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Justin Wilson Obituary

Justin Wilson

IndyCar driver Justin Wilson died Monday after he sustained a head injury during a crash at the Pocono Raceway, The Associated Press and his family reported. He was 37.

Known, as ESPN describes him, as the “Gentle Giant” of racing, Wilson got his start racing Go-Karts at the age of 9 at his home in Yorkshire, England. He raced in the European Formula One series in 2003 and then moved to the United States. His quiet demeanor, analytical skills and strong technical abilities earned him the respect of his peers in both the Champ Car and Indy Car circuits, where, according to ESPN, he racked up 174 career starts and earned eight career poles, with 47 top-5 finishes and 94 top 10s.

Wilson lapsed into a coma after being struck in the helmet by a piece of debris at Sunday’s race at the Pocono Raceway. IndyCar announced his death Monday.

"This is a monumentally sad day for INDYCAR and the motorsports community as a whole," IndyCar CEO Mark Miles said in a statement. "Justin's elite ability to drive a race car was matched by his unwavering kindness, character and humility – which is what made him one of the most respected members of the paddock. As we know, the racing industry is one big family, and our efforts moving forward will be focused on rallying around Justin's family to ensure they get the support they need during this unbelievably difficult time."

NASCAR drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick soon took to Twitter to send their condolences:

“Thoughts and prayers to his family, friends, and to the @IndyCar family.#RIPJustinWilson — Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) August 25, 2015”

According to a family statement, Wilson is survived by his parents, Keith and Lynne; his wife, Julia; and his brother Stefan.

RIP Justin

Picture contributed by Charles Sparks

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