Dan Wheldon, Two-time Indy 500 Champ Dies at the Las Vegas Indy 300

Crash / 24 Comments

A horrific crash took place at the Las Vegas Indy 300 involving 15 cars.

Dan Wheldon, winner of the Indy 500 in 2005 and 2011, died yesterday from injuries sustained in a 15 car crash at the Las Vegas Indy 300. The crash took place 13 laps in. His car flew through the air just outside of turn two and hit the wall going more than 200mph. The crash was so forceful that his roll hoop broke of the top of his car. Wheldon, born in Emberton, England, was only one of 18 drivers to win the Indy 500 twice.

The tragic event forced the end of the race, as IndyCar Series officials met with the remaining drivers where they all agreed to end the contest prematurely. After the meeting the remaining drivers climbed back into their cars and formed rows of three for a five lap tribute to the departed driver. Fellow driver Dario Franchitti spoke about the tragic event, saying "One minute you're joking around during driver intros and then the next moment Dan's gone."I told [Dan's 2-year-old son] Sebastien Thursday night at the parade, that I've known his dad since he was your size."

He continued: "Dan was 6 years old when I met him. We lost -- I lost -- everyone in the IZOD IndyCar Series considered Dan a friend. He was just one of those special, special people. I'm trying to hold it together." Going in to the race at Las Vegas, drivers felt that the track was too smooth and wide and wouldn't be able to separate the skilled from mediocre drivers. With speeds at over 225mph, drivers feared the high possibility of pack racing. IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard spoke on the crash after the conclusion of the race, saying he "is very sad to announce that Dan Wheldon has passed away from unsurvivable injuries."

Coverage of the crash is in the clip below. He is survived by his wife, Susie, and his two sons. Our thoughts and prayers go to the entire Wheldon family.

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