INDYCAR LAS VEGAS 2011





Round 17: IZOD IndyCar World Championship - Las Vegas
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Sunday October 16, 2011

The tragic death of Dan Wheldon in the final race of the season
high definition /full race 2 dvd set










2011 INDYCAR LAS VEGAS -DAN WHELDON CRASH

  



Dan Wheldon

Dan Wheldon in Washington, D.C. in February 2010
NationalityBritish
Born22 June 1978(1978-06-22)
Emberton, Olney, England, United Kingdom
Died16 October 2011(2011-10-16) (aged 33)
Clark County, near North Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
IRL IndyCar Series
Years active2002 – 2011
TeamsChip Ganassi Racing
Andretti Green Racing
Panther Racing
Bryan Herta Autosport
Sam Schmidt Motorsports
Starts128
Wins16
Poles5
Best finish1st in 2011
Previous series
2001
2000
1999
Indy Lights
Toyota Atlantic Championship
U.S. F2000 Championship Series
Championship titles
2005IRL IndyCar Series Champion
Awards
2003
2005
2011
IRL IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year
Indianapolis 500 Winner
Indianapolis 500 Winner

Daniel Clive "Dan" Wheldon (22 June 1978 – 16 October 2011) was an English racing driver. He was the 2005 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series champion, and winner of the Indianapolis 500 in 2005 and 2011. Wheldon died from injuries shortly after a collision at the 2011 IZOD IndyCar World Championship at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on 16 October 2011, at the age of 33.

Contents


Beginnings

Wheldon, who was born in Emberton, near Olney, Buckinghamshire, England, took up karting at the age of four with funding from his father. He progressed through the junior ranks of motor racing during his school years. Attending Bedford School until he completed his GCSEs at age 16, he frequently took time off to race. During his early career in open wheel racing, he developed a rivalry with Jenson Button before ultimately leaving the United Kingdom to race in America. The reasoning behind the move was that the level of investment needed to fund his racing career in the UK was beyond his family's resources. Moving to the United States in 1999, he spent several years in lower open-wheeled circuits like the U.S. F2000 Championship Series, the Toyota Atlantic series and the Indy Lights series.

IRL IndyCar Series

Dan Wheldon signs autographs for fans following Pole Day qualifications at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2007.

In 2002, Wheldon moved up to the IRL IndyCar Series for two events, with Panther Racing as teammate to Sam Hornish, Jr.. The following year Wheldon joined Andretti Green Racing, taking the spot of Michael Andretti following his retirement, and collected league Rookie of the Year honours. In 2004, he won his first IRL race at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan, ultimately finishing as runner-up to teammate Tony Kanaan in the championship with three wins.

He won the 2005 Indianapolis 500 as well as that season's IndyCar Series championship. His six victories in 2005 also broke the record for most victories in one season (under IRL sanction), previously held by Sam Hornish, Jr with 5. His win at Indy was the first for an Englishman since Graham Hill's triumph in 1966. In November 2005, it was announced that he would be driving for Chip Ganassi Racing in the IndyCar Series in 2006. Shortly after his first test with Ganassi, he won the 24 Hours of Daytona endurance sports car race with Ganassi teammates Scott Dixon and Ganassi NASCAR driver Casey Mears.

He began the IndyCar season by beating Hélio Castroneves by 0.0147 seconds at Homestead-Miami, a sombre race due to the earlier death of Paul Dana in a practice session. Wheldon retired at St. Petersburg thanks to contact with Sam Hornish, Jr during a caution period. At the end of the 2006 IndyCar season, Wheldon and Hornish were tied for the lead with each driver having 475 points. In the event of a tie, the driver with the most wins for that particular season is declared the champion. Hornish had four wins for the 2006 season, to Wheldon's two; therefore Hornish was declared the 2006 IndyCar champion.

During the close season he was offered a place in the BMW Sauber Formula One team, but declined on discovering he would not be assured a regular drive. "I do want to race in F1. When my contract expires with Chip, I’ll take a serious look at Formula One..."

Commenting in 2007 on the perception of him as 'difficult', Wheldon said "I put everything into my racing, and I expect the same back. If I see people who aren't giving it I'm not afraid to say so, but that sometimes comes out a little brash. That could be improved a little bit."

On 22 June 2008, his 30th birthday, Wheldon took his 15th career victory in the IndyCar Series after winning the 2008 Iowa Corn Indy 250 over Hideki Mutoh and Marco Andretti. He donated his winnings to help the victims of the recent tornadoes and flooding which had occurred in Iowa.

