Photos of the late race car driver Justin Wilson (1978-2015) by Marshall Pruett.

Dear INDYCAR Family,

Thank you. It’s hard to find the right words to really express the gratitude that I feel. It’s incredible to know that so many people also care so much about Justin, Julia and their daughters. I want each of you to know how thankful I am for how much you’ve cared for people I care about so deeply.

Julia and the girls were the most important thing to Justin. He dedicated all of his time to work hard and support his family. The support from the INDYCAR community is so special because you’ve made all of us feel so loved, and it’s taken an entire community of love to even compare to the way Justin made us feel. Nothing will ever fill the void we feel for Justin, but the kindnesses we’ve received in the recent months has allowed for us to grieve while you all have helped secure the future for his family.

In one of the tribute videos, Justin said his best job outside of the car was being a dad. This has been especially meaningful now, as so many of you have helped fill that role in supporting his children. Justin was doing everything he could in his career to be successful and support his family. It’s one of many great lessons I learned from him. In his absence, I want to be as supportive of them as I can and I’m so thankful that our extended family in the racing community helped me get started in this effort.

Justin’s legacy will live on through his children. You’ve helped us move forward by supporting the Wilson Children’s Fund.

I’m extremely grateful to everyone involved in the online auction. Whether you donated an item, placed a bid or assisted in running the auction, you were all very important to making it successful. It probably wouldn’t have taken off without Graham Rahal. I’ll never find the right words to express my gratitude to Graham, but he has clearly shown how much Justin meant to him by doing so much for Justin’s family. Thank you, Graham.

An auction like this took so much work, from the organizers at eBay and Auction Cause who donated their time and waived fees, to the people who coordinated each shipment, to those who placed bids and organized every item. This was a labor of love and I’m grateful beyond comprehension for your volunteered time and efforts. Everyone was so committed to not only sorting through logistics, but making sure it was properly promoted and I’m truly thankful to everyone who allowed this to become a successful event. Many thanks to eBay, Auction Cause, Marshall Pruett, Heather Carpenter, Joel Nelson,  Liz Power, Alexander Wurz, Allan McNish, Marino Franchitti, Will Buxton, Leigh Diffey, Mike Shank and many, many others who were dedicated to this cause.

It was shocking but so special to see so many unique items come through for the auction, like Patsy White’s signed Greg Moore memorabilia, a Dan Wheldon race-worn helmet and all the donated INDYCAR driver helmets, as well as all the Formula One teams that helped. It honestly made me feel guilty that so many of the donated items had sentimental value. I’m speechless and forever grateful that you would let go of something special to show your love for Justin and his family.

It’s also been so humbling to see the silent displays of support from the hundreds of people who donated directly to the fund and from people who bought and wore tribute T-shirts, and not just because it helped raise money. The kind words online with photos of friends in the INDYCAR family wearing T-shirts has been so heartwarming in letting us know that people continue to care and that Justin is still being represented in special and unique ways. It has been overwhelming and awesome to see so much support at every racetrack from INDYCAR and other racing series since August. It’s important to me after all of these months that Justin’s legacy lives on with all of this kindness.

I have known for years that I have a great and caring family with my parents, Justin, Julia, Jane and Jessica. I now know that my family extends far beyond bloodlines, to each and every one of you in the racing community. I truly consider all of you a part of the Wilson family and will forever remember the love and compassion you have shown. While it seems like not nearly enough, I wish to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Stefan Wilson