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Dan Wheldon dies in tragic IndyCar finale
Dan Wheldon, the two-time Indy 500 winner, has died after
injuries sustained in a crash during the IndyCar Series finale in Las Vegas
During the 12th lap of the race, the 33-year-old
British driver – who had started in last place – was caught up a huge
15 car pile-up. He was unable to avoid the crashes in front of him, which sent
his car into the fencing surrounding the track.
The championship’s organisers had put up a $5 million prize if Wheldon, or any other driver who was not a regular in this year’s IndyCar series, could successfully go from the back of the field to finish in first place.
race was stopped immediately and he was airlifted to the nearby University Medical Centre in Las Vegas. The tragic news of Wheldon’s death from the injuries sustained was
officially confirmed two hours later.
2005, the man from Emberton, Bucks became the first Englishman since the great
Graham Hill in 1966 to win the Indianapolis 500.
IndyCar chief executive Randy Bernard said: “IndyCar is very sad to
announce that Dan Wheldon has passed away from unsurvivable injuries. Our
thoughts and prayers are with his family today.”
driver Paul Tracy said: “I saw two cars touch each other up in front of me
and then I tried to slow down, couldn’t slow down. Then Dan’s car, from what I
saw in the videos, came over my back wheel and over top of me. Just a
driver Danica Patrick said: “It was debris everywhere across the whole
track, you could smell the smoke, you could see the billowing smoke on the back
straight from the car.”
the confirmation of his death, the entire driving field reformed for five tribute
laps (see video below). Scotland’s Dario Franchitti, who secured his third straight IndyCar
series after the race, was in tears as he lined up for the tribute.
Wheldon, who lived in Florida, is survived by his wife Susie and young sons Sebastian and Oliver.