This is the usual response when I ask people how they can watch NASCAR, or INDY car racing. Finally, you have pay-off. A firey crash resulting in the death of a young man.
LAS VEGAS — Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon died Sunday at Las Vegas
Motor Speedway after his car became ensnared in a fiery 15-car pileup, flew over
another vehicle and landed in a catch fence just outside turn 2.
The 33-year-old racer was a two-time Indy winner, including this year's
Three other drivers, including championship contender Will Power, were hurt
in the pileup during Lap 11.
Wheldon was airlifted from the track to University Medical Center; about two
hours later, his colleagues were told of his death by IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard,
who said Wheldon's injuries were "unsurvivable."
"One minute you're joking around at driver intros. The next, Dan's gone,"
said Dario Franchitti, whose wife, actress Ashley Judd, had to bring him a box
of tissues. "I lost, we lost, a good friend. Everybody in the IndyCar series
considered him a friend. He was such a good guy. He was a charmer."
With the race cancelled, drivers, many sobbing openly, took part in a
five-lap salute around the oval in honour of one of the sport's biggest
The race was only minutes old when Wheldon, who started at the back of the
34-car field and was in position for a US $5-million payday if he had won,
couldn't steer clear of a wreck that started when two cars touched tires.
Within seconds, several cars burst into flames and debris covered the track
nearly halfway up the straightaway. Some points of impact were so devastating
workers had to patch holes in the asphalt.
deadly realities of racecar driving
drivers remember Dan Wheldon
Dan Wheldon's May, 2011, interview with CBS' Early Show