Stefan Wilson is returning to the Indianapolis 500 after a two-year absence. On Tuesday, Andretti Autosport announced Wilson will drive the #25 Honda in his first NTT IndyCar Series start since the 2018 Indy 500. Women’s golf brand LOHLA SPORT will sponsor his car.
Wilson has two career starts in the Indy 500, finishing twenty-eighth in 2016 and fifteenth in 2018. He joined Andretti for the 2017 race before turning the ride to Fernando Alonso with plans to return the following year. The 2018 race saw him take the lead with eight laps remaining before running out of fuel three laps later.
“After leading laps with Andretti Autosport at the Indianapolis 500 in 2018, I’m hungry to return and finish the job,” said Wilson. “I’ve worked tirelessly to make this return happen and I am so thankful that LOHLA SPORT has believed in me to represent them. It’s a dream come true to rejoin Andretti and also partner with Honda once more in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
“The icing on the cake is we get to do this with a brand new company in LOHLA SPORT, a premium women’s apparel brand already captivating the golf lifestyle scene. Among the fans and partners involved with the Indianapolis 500, we have a huge amount of golf enthusiasts, so I’m excited to get them exposed to what LOHLA SPORT is all about. None of this would have happened without Don and Carolyn Cusick, who are avid racing and golf enthusiasts and also shareholders in LOHLA SPORT. This program also represents the birth of Cusick Motorsports, and I am hopeful the 2021 Indianapolis 500 will be a springboard to many exciting opportunities for the Cusick Motorsports brand in the future. Lastly, I am thankful to have Expedia Group’s VIP Access join the effort, along with Menlo Ventures, VSRS and Liberty Group.”
LOHLA SPORT launched in January by longtime golf industry member Lisa O’Hurley, who described the sponsorship as a “cool, market-broadening road to Indy (that) doesn’t happen every day. LOHLA SPORT is proud to support women who love golf and love all sports as our outfits are fit for the course, court, race track and everywhere between.”
Cusick Motorsports, also a new brand, provides business services in the motorsports world. Founder Don Cusick is friends with O’Hurley and also has involvement in LOHLA.
“As a lifelong IndyCar fan, I have always wanted to attend the Indianapolis 500 live but never found my way there until now,” Cusick commented. “Thankfully, the stars aligned this year, meeting Stefan Wilson and creating this amazing partnership. From casually asking Stefan if he had any contacts for great seats at Indy and half-jokingly telling him the best seat would have him driving in it. As it turns out, I’m getting the second-best seat in the house as the sponsor of the #25 Andretti Autosport IndyCar driven by Stefan.”
The 500, scheduled for 30 May, will see a six-car effort for Andretti. In addition to the full-time Colton Herta, James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Alexander Rossi, Wilson will be joined by fellow 500-only participant Marco Andretti. Unlike Wilson’s entry, Andretti’s is fielded in an alliance with Bryan Herta under the Andretti Herta Autosport banner.
“We’re excited to not only welcome Stefan back to the team, but also to have a new partner in LOHLA SPORT come on board to experience their first Indy 500,” team chairman Michael Andretti stated. “We have a great history with the Wilson family and we’re hopeful we can build on successes we’ve had in the past this May.”
The younger brother of the late Justin Wilson, whose final 500 start in 2015 came with Andretti, he made his IndyCar début at the 2013 Grand Prix of Baltimore. To date, it is his only non-500 start in the series.