Just before his death, he was competing part-time in the IndyCar Series, driving the No. 25 Honda for Andretti Autosport. Earlier, he competed in the Champ Car series from 2004–07, scoring four wins.
Wilson also competed in Formula One in the 2003 season with Minardi and Jaguar and was the winner of the 2001 International Formula 3000 championship. He was also a winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona. To date, he is the tallest person to have raced in Formula One.
On 23 August 2015, Wilson suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident at the Pocono Raceway, which caused his death the following day.
For 2003, Minardi designed the car around Wilson’s 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) frame and signed him up to race. The car was off the pace but Wilson performed favourably against his more experienced teammate, Jos Verstappen.
He switched to Jaguar Racing to replace Antônio Pizzonia for the last five races of the season, and scored his first championship point at the United States Grand Prix.
However, Wilson did not retain his position with Jaguar Racing, because Ford was not prepared to pour unlimited funds into Formula One and advised the team that they would have to take on a paying driver.
Christian Klien, who was funded by Austrian drink company Red Bull, and who had tested for Jaguar in November 2003, was able to bring sponsorship and thus secure a driver’s seat for 2004.
Wilson was fatally injured in an accident during the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on 23 August 2015.
Race leader Sage Karam crashed late in the race, sending debris airborne.
The nose cone from Karam’s crashed car hit Wilson’s helmet as he drove through the accident scene, and Wilson’s car immediately veered left into the inside wall.
Wilson was extricated from his car and airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown. He was subsequently reported to be in a coma, and died the following day.
Tributes poured in from across the motorsport world following Wilson’s death from Nigel Mansell, Jenson Button and fellow Indy driver Dario Franchitti.