusick Motorsports’ presence in the series.

“The journey to the 2022 Indianapolis 500 has been a rollercoaster ride for Cusick Motorsports, our partners and myself,” he said. “A few short weeks ago it didn’t look like this was going to happen for us, but I’m so relieved all of the pieces came together to get another shot at this race. The Cusick Motorsports and DragonSpeed partnership couldn’t be a better fit and I know it’ll be a great combination for Indy this year, as well as for future opportunities. I’m also looking forward to joining Team Chevy and wearing a bow tie this month.

“There are so many people I have to thank for making this happen for us. First and foremost, a big thank you to Don Cusick for believing in me and being by my side as we fought to make it back to the 500, Elton Julian and the DragonSpeed team for their commitment to join forces with us and a big thank you to Jay Frye and IndyCar, along with Jim Campbell and Chevrolet for their support in making this happen.”

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