Dan Wheldon

October 28, 2011
By Chance15 BRONZE, Bedford, Kentucky
Chance15 BRONZE, Bedford, Kentucky
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Wheldon, who was born in Emberton, 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 the age of 16, he frequently took time off to race. During his early career in open wheel racing, he developed a rivalry with Jenson Button (A top Formula 1 driver) 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 division.
In 2002, Wheldon moved up to the Indy Car Series for two events 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 honors. In 2004, he won his first IRL race in Japan. 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, previously held by Sam Hornish, Jr. with 5. In 2006 he won the 24 Hours of Daytona endurance sports car race with Ganassi teammates Scott Dixon and Casey Mears. In 2008, Wheldon Married Susie Behm, originally from Armstrong, British Columbia. They had two sons, one 3 years old and one 9 months old. They lived in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Wheldon attempted and won the 2011 Indianapolis 500 with after inheriting the lead with feet to go after Hildebrand wrecked going into the final turn trying to get around the decelerating Charlie Kimball, 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 his not having a ride for the rest of the season and the news that his mother had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. It was Wheldon's first series win in three seasons. Over the rest of the 2011 season, Wheldon helped IndyCar and Dallara test the new IndyCar chassis that was to debut in 2012.
The Final race of the 2011 IZOD Indy Car Series was set to take place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 16, 2011. It was the perfect scenario for any racing series. Will Power and Dario Francity where separated by 18 points going into the final race, it was Danica Patrick's Last Race before going to NASCAR full time next year. It was the final race before going to a new safer car for next year. It was the largest field of car the IRL has seen all this year. Not to mention a 5 Million dollar bonus for winning the race. But if Dan Wheldon was to start from the back he and a lucky fan would win 2.5 Million dollars.

All throughout Practice the drivers where only driving in small packs of 5 or 6 cars but when it became race time drivers where driving 3 or 4 wide into the corner going almost 240 MPH. On lap 12 a driver decided to go to the low line of the track but when he did another car closed in so fast that the first car did not have any time to check up to go back to the low line causing the cars wheels to lock to getter sending both of them airborne and causing 13 other cars to wreck and sending almost 5 cars airborne and strait into the outside wall causing a fiery mess of sheet metal. The Wreck included driver Will Power causing Dario Francity to clinch his third IRL Championship in a row. Drivers had to slow down and stop on pit road to get all the Debris and cars off the track. At first everyone thought everyone in the wreck was fine but when ABC returned to coverage off the race after a commercial until the site of Dan Wheldon’s car covered by a yellow tarp as seen. Most commonly in any race series a car covered by a tarp usually means a driver has been seriously hurt or even dead.

After a two hour delay a press conference has held to announce that Dan Wheldon was killed in the race and that the rest of the race would be canceled, but all drivers agreed to do five laps around the track three wide in honor of Dan Wheldon all crews, officials and fans stood along pit road in salute to the two time Indy 500 winner.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.

Parkland Book