Indianapolis 500 Winner Dan Wheldon Dies in Crash During IndyCar Finale

It was supposed to be a great day for the IZOD IndyCar Series.

Instead, it was one of the worst, darkest days in the recent history of U.S. open-wheel racing.

Mere laps into the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, an horrific accident collected 15 of the 34 cars, including that being driven by Dan Wheldon, the winner of this year’s Indianapolis 500. Wheldon’s car was launched over the back of another machine and went airborne, was collected in the catch fence along the back stretch of the 1.5-mile oval, and rendered Wheldon unresponsive. He was airlifted to a nearby health center where he was pronounced dead from “unsurvivable injuries.”

It’s a heartbreaking and crushing loss. INDYCAR, a professional sporting organization that seemingly has experienced more than its fair share of misfortune, was robbed of one of its best drivers, ambassadors and, most importantly, one of its best people.

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