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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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. 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
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.
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
 American open–wheel racing results
 Indy Lights
- 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
|10||5||133||5||16||27||50||2 (2005, 2011)||1 (2005)|
- ** Podium (non-win) indicates 2nd or 3rd place finishes.
- *** Top 10s (non-podium) indicates 4th through 10th place finishes.