Wheldon was released from his drive at Ganassi on 2 September 2008. He was replaced by Dario Franchitti. "I have enjoyed these last three seasons with Target Chip Ganassi Racing, but will be moving on to pursue a very exciting opportunity for 2009," Wheldon said. This would later turn out to be a return to former team Panther Racing. Wheldon drove the Panther car to a second place finish in the 2009 Indianapolis 500, the second Indy 500 runner-up finish in a row for the team. However, his strong start to the season faded and Wheldon failed to crack the Top 10 in 7 of the last 8 races of the year. The following year Wheldon again showed strong at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, finishing second at the 2010 Indianapolis 500. This gave Panther its third straight runner-up finish at Indy. This time, Wheldon remained competitive all year, challenging for wins on the oval tracks.

Despite strong showings in the Panther Racing No. 4 car, Wheldon still failed to win a race during his time with the team. This led to his being replaced at Panther Racing by the young American driver (and 2009 Indy Lights champion) J.R. Hildebrand. Wheldon attempted and won the 2011 Indianapolis 500 with Bryan Herta Autosport in stunning and ironic fashion after inheriting the lead with metres to go after Hildebrand wrecked going into the final turn trying to get around the decelerating Charlie Kimball with too much velocity, being the first driver in Indy history to win the race by leading a single lap. Wheldon was very emotional after the win, due to not having a ride for the rest of the season and concerning his mother who had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, to whom he partially dedicated his victory. It was Wheldon's first series win in three seasons.

Personal life

Wheldon married his long-time personal assistant, Susie Behm, originally from Armstrong, British Columbia, Canada in 2008. They had two sons, one of whom was born in February 2009, and the other born in March 2011. They lived in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Death

At the 2011 IZOD IndyCar World Championship at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on 16 October 2011, Wheldon was involved in a 15-car accident during lap 11 of the race. The multi-car pile-up resulted in a red flag.[14][15][16] Wheldon had to be extricated from his car and was airlifted to a local hospital with what were described as "serious injuries." He subsequently died of his injuries at 1:54 PDT. He was 33 years old.

An autopsy conducted on 17 October 2011 concluded that Wheldon died of blunt force trauma to the head.

The IndyCar officials and drivers decided that the race would be abandoned, and that a five-lap salute would be held in Wheldon's honour, with his number 77 being displayed alone at the top of the scoring pylon.

He had been the only driver participating in Go Daddy's IndyCar Challenge where he and a randomly selected fan, Ann Babenco, would have been eligible for $2.5 million each if he won the race, starting from last place.

After his death, Michael Andretti revealed that Wheldon had signed with Andretti Autosport for a multi-year deal to replace driver Danica Patrick starting in the 2012 season.

On 18 October, Italian manufacturer Dallara confirmed that the 2012 series car would be named after Wheldon in honour of his work testing the car.

Other projects

Dan Wheldon was a guest star in the voice cast for the TV series Hot Wheels Battle Force 5.

On 9 August 2011, Ignite Game Technologies announced that Wheldon would assist the physics development for its online auto racing game, Simraceway. Wheldon commented "It was pretty obvious that Ignite was not looking to build just another racing game, so the opportunity to influence Simraceway's physics directly was pretty appealing." It later emerged Wheldon would also be playing a role in the company’s performance driving center at Infineon Raceway.

Motorsports career results

Practising for the 2007 Indianapolis 500

[edit] American open–wheel racing results

(key)

[edit] Indy Lights

YearTeam123456789101112RankPoints
2001PacWest LightsMexico
MTY
5
United States
LBH
2
United States
TXS
10
United States
MIL
3
United States
POR
10
United States
KAN
3
Canada
TOR
7
United States
MDO
2
United States
STL
1
United States
ATL
1
United States
LS
5
United States
FON
2
2nd149

IndyCar Series

YearTeam12345678910111213141516171819RankPoints
2002Panther RacingUnited States
HMS
United States
PHX
United States
FON
United States
NZR
United States
INDY
United States
TXS
United States
PPIR
United States
RIR
United States
KAN
United States
NSH
United States
MIS
United States
KTY
United States
STL
United States
CHI
10
United States
TX2
15




36th35
2003Andretti Green RacingUnited States
HMS
United States
PHX
Japan
MOT
7
United States
INDY
19
United States
TXS
20
United States
PPIR
19
United States
RIR
8
United States
KAN
21
United States
NSH
4
United States
MIS
20
United States
STL
5
United States
KTY
8
United States
NZR
7
United States
CHI
4
United States
FON
4
United States
TX2
3



