REACTIONS FROM THE
Dan was the glue that bound our little
team together. It was his spark and
belief in us that carried us to Victory
Lane at Indy this year. Our thoughts
and prayers are with Susie and the
boys, and all of Dan’s family and fans.
We are all lucky and blessed to have
had Dan influence our lives, and his
spirit lives on in each one of us.
Godspeed, my friend.
Co-owner, Bryan Herta Autosport
Devastated. Lost for words. Dan was a
true champion in so, so many ways. He
was a huge part of our sport. I’m
praying for his family.
There are no words for today. Myself
and so many others are devastated. I
pray for Susie and the kids that God
will give them strength.
My dearest friend, Danny Boy. Thank
you for everything! You’re an amazing
driver and man and I will miss you so
badly. Luv ya, mate.
Target Chip Ganassi Racing
The racing community lost a brilliant
Dan heads to his first Indy 500 victory, and (RIGHT) with the Borg-Warner Trophy he held so dear. (BELOW) Although his forte was ovals, Wheldon led an Andretti Green 1-2- 3-4 finish in IRL IndyCar’s first road course race, at St. Pete in 2005.
talent and the Wheldon family lost a
husband and father. Dan Wheldon was
our teammate, competitor and friend.
Co-owner, RLL Racing
I have so many good memories of
racing with Dan in the early ’90s, a
true fighter. We’ve lost a legend in our
sport but also a great guy.
Formula 1 / McLaren Mercedes
I’m sick to my stomach right now over
Dan Wheldon. I just hung out [with] him
a month ago and he was such an
awesome guy [with] so much life.
NASCAR / Wood Brothers Racing
Dan was always a very happy guy; he
was always smiling. He was a funny,
great person who touched a lot of
people’s lives. He will be missed.
It’s a very sad day. He was my little
brother from another mother.
Sam Schmidt Motorsports/BHA
D ario Franchitti remembers watching a 6-year-old Dan Wheldon drive a go-kart against Jenson Button. “I would have bet money right then that Dan would have been a World Champion, he was that good,” recalls the four-time IndyCar Series champion. Franchitti’s prophecy kinda came true; Wheldon did become a champion, but it was on this side of The Pond. As Button went on to Formula 1 fame, Wheldon opted for America, where he learned and mastered oval-track racing – specifically, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – and earned a place in the history books. Two wins, two seconds, a third and a fourth in nine starts puts Danny Boy in some elite company at 16th and Georgetown. “Dan loved Indy, and he lived for the Month of May,” says Franchitti, himself a two-time Indy 500 winner who teamed with Wheldon from 2003-’05 at Andretti Green Racing. “He just had that feeling for the place, and obviously it showed.” The fact an accomplished road racer from England
blossomed into a fearless force at turning left in the USA is,
frankly, one of those things that makes motorsports so
intriguing. Following a USF2000 title and runner-up positions
in the Toyota Atlantic and Indy Lights championships,
Wheldon looked primed for a seat in the CART series. Instead,
he got a job as a test driver with Panther Racing in what was
then the all-oval Indy Racing League in 2002.
“The first time we tested him you could see he was driven to be
successful and he was quick,” says Andy Brown, who engineered
Sam Hornish to two IRL crowns with
Panther. “We just weren’t able to put a
package together and keep him.”
Instead, Andretti Green Racing
snapped him up and he immediately
opened eyes in May of 2003.
“At one of the first practice days, Dan
ran 230mph and we were on top of the