RIP IndyCar Driver Dan Wheldon 1978-2011

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fishtaco
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2011/10/17 14:17:38 (permalink)

RIP IndyCar Driver Dan Wheldon 1978-2011

As a huge fan of the Indy 500 this is a terrible and tragic loss.
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    CajunKing
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    Re:RIP IndyCar Driver Dan Wheldon 1978-2011 2011/10/17 16:27:10 (permalink)
    I agree on the tragic loss, I have loved watching Indy Car racing all my life.  Just the night before some friends and I were talking about the fact that there hadn't been a fatality in racing in a while.
     
    I was watching live and got a knot in my stomach when I saw the crash.  Watching those cars flying through the air and hitting the catch fence like that.  I knew it wasnt going to be good.
     
    RIP - Dan Wheldon
     
    GRAPHIC WARNING - The following link has some very graphic photos of the accident.
     
    http://www.dailymail.co.u...ar-pile-Las-Vegas.html
    #2
    hatteras04
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    Re:RIP IndyCar Driver Dan Wheldon 1978-2011 2011/10/17 16:57:20 (permalink)
    Wow.  I watched the coverage of that for 2 hours yesterday as I just couldn't turn it off after seeing the crash happen live.  Like you, I had a knot in my stomach and I knew somebody was seriously hurt or worse.  Unfortunately it was worse.  Even with an LED HDTV, the countless replays that I saw were not nearly as graphic and vivid as those pictures. 
     
    I also can't believe Will Power wasn't hurt worse after seeing those pics.
    #3
    badart
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    Re:RIP IndyCar Driver Dan Wheldon 1978-2011 2011/10/17 17:26:42 (permalink)
    Saw him win the 500 this year (and in 2005) and was able to watch him ply his trade one last time in Kentucky a few weeks back. I've also encountered him numerous times at Indianapolis in the garage area and he was one of the nicest, most accessible drivers I ever have had the pleasure of meeting. A friend of mine met him years ago at the Chicago Auto Show and commented to me what a nice gentleman he was. That's the way I will prefer to remember him by, a champion off the track. RIP and Godspeed Dan!
    #4
    jeepguy
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    Re:RIP IndyCar Driver Dan Wheldon 1978-2011 2011/10/17 20:14:31 (permalink)
    I only saw the replays before they announced his death. With that many cars i was pretty sure we would hear some bad news.
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    mr chips
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    Re:RIP IndyCar Driver Dan Wheldon 1978-2011 2011/10/18 01:25:13 (permalink)
    Such tragic news. I know racing is dangerous but it still shakes you when a familiar face dies while competing in his or her sport.
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    wheregreggeats.com
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    Re:RIP IndyCar Driver Dan Wheldon 1978-2011 2011/10/18 08:24:29 (permalink)
    In my days working in racing, I'd encountered him many times ... often times hanging out as he waited out his time to go live for our radio show.
     
    I concur that he was a very down to earth and accessible.
     
    I've, sadly, endured a number of these ... I've been at the track for some doozys and can tell you, no matter how much or little you've encountered an individual it stings.
     
    A lot of people think they go to the track hoping to see accidents ... until they see one like this ... once that happens, once you see one, you are changed forever.
     
    I was 15 feet from Dale Earnhart when he climbed into his car for the last time.  I was well on my way back home by the time I heard he'd passed.  I'd only encountered him in person once and it is hard to explain how creepy it feels.   I think I was more creeped out by seeing him get in the car than by the, very brief in-person exchange I'd had with him less than two weeks earlier.
     
    These people are athletes, even if the common person doesn't think so.  They die doing what they love ... but that doesn't make it any better for the racing community and, more importantly, their families, when a time of loss arrives.
     
     
    #7
    fishtaco
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    Re:RIP IndyCar Driver Dan Wheldon 1978-2011 2011/10/18 13:54:45 (permalink)
    CajunKing

    I agree on the tragic loss, I have loved watching Indy Car racing all my life.  Just the night before some friends and I were talking about the fact that there hadn't been a fatality in racing in a while.

    I was watching live and got a knot in my stomach when I saw the crash.  Watching those cars flying through the air and hitting the catch fence like that.  I knew it wasnt going to be good.

    RIP - Dan Wheldon

    GRAPHIC WARNING - The following link has some very graphic photos of the accident.

    http://www.dailymail.co.u...ar-pile-Las-Vegas.html

     
    Some of those pictures really jolted me. Very nice, well written article. Tks CK.

    #8
    NascarDad
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    Re:RIP IndyCar Driver Dan Wheldon 1978-2011 2011/10/18 14:13:09 (permalink)
    I haven't watched open wheel regularly  since the days of the CART/IRL split, but Dan Wheldon was one of the characters who had me more interested lately.  He reminded me of a latter day swashbuckler, almost an Errol Flynn like quality about him.  And he was a racer. 
     
    I saw him win at Richmond, great race, great racer. Being there to see those cars doing laps at 160 on a 3/4 mile was amazing.
     
