Wilson's kid brother tags along to Barber test

  • Article by: JENNA FRYER
  • Associated Press
  • March 12, 2013 - 12:56 PM

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - After an offseason of uncertainty with Dale Coyne Racing, Justin Wilson was anxious to finally get on with the preparations for the upcoming IndyCar season.

Tagging along to the open test at Barber Motorsports Park was the kid brother he once needed a lock to keep out of his bedroom.

Wilson, who came to Barber still needing team owner Coyne to sign their contract to make his deal for the 2013 season official, wasn't sure when he arrived in Alabama what car number he'll drive this season or if he'll have a teammate. But his younger brother, Stefan, has a sponsor willing to spend some money and that got him a test in the second Coyne car at Barber.

Ana Beatriz was scheduled to test the car Tuesday, with Stefan Wilson scheduled to drive Wednesday in what would mark one of the very rare instances the Wilson brothers are on the track at the same time. Justin is 11 years older than Stefan.

"When he was 5, I had to get a lock to put on my bedroom door because he would not leave me alone," Justin said with a laugh. "The possibility of having my brother race in IndyCar with me at the same time is quite exciting because you want your brother to do well. The contrast is that I have to stay focused and driven and almost selfish on my own career and make sure I don't give anything up and do the best I can and don't get distracted helping my brother."

Stefan Wilson sat out all but the Indy Lights seasons finale last season, finishing sixth at Fontana driving for Fan Force United. He drove for Andretti Autosport in 2011, winning two races and finishing third in the Lights standings. He'd been trying to put together a package for the move up to IndyCar, and it was his older brother who helped get him the test at Barber.

"He has a sponsor that wants to go racing and I mentioned it to Dale, who said `OK, maybe it will fit,'" Wilson said. "I've never competed against him in anything other than a five-minute go-kart race."

Stefan boasted he was faster that day, too.

"I think he was a little upset about it," he said of Justin.

For now, he's just grateful for the chance to run an IndyCar.

"It was a long year to sit out the season and watch everyone compete and not be a part of it," Stefan said. "It made me work even harder to make something work for 2013 at the pinnacle of the sport. I wasn't opposed to doing another year of Indy Lights. In fact, I was still trying to do that all of last year. Winning two races and finishing third in the championship in 2011 showed that I could compete at this level. I think a lot of the Indy Lights grads showed that being at the front of Indy Lights you can make that transition to IndyCars and be successful."

Several brothers have competed in the same year at the Indianapolis 500 as teammates or on different teams. On the full Indy car circuit in the modern era, Don and Bill Whittington were teammates in 1983 at Pocono.

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