Dan Wheldon

Dan Wheldon killed in crash at IndyCar season finale

IndyCarPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Dan Wheldon, Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb/Agajanian
Wheldon pictured at the Indianapolis 500, which he won earlier this year

Dan Wheldon has lost his life following a crash at the start of the IndyCar season finale in Las Vegas.

Wheldon was running in the middle of the 34-car pack when the crash happened after 12 laps had been completed.

He was taken by helicopter to the University Medical Centre but succumbed to his injuries

IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard announced the news following a meeting with the drivers. He said: “IndyCar is sad to announce that Dan Wheldon passed away from unsurvivable injuries.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Dan and his family. IndyCar, its drivers and teams have decided to end the race. We will run a five-lap salute in honour of Dan.”

Fifteen cars were involved in the crash and three other drivers – Will Power, Pippa Mann and JR Hildebrand – were also injured.

The race was red-flagged and stopped following the accident, and abandoned after the news of Wheldon’s condition was announced. The remaining drivers staged a five-lap display run in Wheldon’s honour.

Wheldon, 33, won the IndyCar series in 2005. He won the Indianapolis 500 for the second time earlier this year in addition to the victory he scored in his championship year.

He did not have a full-time drive in the series in 2011 and the Las Vegas event was his third race of the year. He had started the race from last place and was in the running for a special prize of $5 million had he won.


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  • 195 comments on “Dan Wheldon killed in crash at IndyCar season finale”

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    1. If there is any justice in the universe, Dan Wheldon will tonight be taking his rightful place alongside Fangio, Senna, Earnhardt, Brock and all the other motorsport immortals.

      RIP Dan Wheldon.

      1. Well said. RIP.

    2. Sad sad day for mothor-racing, only followed Indy from this season!

      I pray to never have to watch another death in any form of motor-racing.

      Whoever runs the Indy series needs to get rid of oval tracks, open wheel racing is dangerous another let alone on an oval!!

      RIP Dan

    3. RIP… I was shocked by the crash itself… even if Dan had survived I would still be paralyzed… we will miss him a lot

    4. I am so very sad to hear of the death of such a great English driver. I followed his career from his days as a chubby teenager to the heights of Indycar Champion and double Indy500 winner. His win this year was amazing and a fitting tribute. RIP Dan.

    5. RIP Dan. Horrible stuff.

    6. Rest in peace, Dan Wheldon.

    7. absolutely terrible news. to think, he posted on twitter just over two hours ago, and, tragically, his life is now lost. rest easy, dan.

    8. this is just terrible.

      aside from the wheldon family, open wheel oval racing will struggle to overcome this.

    9. Stunned and saddened. I saw the Senna crash on TV in 94 but was too young to really take it in. Watching events unfold tonight was heartbreaking. Will stay with me for a very long time i fear.

    10. That is horrifying. RIP Dan Wheldon.

    11. Now is not the time to be getting angry about oval tracks and Indycar safety standards. Deaths happen on road courses too. When emotion has calmed down, the issues behind this tragedy can be examined with logic, and with the goal of making Indycar racing – on ovals and road courses – safer for the future, so that this doesn’t happen again.

      My heart is with the entire Indycar community, and with the Formula One family who will be waking up to this awful news.

    12. Stephen Higgins
      16th October 2011, 23:48

      When I saw that massive shunt Allan McNish had at Le Mans earlier this year, I thought it was the worst crash I’d ever seen in motor racing, and that it was a miracle no-one was hurt.

      Then I saw what happened to Dan.

      To see a crash that horrific reminded me so much of watching Greg Moore’s fatal accident at California in the final race of the 2000 CART season.

      It seems that every once in a while, motor racing simply runs out of miracles.

      Dan Wheldon was probably the best British driver never to race in F1, and what makes it so sad was that he was only racing as a ‘wildcard’ in the first place.

      I just hope some part of the F1 comunity does something to remember him when we roll up in Dheli.

      R.I.P Daniel Wheldon.

      1. ‘Every once in a while, motor racing simply runs out of miracles.’

        That may be the best way to think of it for the time being.

        How simply horrible.

    13. here’s an interview from yesterday:

    14. This is the worst thing I’ve ever experienced live as a racing fan. The thought that it is one billionth of what the people closest to him are going through…

      Now cracks a noble heart.
      Good-night, sweet prince;
      And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

    15. I love indycar but oval racing is such so dangerous

    16. One of open wheels’ worst days since ’94. I am completely shattered.

    17. RIP Dan. My sincerest condolences to him and his family. So sad that he lost his life racing here in our American Indy series. I mourn and have a heavy heart with all of the UK today as we lost an English great.

    18. Just 5 months ago, I met Dan when he came to race with us at the Florida Winter Tour. Even at the peak of his career he came back to race karts with us at our local tracks, running at the front on the pack the whole time, and then getting out of the kart to talk to all his fans and the kids that idolized him. I remember seeing him, and I even spoke to him for a bit. When he won the Indy 500 this year I was ecstatic, thinking finally he’s back to top form, and I was hoping he’d get a permanent drive for next season. But now, the one race he got a seat for, driving for 5 million dollars, he passed away after an awful accident.

      R.I.P. Dan, you’ll always be our idol

    19. My biggest and now fondest memory of Dan Wheldon is the 2007 St Petersburg race. My father cried out his name during the drivers parade and Wheldon spun around to look in our direction, much to my obvious embarrassment. I never knew the man in person, but I respected him as a sportsman and as a human being. And as we debate every two weeks over the performance or lack of of our favourite drivers, often emotions become frayed, but we must never forget that racing is exactly that. A race! It is not life or death, these are human beings just like us who have been given the God given skill to drive at this level.
      As I felt as a thirteen year old when Aryton Senna was killed, I, like alot of you feel very numb. And as I did seventeen years ago I cried, at the total injustice that sometimes life can be. I would like to offer my deepest sympathy to Dan Wheldon’s friends and family on what must be the most difficult of days. Thankyou Dan for everything you did for us all! RIP

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