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Dan Wheldon: 1978-2011

Tributes pour in for Dan Wheldon, following his death at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Tributes continue to pour in for double Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon, who has died as a result of injuries sustained in an accident during the 2011 IndyCar Series finale in Las Vegas.

The Briton suffered 'unsurvivable injuries' when he was caught up in the multi-car incident in the opening stages of the race and was pronounced dead at 3pm local time. He was 33 years old.

IndyCar Series officials have confirmed that the end of season championship celebrations, which were due to be held on Monday evening, have been cancelled.

What follows is a selection of tributes to Wheldon, who also lifted the IndyCar title back in 2005.

RANDY BERNARD - CEO, IndyCar:
“No words can describe my feelings as I reflect on my memories of Dan. His infectious smile, bubbly personality and big heart made Dan one of the most caring people I had ever met. You could never ask for a better ambassador to a sport. Dan represented INDYCAR with the upmost respect and integrity. Dan will not only be immortalized as being a great racer but also a wonderful person. My prayers are with Susie and his two children in this very difficult time. “

SAM SCHMIDT - Owner, Sam Schmidt Motorsports:
"Dan Wheldon was a tremendous competitor, a great racer and an even better person. It was an honor to have him be a part of our team. All of us at Sam Schmidt Motorsports are deeply saddened by his passing. On behalf of everyone at Sam Schmidt Motorsports, our prayers go out to all of his family, especially his wife, Susie, and their two children."

DARIO FRANCHITTI - Target Chip Ganassi Racing:
"We lost a good friend. Everybody in IndyCar Series considered Dan a friend. He was one of those special, special people from the first moment he showed up in IndyCar. And he was kind of the brash, but he was a charmer. Then he became this loving family guy who was still charming, but he had this whole new side to him. I'm just thinking of Susie and the boys. When I think about them I'm struggling to hold it together."

CHIP GANASSI - Owner, Target Chip Ganassi Racing:
"What can you say? He was such a big presence in our sport and quite a talent. Today we lost a little bit of Indycar. He raced here for us for three years, won six races and made many friends - the whole Chip Ganassi Racing organization mourns his passing. My thoughts and prayers go out to Susie, the boys and the whole Wheldon family."

SCOTT DIXON - Target Chip Ganassi Racing:
"Dan is family and I will miss him badly. Such an amazing person and wonderful family man. We will be with Susie, Sebastian and Oliver for whatever they need. I still can't believe it."

GRAHAM RAHAL - Chip Ganassi Racing:
"My heart goes out to the Wheldon family. Dan was an incredible champion, a great friend and someone I will always respect and admire. We have truly lost one of the greatest members of our INDYCAR family."

CHARLIE KIMBALL - Chip Ganassi Racing:



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Dan Wheldon, 2011 Indianapolis 500 champion. [Picture credit: IndyCar Media]
Pit lane (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon spins during practice (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin slides into his machine prior to the evening Open Test session at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
The pylon at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin sits in his machine prior to practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin on course during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin crosses the start/finish line during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin receives a handshake before his qualification attempt for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest.  (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates with his daughter Mikaella after winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest.  (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves celebrates winning pole position for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves celebrates winning pole position for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves celebrates winning pole position for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves celebrates winning pole position for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves celebrates winning pole position for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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Droog - Unregistered

October 17, 2011 1:39 PM

What the hell were 34 open-wheeled cars doing on a small (1.5mi) oval in the first place? I've actually driven that track with the Richard Petty Driving Experience, and I can tell you that it's not huge as oval's go. On top of that, in an open wheeler, if you make the slightest contact with another car's wheel, you are going for a ride. And you have no protection when flying head first into the wall/fence. This track was designed for stock cars, with closed wheels and roll bar cages. Being an F1 nut, I don't know much about him, but I truly respect the sheer guts that it takes to hop into one of these cars and drive competitively. May God rest his Soul. However, I could think of worse ways to die, slowly wasting away in a hospital bed, or having to live after a severe stroke for instance. I would much rather go out doing something that I loved, a warrior.



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