October 17, 2011
IndyCar CEO remembers Wheldon
By DEAN McNULTY, QMI Agency
The IZOD IndyCar Series has cancelled its celebration of Dario Franchitti’s fourth series championship in the wake of the death of driver Dan Wheldon Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The annual championship banquet was to have been held Monday night at the posh Mandalay Bay Resort on the Las Vegas strip.
Wheldon, 33, was killed on Lap 11 of what was to be a 200 lap race at the 1.5 mile LVMS oval.
The remainder of the race was cancelled and in its place the cars that were not wrecked in the 15-car pile up did a five-lap salute to Wheldon to the strains of Danny Boy and Amazing Grace over the public address system at the track.
“No words can describe my feelings as I reflect on my memories of Dan,” IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said in a statement Monday. “His infectious smile, bubbly personality and big heart made Dan one of the most caring people I had ever met. You could never ask for a better ambassador to a sport.
“Dan represented IndyCar with the utmost respect and integrity. Dan will not only be immortalized as being a great racer but also a wonderful person. My prayers are with Susie and his two children in this very difficult time.”
Information regarding a public memorial for Wheldon will be released at a later date.