REACTIONS FROM THE
We put so much pressure on ourselves
to win races and championships, and
that’s what we love to do, what we live
for. Days like today, it doesn’t really
matter. I lost, we lost, a good friend.
Everybody in IndyCar considered Dan a
friend. You saw what the reaction was.
Dan was one of those special, special
people, from when he first showed up
Target Chip Ganassi Racing
This is an extremely sad day. Dan was a
racer I’d followed throughout my
career, as I often followed in his
footsteps as we climbed the
motorsport ladder in the UK.
Formula 1 / McLaren Mercedes
It’s a black day for the sport. We came
here hoping for a good season finale
and ended up losing a very close friend
and a very good racing driver. I’ll think
about Dan every time I sit in the car he
Let’s never forget that great smile and
incredible personality that Dan brought
to our sport. RIP Dan.
Chip Ganassi Racing
Today was a reminder to all of us what
can happen every time we strap in
behind the wheel. At times I think we
all take things for granted. Life
shouldn’t be one of those things.
NASCAR/Joe Gibbs Racing
Dan was never more at home than when
he was in the cockpit. (TOP LEFT) Epic
final win, his second at Indy, will never
be forgotten. (LEFT) Part of the Andretti
Green dream team with Franchitti, Herta
and Kanaan. (BELOW) The final ride.
I first met Dan when I moved to Europe
in karting in the mid-’90s. We knew
each other a long time and considered
ourselves friends. Today is difficult for
those of us who have lost a mate but
most of all, as a father of a young
family, I am struggling to know how
Dan’s wife Susie is coping now without
her partner. And their children,
Sebastian and Oliver, will grow up
without their father. It’s all of his family
who I truly feel sorry for.
V8 Supercars / Holden Racing Team
For everyone in the Honda family, this is
a day of tragedy and incalculable loss.
Dan had a wonderful personality and his
talent and dedication were an inspiration
to us all. We will miss him terribly.
title. “But I’ve got to say, at first it pissed me off to have this new
guy come in, drive the car crazy loose and win! He won his very
first race for Chip at Homestead and that got my attention. That
season he’d keep telling me I had to loosen the car up to get
through the corner and it finally clicked.”
Wheldon was reunited with Brown and together they won
six times and led over 1,400 laps from 2006-’08.
Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Why did they click so well? Brown responds: “Dan had a
precise feel for what the car was doing and he could fine tune a
car to the nth degree on an oval. He made it easy to pinpoint a
problem…and we both spoke ‘proper’ English!”
Dixon had been teammates with Kenny Brack in his CART
days so he was familiar with sticklers for detail but even so,
Wheldon’s methodology startled him. The Kiwi recalls with a
chuckle: “I’d never seen a debrief like Dan’s. It would go on for
pages and pages, but surely there’s only so much you can say
about an oval! But he had such finesse and a feeling for those
ovals and, like I say, he was always comfortable with the car
handling loose. He had that crazy confidence you need on
ovals, yet he could always envision or sense when it was too
loose. He really was amazing.”
All his pals are quick to point out his bravado behind the
wheel helped the cause and that his car control and aggression
made his starting position moot. That’s why he only had five
pole positions but racked up 16 victories in his 134 IndyCar starts.