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Wheldon family touched by tributes

Colin Dyne, CEO of Wheldon's Indianapolis 500-winning sponsor William Rast thanked the 33-year old what he had given the company.

“As we struggle to process this devastating news, my heart and soul reach out to Dan's wife Susie, his two boys and the rest of his family," he said, "He was a true champion who had the unique quality of making everyone around him feel like a winner. Not only a hero, but also a great friend, we are honoured to have counted Dan as part of the William Rast family. We will surely miss our friend and never forget what he gave to all of us.”

Wheldon's management company admitted that it was 'deeply saddened by the tragic loss' of a friend and client.

"Dan was a winner," it claimed, "For the past eleven years, we were privileged to watch Dan become a champion on the track and a devoted family man off it. He loved the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and was immensely proud to have his name etched twice on the Borg Warner trophy alongside some of the Indy 500 greats.

"He touched so many people in racing and around the world with his warm smile, his charming personality and his genuine good nature. Dan loved his fans and always took that extra bit of time to take a photo, to sign an autograph, to make some young kid smile at the racetrack. Everyone wanted to be around Dan. His passion and his enthusiasm for life was infectious. We will all miss him...

A true champion of motorsport... A proud brother to Austin, Ashley, Elliott and Holly... A devoted son to Clive and Sue... A loving husband to Susie... A doting father to his boys, Sebastian and Oliver... And our friend... Rest in peace Dan...your memory will live with us forever."

Finally, former racer Bobby Rahal - whose son Graham raced against Wheldon in 2010-11 - paid tribute to a real racer.

"On Sunday, the Road Racing Drivers Club lost a fellow member, the racing community lost a brilliant talent and the Wheldon family lost a husband and father," the veteran campaigner wrote, "The last tragic loss is the only one that really matters. Our hearts are burdened with grief for Dan's family and we hope they feel the arms of their friends around them.

"Racing can be a bitter sport, but life in the racing community is so exhilarating that, year after year, incident after incident, drivers choose to race. Dan continued when others had troubles; his fellow RRDC members will as well, some even soon. Racing isn't heartless; those who participate know that there is no community more loving or more mutually supportive. Racing is a rewarding way of life that Dan and his fellow RRDC members chose, and loved, for very personal reasons.

"Dan Wheldon was our teammate, our competitor and our friend. The RRDC will do what we can to help his family, and we will always honour this lovely man. Then we will do what Dan would have done; we will go racing."

Details of a public memorial service in Indianapolis will be forthcoming from IndyCar in the next week, while GoDaddy.com has created a memorial website in Wheldon's honour. The Briton was rumoured to have agreed terms to replace NASCAR-bound Danica Patrick in the GoDaddy-sponsored Andretti Autosport car next season.

The memorial site, which includes a Facebook link to leave condolences and remembrances and a career photo retrospective, can be found at http://www.danwheldonmemorial.com/

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Related Pictures

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The scoring pylon shows Dan Wheldon`s car number, #77, as the remaining cars make a five-lap parade around Las Vegas Motor Speedway after the news that Wheldon had passed away from his injuries. [Photo Credit: IndyCar Media]
Dan Wheldon, 2011 Indianapolis 500 champion. [Picture credit: IndyCar Media]
Dan Wheldon at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the 2011 season finale. [Picture credit: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media]
A look over Dan Wheldon`s shoulder into the cockpit of Dan Wheldon`s car at Kentucky Speedway [Photo credit: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media]
Former Indy 500 champion Dan Wheldon sits in the cockit of his Bryan Herta Autosports car in pit lane during practice on Thursday, May 19 2011 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. [Picture credit: Ron McQueeney for IndyCar Media]
Graham Rahal in car (Photo Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal (Photo Credit: John Hendrick for IndyCar Media)
Dan Wheldon Memorial Pro-Am Karting logo
Graham Rahal, Mark Miles, and Doug Boles chat during the 2014 Grand Prix of Indianapolis Announcement. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mayor Greg Ballard, Roger Penske, Graham Rahal, Mark Miles, and Doug Boles during the 2014 Grand Prix of Indianapolis Announcement. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media.)
Jack Hawksworth tests an IZOD IndyCar Series car at Sebring International Raceway with Rahal Letterman Lanigan on Tuesday, September 17 2013. (Photo Credit: John Hendrick for IndyCar Media)
Jack Hawksworth tests an IZOD IndyCar Series car at Sebring International Raceway with Rahal Letterman Lanigan on Tuesday, September 17 2013. (Photo Credit: John Hendrick for IndyCar Media)
Jack Hawksworth tests an IZOD IndyCar Series car at Sebring International Raceway with Rahal Letterman Lanigan on Tuesday, September 17 2013. (Photo Credit: John Hendrick for IndyCar Media)
Jack Hawksworth tests an IZOD IndyCar Series car at Sebring International Raceway with Rahal Letterman Lanigan on Tuesday, September 17 2013. (Photo Credit: John Hendrick for IndyCar Media)
Jack Hawksworth tests an IZOD IndyCar Series car at Sebring International Raceway with Rahal Letterman Lanigan on Tuesday, September 17 2013. (Photo Credit: John Hendrick for IndyCar Media)
Jack Hawksworth tests an IZOD IndyCar Series car at Sebring International Raceway with Rahal Letterman Lanigan on Tuesday, September 17 2013. (Photo Credit: John Hendrick for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lannigan Racing) talks with the media after working on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday September 5 2013 as part of an evaluation of the configuration for possible use in future IZOD IndyCar Series events. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lannigan Racing) heads out of pit lane to work on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday September 5 2013 as part of an evaluation of the configuration for possible use in future IZOD IndyCar Series events. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)

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Rick - Unregistered

October 19, 2011 2:53 AM

Hey John...I think a lot of people are just stunned from the loss of this true gentleman of a talent. I haven't been on crash for about a week,but it doesn't mean millions aren't thinking of Dan firstly,as well as his family. God be with him.In this hard time of mourning,I cannot imagine how difficult a mother,father,brothers and sisters could contain themselves,yet thank the people for their comments of support. That really shows where Dan gets his true quality of person...from the roots. Dan will be miss,no doubt.

JOHN - Unregistered

October 18, 2011 5:51 PM

Am I the only fan paying my tribute to Dan's family here??? I am so sad to see so few comments on other news stories and none so far on this one. If this had been Rossi in MotoGP there would be up to 1000 comments (if not more) per news story. Where are all the IndyCar fans?????? Dan brought unspeakable joy to indyCar and paid the ultimate price for the farce the final 'showdown race' was. Godspeed to his family



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