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RIP Dan Wheldon

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Another sad day for Indycar fans, as Dan Wheldon was killed in a 15-car pileup at Las Vegas Motor Speedway...

From the high of winning his 2nd Indy 500 in May (in a part-time ride no less) and reportedly earning a full time ride for 2012 back at Andretti. Leaves behind a wife and 2 sons under 3. The youngest was just born in March.

I tuned into the race late yesterday and they were already under the red flag. ESPN/ABC was getting driver's reaction and showing the repair work on the track. However, they were not showing a replay of the accident itself. This gave me a feeling that this wasn't good. It was similar to what I felt watching the last race of the 1999 season at California when they announced during the race that Greg Moore had died from his accident earlier in that race. Kudos to the broadcasters yesterday for not engaging in wild speculation and not replaying the accident a million times. They did show it from a couple angles just before the IndyCar announcement, but that was fine. The general sense from the driver interviews done during the red flag was that there were too many cars on the track (34 vs normal field of 26/27) and the speeds of 225+ MPH may have been too fast.

We'll never know, but the world has lost a great racer, and from the comments I've read over the last day or so, a good man.

I can't remember which NASCAR driver said it just recently but he said there is now way Indy cars should be allowed on an oval track. He said the average speed is like 225 mph or something (a speed which he's never gone at any point in his life on any track or in any car.) He believes Indy cars need to get back on to road courses and to me, that makes some sense.  :-\   

He was finishing a book that was to be about his life complete with photos of his wedding day to his wife, whom he described as still being the most beautiful woman from the day he married her.  He spoke lovingly of his family especially with the joyous occasion of the birth of his newborn baby (boy).  Sigh.  I can't imagine a half parentless child who will now never experience a hug from his daddy.

Sad day for all in the racing world.  It's ironic that Wheldon had been outspoken on the subject of safer race cars on the track.  He was testing several safety feature concepts on (of) race cars, on account of the fact that he was very passionate about the subject, for all of his fellow drivers.

Rest In Peace, Dan Wheldon.

The comment that indycars should stop racing on ovals came from Jimmy Johnson. He even went as far as saying that he considered racing at Indy but changed his mind after the birth of his daughter. Open wheel and open cockpit cars do not mix with the beating and banging associated with ovals.


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