How can you not love a story about a guy who gets his first victory in a series, has to rush home from the next track to be with his wife for the birth of their first child, and rush back, get in the car with no practice (and starting at the back because he missed qualifying) and hand the car to his teammate in position for them to take their second consecutive victory in the most unlikely of circumstances?

Add in the fact that Robert Wickens was in his first year back racing after suffering a life-threatening – and what for most people would be career-ending – crash in an IndyCar at Pocono in 2018 that left him without the use of his legs, and it becomes more of a fairytale. Cherry on top? The second victory, after winning the Tioga Downs Casino Resort 120 at Watkins Glen seven days earlier, was at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park: a pretty good place to win for Canadians Wickens and Mark Wilkins.

After winning at Watkins Glen, Wickens and Wilkins went straight to CTMP outside of Toronto ahead of the following week’s race to perform manufacturer activities for Hyundai Canada. But after a visit to the doctor on that Thursday, Robert’s wife Karli let him know that delivery was coming sooner than expected. He needed to be home by the next morning.

Wickens drove late into the night to get back to Indianapolis for the birth of their first child, Wesley Joseph Wickens. With mother and baby doing fine, Wickens jetted back to CTMP to race in the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park 120. You know what happened next – a most improbable, but roundly celebrated, victory.

As you likely know, Wickens drives with hand controls, and has to be assisted out of the car at the end of his stint before handing over to Wilkins. Wilkins, a stellar driver who has raced many different cars from touring to GT3, has been a bit overshadowed this season by his well-known teammate with the great story, but never stops smiling. The two have combined to perform well in the Hyundai Elantra N TCR car this season, and Wickens finished sixth in the IMPC Touring Car points standings (Wilkins had to miss a race).

The second victory after the birth of Wesley Joseph was the most feel-good of feel-good stories. Add in a stellar headline – associate editor Cody Globig gets the credit for that – and it was indeed a most memorable day, and hopefully a memorable report. Here’s looking forward to more great stories in 2023.