11th312
2004Andretti Green RacingUnited States
HMS
3
United States
PHX
3
Japan
MOT
1
United States
INDY
3
United States
TXS
13
United States
RIR
1
United States
KAN
9
United States
NSH
13
United States
MIL
18
United States
MIS
3
United States
KTY
3
United States
PPIR
3
United States
NZR
1
United States
CHI
4
United States
FON
3
United States
TX2
3



2nd533
2005Andretti Green RacingUnited States
HMS
1
United States
PHX
6
United States
STP
1
Japan
MOT
1
United States
INDY
1
United States
TXS
6
United States
RIR
5
United States
KAN
2
United States
NSH
21
United States
MIL
5
United States
MIS
2
United States
KTY
3
United States
PPIR
1
United States
SNM
18
United States
CHI
1
United States
WGL
5
United States
FON
6


1st618
2006Chip Ganassi RacingUnited States
HMS
1
United States
STP
16
Japan
MOT
2
United States
INDY
4
United States
WGL
15
United States
TXS
3
United States
RIR
9
United States
KAN
2
United States
NSH
2
United States
MIL
8
United States
MIS
3
United States
KTY
4
United States
SNM
6
United States
CHI
1





2nda475
2007Chip Ganassi RacingUnited States
HMS
1
United States
STP
9
Japan
MOT
2
United States
KAN
1
United States
INDY
22
United States
MIL
3
United States
TXS
15
United States
IOW
11
United States
RIR
3
United States
WGL
7
United States
NSH
8
United States
MDO
10
United States
MIS
12
United States
KTY
17
United States
SNM
7
United States
DET
3
United States
CHI
13


4th466
2008Chip Ganassi RacingUnited States
HMS
3
United States
STP
12
Japan
MOT1
4
United States
LBH1
DNP
United States
KAN
1
United States
INDY
12
United States
MIL
4
United States
TXS
4
United States
IOW
1
United States
RIR
4
United States
WGL
24
United States
NSH
2
United States
MDO
17
Canada
EDM
7
United States
KTY
5
United States
SNM
4
United States
DET
20
United States
CHI
6

4th492
Panther Racing

















Australia
SRF2
11
2009Panther RacingUnited States
STP
14
United States
LBH
5
United States
KAN
10
United States
INDY
2
United States
MIL
10
United States
TXS
7
United States
IOW
4
United States
RIR
10
United States
WGL
10
Canada
TOR
14
Canada
EDM
15
United States
KTY
11
United States
MDO
16
United States
SNM
12
United States
CHI
22
Japan
MOT
8
United States
HMS
21


10th354
2010Panther RacingBrazil
SAO
5
United States
STP
20
United States
ALA
11
United States
LBH
9
United States
KAN
15
United States
INDY
2
United States
TXS
9
United States
IOW
11
United States
WGL
6
Canada
TOR
10
Canada
EDM
20
United States
MDO
14
United States
SNM
25
United States
CHI
2
United States
KTY
3
Japan
MOT
10
United States
HMS
9


9th388
2011BHA with Curb Agajanian
Sam Schmidt Motorsports
United States
STP
United States
ALA
United States
LBH
Brazil
SAO
United States
INDY
1
United States
TXS1
United States
TXS2
United States
MIL
United States
IOW
Canada
TOR
Canada
EDM
United States
MDO
United States
NWH
United States
SNM
United States
BAL
Japan
MOT



28th75
Sam Schmidt Motorsports















United States
KTY
14
United States
LVS3
C

a Wheldon lost the title on the tiebreaker – he won only two races compared to Sam Hornish, Jr.'s four after the two tied on 475 points
1 Run on same day
2 Non-points race
3 Race ended after a 15-car crash on lap 11 and Wheldon's death
YearsTeamsRacesPolesWinsPodiums
(non-win)**
Top 10s
(non-podium)***
Indianapolis 500
wins
Championships
10513351627502 (2005, 2011)1 (2005)
** Podium (non-win) indicates 2nd or 3rd place finishes.
*** Top 10s (non-podium) indicates 4th through 10th place finishes.

Indianapolis 500

YearChassisEngineStartFinishTeamSummary
2003DallaraHonda519Andretti GreenWrecked in turn 4, flipped
2004DallaraHonda23Andretti GreenRunning
2005DallaraHonda161Andretti GreenRunning; 157.603 mph
2006DallaraHonda34Chip Ganassi RacingRunning
2007DallaraHonda622Chip Ganassi RacingCrashed on backstretch
2008DallaraHonda212Chip Ganassi RacingRunning
2009DallaraHonda182Panther RacingRunning
2010DallaraHonda182Panther RacingRunning
2011DallaraHonda61Bryan Herta AutosportRunning; 170.265 mph




 















   
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