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Dan Wheldon: 1978-2011

"We lost a special member of our INDYCAR family. Dan was doing exactly what he wanted and died doing what he loved. Our thoughts are with his wife, Susie, and his two children. There are much bigger plans in life than we can ever hope to understand. Dan will be forever missed."

ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT:
"It is with extreme sorrow that we have lost one of our champion drivers today. Dan was an Indy 500 champion and IndyCar Series champion with Andretti Autosport, and one of our closest competitors. Dan brought such enthusiasm and passion to the sport not often seen in motorsports. We will remember Dan's tremendous racing accomplishments with our team as well his infectious personality. We would like to express our deepest sympathy to Dan's family, racing team and friends today. Dan is one of IndyCar's greatest champions."

ERIK BERKMAN - President, Honda Performance Development:
"For everyone in the Honda family, this is a day of tragedy and incalculable loss. For us, Dan was more than a driver. He was a member of the Honda family. But most of all, our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, wife Susie and two young sons. Dan had a passion for motorsports and a wonderful personality that made him a friend to everyone in the racing community. His talent and dedication were an inspiration to us all. We will miss him terribly, and everyone at Honda extends our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and fans across the world."

BOBBY RAHAL - co-owner, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing:
"The passing of Dan Wheldon today is a great shame. Dan was a great driver as evidenced by not only his Indianapolis 500 victories, but by his many wins and great performances in the race car. But he was much more than a great driver. He was a good guy, good family man and really seemed to have a bright future not only as a driver but as a television personality as well. We had spoken to him very recently about his prospects as a driver for 2012 with our team and he was very enthusiastic about his future. He will be missed."

ALLEN SIRKIN - President, PVH Corp:
"On behalf of everyone at the IZOD brand, our prayers and thoughts are with Dan Wheldon's family. We are very proud to have worked with Dan and consider him a true friend," said. "He was one of the best race car drivers in the world and a wonderful ambassador for the sport. Dan's love of racing was only surpassed by his love and dedication to his family. He will be missed by all."

AL SPEYER - Executive Director, Firestone Racing:
"The Firestone Racing team is deeply saddened by the death of Dan Wheldon. We have very fond memories of celebrating with Dan at Indianapolis following his win this year, and he was a true champion. Recently, we had been working very closely with Dan on the development of the 2012 IndyCar. His passion for the sport was evident every day and he worked endlessly to do the best he could at everything he did. We extend our sympathies to his family, to his team, and to his many friends and fans. He was a talented competitor on the track who will be long remembered by all who had the privilege of working with and knowing him."

DAN MEAD - CEO and President, Verizon Wireless:
"There are no words to express our sorrow over the loss of Dan Wheldon, a beloved member of the racing family. We extend our deepest sympathies to Dan's wife and family. They are all in our thoughts."

JEFF BELSKUS - President and CEO, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp:
"We are incredibly saddened at the passing of Dan Wheldon. He was a great champion of the Indianapolis 500 and a wonderful ambassador for the race, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and all of motorsports. Most importantly, he was a fantastic husband, father and man - a good friend to so many in this sport. His memory will live forever at the Speedway, both through the magnitude of his accomplishments on the track and his magnetism off the track. Our deepest sympathies are extended to his entire family, team and fans."

ROGER PENSKE - owner, Penske Racing:
"Today was a sad day for IndyCar and the IndyCar family. Dan was a champion, a wonderful young man and a terrific competitor. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Susie, his children and his entire family."

GEORGE BODENHEIMER - President, ESPN & ABC Sports:
"We are very saddened by the tragic passing of Dan Wheldon. He was a great champion both on and off the racetrack and he will be greatly missed. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family."

HELIO CASTRONEVES - Team Penske; three-time Indianapolis 500 winner:



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Dan Wheldon, 2011 Indianapolis 500 champion. [Picture credit: IndyCar Media]
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Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens 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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