"It was a finish that even Hollywood couldn't have written," said Sussmann. But he added that Wheldon had discovered so much more to life than simply racing success in recent years: ""His happiness came from the fact that he had everything in life that money can't buy," he said.
The service also featured music from country star Wynonna Judd, Dario Franchitti's sister-in-law, including a rendition of "Amazing Grace" - a hymn that had also hauntingly sounded out at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last Sunday as the IndyCar field paid a silent five-lap salute to the fallen hero at the end of the tragic day's events.
Many of those attending the funeral flew back to Indianapolis in the evening, in time for a televised public memorial service organised by IndyCar to celebrate the life and successes of the 33-year-old racer. Coverage will be streamed online through indycar.com
and is due to start at 4pm local time (9pm BST) on Sunday, October 23.
A memorial website
has been set up by the internet services company GoDaddy.com, who were expected to be Wheldon's sponsor for a full season of racing in IndyCar in 2012. There will also be an auction of sporting memorabilia benefiting the Dan Wheldon Family Trust Fund. Originally sparked by Graham Rahal's offer to auction his own race helmet, it has rapidly snowballed to include items from across motor racing series including NASCAR and MotoGP as well as from stars of NFL, NBA, Tour de France and the world of entertainment.