Dan Wheldon Indy Killed
October 17, 2011 by staff
Dan Wheldon Indy Killed, Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon died Sunday after his car was stuck in a 15 car pileup fire, flew over the other vehicle and fell into a trap near the edge of the curve 2 in Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The 33-year-old was a two-time Indy winner, including this year’s race.
Three other drivers, including title contender Will Power, was injured in the pileup on lap 11.
Wheldon was moved from the runway University Medical Center, about two hours later, his colleagues were informed of his death by IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard, who said Wheldon injuries were “unsurvivable.”
“One minute you’re joking driver intros. Dan the next, is gone,” said Dario Franchitti, whose wife, actress Ashley Judd, had to bring a box of tissues. “I’ve lost, we lost a good friend. Everyone in the IndyCar Series was considered a friend. It was a good guy. He was a charm.”
With the race canceled, drivers, many weeping openly, took part in a salute of five laps around the 1.5-mile oval in honor of one of the biggest sports stars.
The race was only minutes old when Wheldon, who started in the rear of the field of 34 cars and was in position for a pay day and 5 million if he had won, I could not get away from an accident that began when two cars tire blew.
Within seconds, several cars on fire and debris covered the track near the middle of the line. Some points of impact so devastating workers had to patch the holes in the asphalt.
Video replays showed Wheldon car is turning over as he went in the air and embarked on what is called the near capture, which is over a barrier that is designed to give a little when the cars come into contact . Rescuers were quickly Wheldon’s car, some waving furiously to get more help to reach the scene.
“I tell you, I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Ryan Briscoe. “The debris that everyone had to drive through the back later, like a war scene in Terminator or something. I mean, there were only pieces of metal and the car in flames in the middle of the track with any car that is attributes and debris everywhere only. As was afraid, and his first thoughts are with the hope that no one is hurt because there is nothing around the world. It was crazy. ”
Also injured in the crash were JR Hildebrand and Pippa Mann. Both remain in hospital overnight. IndyCar, said Mann was being treated for a burn on the right little finger and will be released Monday morning, Hildebrand was awake and alert, but will be held overnight for further evaluation. The energy was evaluated and released. An autopsy was scheduled Monday for Wheldon.
IndyCar has not had a fatality since Paul Dana was killed in Homestead in 2006, during an accident on a warm morning.
The accident appeared to start when the car swerved Wade Cunningham of the track and Hildebrand passed over the left rear of the car Cunningham. Hildebrand appeared to be on the air, and Cunningham’s car went off the wall, setting off a chain reaction between the cars behind him.
Some of the cars slow, some not, and others spun in front of Wheldon and power. There was so much chaos on the track was hard to tell who was driving the car.
The power seemed to fly over Alex Lloyd’s car, rolling on the fence of the catch and landing on his right side. Your camera in the car was one of the front wheels toward him in the cabin.
Wheldon then appeared to drive in a car driven by Paul Tracy, who seemed to be diminishing. Wheldon, however, was in the air and turned on the fence.
The track was the red flag after the accident, while crews worked on billboards and removed the wrecked cars.
“It was like a scene from the movie that tries to do as gnarly as possible,” said Danica Patrick, making his last IndyCar start. “It was rubble everywhere throughout the track. You could smell the smoke. You could see the smoke coming from the back of the car straight. There was a piece of fire on the move. You could see cars scattered.”
Wheldon, who came to America from England in 1999, won 16 times in his career IndyCar, and was the series champion in 2005.
Despite winning this year’s Indy 500, Wheldon could not make a full-time ride this season. He landed in this race thanks to Bernard and the promise of $ 5 million for any driver who could win the secret final IndyCar season in Las Vegas. Although there were no takers, Bernard did not dismiss the idea, and Wheldon was declared eligible for the award.
Wheldon had been providing blog posts U.S. Today in the days before the race in Las Vegas, and in one published on Saturday newspaper’s website talking about how it is expected that Sunday was “pure entertainment”.
“This will be an incredible spectacle,” wrote Wheldon. “The two title contenders, Dario Franchitti and power, you start right next to each other in the middle of the network. Honestly, if I can be fast enough early in the race to get there and stick to the two, will be pure entertainment.’s going to be a race of charge, and you never know how it goes out. ”
The drivers were concerned about the high speeds on the track, where they were hitting nearly 225 mph during practice.
“We’ve all had a bad feeling about this particular place, just for the high banks and how easy it is to go flat. And if you give us the opportunity, we are drivers, and try to go forward. We run each other hard because that’s what we do, “said the driver Oriol Servia. “We knew if it could happen, but it’s just really sad.”
Cunningham echoed those comments.
“Things happen in this type of racing,” he said. “It’s so close. Not much margin for error. I was near the front of the cause of all this, so I’m not satisfied with it. At this point, who was at fault type is immaterial.”
Asked about the velocity after the collision, the former head of Chip Ganassi Wheldon said, “There will be plenty of time in the offseason to talk about it. Now is not the time to talk about that.”
Franchitti and said: “I agree.’ll Talk about it and sort it out.”
The accident marred what Bernard had hoped would be a showcase event for the fight of the IndyCar Series.
The second-year general manager worked all season to turn the final into a show and said he offered his resignation to the board of directors if transmission IndyCar ABC not to pull on a ranking of 0.8. Its aim was to improve last year’s final grade the horrible TV season and give the series some momentum for what is expected a good season in 2013 with the introduction of a new car and new manufacturers.
So Bernard poured everything in Las Vegas, renting the track owner Bruton Smith and agree to promote the event itself. He got enough sponsorship to at least break even in the race, and 5 million challenge and bought a huge amount of publicity throughout the year.
Bernard won the Las Vegas near a motorcade organized parts of the industry and a blackjack tournament around to raise interest in the race. MGM Grand Resorts came up to offer a pair of tickets to anyone staying in this weekend of the 14 properties in the chain.
But what is hoped that a day of celebration quickly turned grim.
When drivers returned to the track for the tribute laps, Wheldon No. 77 was the only elevated marker. Franchitti cried uncontrollably when he returned to his car for the trip memorial. The sound of “Danny Boy” echoed around the track, followed by “Amazing Grace”. Hundreds of workers at each team’s crew at attention in honor of Wheldon.
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