DARLINGTON, South Carolina – Four years after the IndyCar Series crash that left him with a serious spinal cord injury, Robert Wickens is back behind the wheel and in the winner’s circle.
The perseverance, determination, and positive attitude Wickens has shown throughout his ordeal hasn’t gone unnoticed, and on the heels of his latest racing accomplishments, Wickens is the winner of the third quarter NMPA Pocono Spirit Award by the National Motorsports Press Association.
Wickens was selected by an overwhelming majority of votes from NMPA membership.
In January, Wickens finished third in his first race – the BMW M Endurance Challenge at Daytona – since the 2018 crash at Pocono Raceway in the IndyCar Series. It was only the beginning of great things. Wickens teamed with Mark Wilkins to win the TCR class of the Michelin Pilot Challenge at Watkins Glen at the end of June and Canadian Tire Motorsports Park the following week.
The storybook week was made even better with the arrival of his son. Wickens and his wife Kari welcomed Wesley Joseph just days before the race in Canada.
Also receiving votes for the third quarter were Carson Hocevar, Mike Hembree and Marco Andretti.
Wickens is now eligible for the overall NMPA Pocono Spirit Award, which is voted on by the membership and presented at the annual convention. Kurt Busch was selected as the first quarter winner for his work with Vet Tix, and NHRA competitor Dom Lagana was chosen as the second quarter winner for his continued perseverance after a near-tragic car accident.
Established in 1992 and supported by Pocono Raceway, the Spirit Award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship, and contributions to motor sports. It is also meant to acknowledge competitors who have overcome illness, injury, or tragedy to return to racing.