In memory of Daniel Clive Wheldon
Born in Emberton, England on June 22, 1978, Daniel Clive Wheldon came to the states in 1999 to pursue a more active racing career. After arriving, Dan started racing in several open-wheel circuits and moved up to racing in IRL events in 2002, where he raced at the Chicagoland Speedway, where he finished 10th, and started 28th in Texas and finished in 15th place, 5 laps down.
The next year, Dan started racing for the Andretti Green Racing team and finished in the top 5 five times and in the top 10 nine times and finished the year 11th in points and as Rookie of the Year. In 2004, Dan had a somewhat successful race season, when he won 2 poles and in Japan, he won his first IRL race. He also finished the racing season 2nd in points, 85 points behind teammate Tony Kanaan. To date, 2005 has been Dan's most successful season.
At the Indianapolis 500, he became the first Englishman to win the race, despite starting the race in 16th position. He also became the first driver to win a record 6 races in one season and won the series ending championship, joining the ranks of AJ Foyt, Rick Mears, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Johnnie Rutherford, Louis Meyer, and Wilbur Shaw to win both the Indy 500 and series championship.
At the IZOD IndyCar World Championship at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on 16 October 2011, Wheldon was involved in a 15-car accident during lap 11 of the race. Wheldon was extricated from his car by the Holmatro Safety Team and their Las Vegas-based colleagues and was airlifted to the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada for his critical injuries. After interviewing the championship contenders Randy Bernard, president of IndyCar, announced to the officials, drivers and fans that Wheldon had died from the accident after being pronounced dead on arrival. He was 33 years old.