    I grieve for his family especially his kids.  They are so young one wonders if they will even remember him, especially the younger.  That makes me very sad, because he was someone to be remembered, at least they should have contact with some of his racer friends who will help them know the kind of man they had as a father
     
    I would say more but I have a hard time with this, it makes me extremely sad. 
     
     
    post edited by NascarDad - 2011/10/18 14:14:31
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    NascarDad
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    Re:RIP IndyCar Driver Dan Wheldon 1978-2011 2011/10/18 14:19:36 (permalink)
    Also so ironic that he had been doing the testing for the new safer cars next year, and that this was only his second race this year (the other was the Indy 500 that he won), but he had just made a deal to race the full season next year in place of Danica  in the 7.  he was going to go back to doing what he loved full time..
    5 time champ Jimmie Johnson of NASCAR fame has said he always wanted to try open wheel at the Indy 500, but made a promise when his baby was born he would not race open wheel.  I can't imagine how he felt as he and his wife watched the crash on TV, obviously realizing that he could never go back on that promise now. 
    #10
    Cosmos
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    Re:RIP IndyCar Driver Dan Wheldon 1978-2011 2011/10/19 11:32:36 (permalink)
    Dallara has announced they will dedicate the 2012 car in his honor. I really think the safety innovations designed into that car would have helped avoid some of the catastrophic damage.  As a flagger I see plenty of scary circumstances on track, I tuned in late and knew it was not good without even seeing a replay.
     
    The good thing is of the 15 people who crashed some of them flying through the air...14 walked away, most with no injuries. Safety has improved greatly over the years and will continue to do so. There were some very hard lessons to be learned as a result of this and I suspect they will be taken to heart by the series and manufacturers.
    #11
    josefinajoisey
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    Re:RIP IndyCar Driver Dan Wheldon 1978-2011 2011/10/19 17:15:58 (permalink)
    So tragic...there are no words, actually.  As someone who works with kids, my heart breaks for them and his wife. My husband and I are big fans of motorsports in general - I echo all the previous sentiments that, even though the sport is fast and dangerous, the focus is always on safety. 
    #12
    fishtaco
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    Re:RIP IndyCar Driver Dan Wheldon 1978-2011 2011/10/20 13:20:37 (permalink)
    A memorial service for Dan will be held at 4 pm on Sundayat Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. It will be broadcast live on local Indy stations and on Versus. There will also be a service in St. Petersburg, Fl where he lived on Sat at 10am.
    #13
    CajunKing
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    Re:RIP IndyCar Driver Dan Wheldon 1978-2011 2011/10/20 15:58:02 (permalink)
    What got to me was at LV when they did the 5 lap salute, they had "Danny Boy" & "Amazing Grace" played by bagpipes in the background.
     
    He will be missed!
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    Foodbme
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    Re:RIP IndyCar Driver Dan Wheldon 1978-2011 2011/10/21 04:47:05 (permalink)
    That track was not designed to race Indy Cars. You could tell just the way they were racing early in the race that something bad was going to happen.
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    NascarDad
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    Re:RIP IndyCar Driver Dan Wheldon 1978-2011 2011/10/21 08:46:38 (permalink)
    Foodbme

    That track was not designed to race Indy Cars. You could tell just the way they were racing early in the race that something bad was going to happen.

    Kind of agree - the combination of high speeds, high banks, open wheels, open cockpits, the catch fence, and a rather narrow track is a very bad combination indeed.
     
    Obviously flat ovals like Indy are different, Pocono could be a possibility.  Even maybe a big oval like Michigan , where at least the track is wide enough for multiple grooves.
     
    They have had other problems at these 1.5 mile triovals - I think back to Texas when they had drivers nearly passing out from G forces a few years back. 
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    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:RIP IndyCar Driver Dan Wheldon 1978-2011 2011/10/21 10:16:10 (permalink)
    Some drivers (including Wheldon) expressed concerns about the combination of track size, field size, and speed.
     
    Clearly racers have a special mental and emotional makeup that differs from that of the average Joe, but I can't understand why those that had reservations didn't just walk away.  Especially considering the potential (and in this case tragically actual) consequences.
    #17
    wheregreggeats.com
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    Re:RIP IndyCar Driver Dan Wheldon 1978-2011 2011/10/21 19:34:01 (permalink)
    I recall, from my days with that series, although I wasn't there ... CART came to Texas and left without racing because the track allowed such high speed that safety was as concern ...
     
    I think I recall something about drivers worried about passing out from g-force.
     
     
    #18
    CajunKing
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    Re:RIP IndyCar Driver Dan Wheldon 1978-2011 2011/10/21 20:15:08 (permalink)
    Sam Hornish I believe had a near fatal crash at TX a crash where he got up into the catch fence like Dan Wheldon did.
     
    I can't believe the IRL officals allowed that race under those conditions.
    The 1.5 mile track is 60% size of INDY.  With Steeper banking, and they allowed more cars on the track than they do at Indy.
     
    34 cars on a 1.5 mile track like LV  it was a recipe for disaster and unfortunately Dan paid for it with his life.
     
    I know they are struggling for viewers and revenues but it is NOT worth the life of a 33 yo driver!!!!!
    #19
    CajunKing
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    Re:RIP IndyCar Driver Dan Wheldon 1978-2011 2013/10/16 15:54:03 (permalink)
    OH DANNY BOY
     
    On the anniversary of your death, you are still missed greatly
    #20
    Sundancer7
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    Re:RIP IndyCar Driver Dan Wheldon 1978-2011 2013/10/16 16:19:21 (permalink)
    I was watching it on TV.  The most frightening race accident I have ever watched period.
     
    Paul E. Smith
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    fishtaco
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    Re:RIP IndyCar Driver Dan Wheldon 1978-2011 2013/10/16 17:57:24 (permalink)
    Still missing you Dan.
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