The former winner of the Indianapolis 500, Dan Wheldon died on September 13th in a 15 cars pileup on the Vegas Track.
The 33 years old racer moved to the United States from England with the single goal of winning the Indy 500 which he considered “the biggest sporting event in the world”. He came first in the race of his dreams twice only to finish dramatically in a fiery wreck on the latest Las Vegas Indy 300.
His second win at the Indianapolis 500 was a lucky break. He was coming second with only one lap remaining and against a strong lead from his opponent JR Hildebrand, a most obvious break for win. Yet, the experience took its toll as Hildebrand touched the wall with only a few seconds before reaching the finishing line as such giving Wheldon the only leading lap he actually needed to win.
Dan was married and had two children, a two years old son, Sebastian, and a baby boy of only 2 months. Returning the second day after his win to the track for the photo shoot, Wheldon talked about the essence of this specific race and what makes it the most exciting one in the world. ” You never know what’s going to happen, that’s why it’s the greatest spectacle in racing”.
The same scenario seemed to repeat itself at the Las Vegas race, when Wheldon started as the 34th car and worked his way up to 24th being way behind the bunch of cars that got tangled up in the tragic lap. Yet it was impossible for him to avoid the already pilling up wrecks, there was no time for breaking or steering away, he plunged into the fence far over the track limit. Two hours later his death was made public.
Wheldon’s first victory took place in 2003 in Japan, same year when he became the runner up in the championship standings. He became the actual champion in 2004. Even though he received offers from both NASCAR and Formula One organizations, he remained devoted to his first choice, the IndyCar.