Izod Indycar Series
October 17, 2011 by staff
Wheldon, driving the No. 77 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara, was involved in a car accident 15 that began when New Zealand Wade Cunningham ran to the back of James Hinchcliffe of Canada No. 06 Newman Haas Racing cars in the straight.
At that time all hell broke loose.
The cars were bouncing off each other like a carnival ride of fire out of the way.
Wheldon, surrounding the original accident scene to the maximum speed of about 220 kilometers per hour, passed over the rear wheel of the car of Paul of Toronto, Tracy and released into the air, eventually ending up in the fence surrounding the capture the line in 11 / 2 mile banked oval LVMS.
“I saw two cars touched in front of me and tried to stop,”
Tracy said. “Coach Dan grabbed my rear wheel over me and that was a horrible accident.”
Wheldon, 33, was flown by Medivac helicopter to University Hospital in Las Vegas, where attempts to revive him failed.
As soon as his family was notified, IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard canceled the rest of the race.
“IndyCar’s very sad to announce that Dan Wheldon has died from injuries unsurvivable,” said Bernard. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family today. IndyCar drivers and owners have decided to end the race.
In honor of Dan Wheldon, the drivers have decided to do a salute of five laps in his honor. ”
It was the first fatality since Paul Dana IndyCar died during practice at Homestead Miami Speedway in 2006 and the first open-wheel death during a race since Greg Moore was killed in Canada, the California Speedway at the end of the 1999 season Champ Car World Series.
Wheldon, who won the 2005 and 2011 Indy 500, had started in the back of the grid as part of a promotion that would have paid half a million to 5 million bonus for winning the race.
The award was designed to appeal to some drivers in NASCAR Sprint Cup in Las Vegas, but when he accepted the challenge, IndyCar leaders who offered to Wheldon, who had not raced since winning the Indy in May.
Several drivers, including Tracy, were critical of the expansion of the network of 34 cars – with some drivers making only their first or second start of the season – or even try to compete in a smooth and fast track at LVMS.
In practice, the cars were easily surpassing the 220 mph mark the establishment of what Tracy thought it was a dangerous scenario for inexperienced drivers.
“There are a lot of frustration between drivers,” he said. “It’s disappointing that there was a lot of young drivers out there that really do not know how to react to situations like what happened.
“It’s just a bad situation.”
Among the 15 cars involved in the accident was Will Power, who was fighting championship Dario Franchitti in 2011. It was also taken to hospital for lower back injuries.
With the cancellation of the race, Franchitti won his fourth title in the IndyCar.
It certainly was not how he planned to win. Franchitti, who has known the couple Wheldon and boys were back in the UK, was devastated later when he met with the media.
“I can not even think about the championship now,” he said. “I can not talk about it.
“We as racers give this impression of ourselves to win races and win championships is what we like to do. Then on days like today all that does not really matter.”
Franchitti said that while Wheldon cultivated a cavalier attitude that was always the family man first, with a wife and two children.
“We were friends,” he said. “It was one of those special people, special from the moment it was presented in the IndyCar and that such impetuous man, but it was a charm.”
IndyCar team owner Chip Ganassi, who rushed for Wheldon after winning a championship with Andretti Green Racing in 2005, the British called a “winner.”
“When I signed whatever comes to my computer I realized why I was winning all the races,” said Ganassi. “There was only one way to him. I could smell the front. And when it came to an aspiration of the front was.
“A bit of everyone in IndyCar died today.”
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