Exclusive INDYCAR Nation News

Dan Wheldon...our thoughts

by
ICN Staff
| Oct 18, 2011

Editor's Note: A friend told me on Friday night, "You should always listen to Dan. There's no other driver who does more for the fans." On this fan website, we will honor and thank him for what he's done. Below, the INDYCAR Nation writing staff reflect... 

*******

I had the opportunity to interview Dan just a few weeks ago. He was incredibly pleasant, unselfish of his time (skipping part of his lunch to finish our interview), and when he spoke about INDYCAR racing, you could tell he truly loved it with everything he had.

Getting to see him interact that same week with fans in Kentucky was seeing a true master at work. I remember him good-naturedly teasing a boy who liked NASCAR, and showing him on a phone how INDYCAR was so much faster. Yet it was the way that did it that stood out--without malice, utterly charming, and full of humor. He had a way of making fans feel as if each and every one of them was valued, important, and the best part is they truly were. He gave generously of himself, and I suppose that's one of the reasons this hurts so much. He was a fan's champion.

I didn't know when I took a quick photo with him, chatted about our interview, and shook his hand that it would be the last time I would get to talk to him. In our last interview, he said it wasn't for him to decide where his place was among the all-time greats of the Indianapolis 500 or INDYCAR. I think everyone today would agree his immortal place in our history and our hearts is secure.

Godspeed, Dan, and God bless until we meet again.

-Zachary Houghton

- In my mind, Dan Wheldon underwent two evolutions. He went from a green rookie that played wingman to Sam Hornish Jr. in the final two races of Hornish's successful 2002 title battle against Helio Castroneves, to a world-beating champion with Andretti Green Racing (now Andretti Autosport), and then, finally, a veteran ambassador for the sport with credentials that matched with his warm personality.
Then, there's the personal side. In his earlier years, he seemed to absolutely relish being the bachelor that was the life of the party. That was why I thought my mind had literally slipped when I first got word that he was getting married a few years back. But it most certainly worked out and Wheldon turned out to be, by all accounts, a proud husband and father.

As I look back, both of those evolutions jump out at me. In many ways, he grew up before our eyes.

- That said, even though he had matured considerably by the time he won his second Indy 500, he was still capable of being a rascal. After getting over the shock of the finish between him and J.R. Hildebrand, I headed down to the media center at IMS and eventually, I got the mic to ask him and his team owner Bryan Herta a question about where their victory ranked in the many accomplishments they had together over the years and about the bond they had as friends.

It was a serious question in tone and I was expecting a serious answer in tone. Wheldon took a few bites of his pasta and after Herta prodded him ("Well...Danny Boy?"), he looks at me and goes, "Who said we were friends?"

Cue laughter.

"He's sacking me at midnight tonight!"

Cue more laughter.

It was epic.

- Finally, I can see a day where the 2012 IndyCars -- designed to perform better and be safer than the generation of machines that has been retired -- are regarded as Wheldon's final legacy. He and Bryan Herta Autosport put a lot of time and effort in developing these cars. I'm beginning to notice a swell of support for the concept of naming the chassis after him, whether it's James Hinchcliffe's 'DW 001' suggestion or More Front Wing writer Paul Dalbey's suggestion of 'Lionheart,' Wheldon's nickname.

No matter what the name, it would be a fitting honor for a great champion and human being.

-Chris Estrada

Dan was indeed my favorite driver. I remember like yesterday my first visit to IMS. I was in the pits when I first laid eyes on Dan. As an impressionable young girl, I was immediately smitten with him. Never one to skip my due diligence, I dove head first into researching anything and everything on Dan, and his sport. I was soon hooked on the fast cars and impassioned drivers of IndyCar and thus my love of racing was born. A few years down the road when considering my future career, I was once again drawn to the charisma of the IndyCar drivers, especially Dan. The thought of working with people like him was too intriguing to pass up. A few emails and meetings later, I had inadvertently landed my dream internship. So when I say that Dan was an integral part of my shaping my future, I really mean it.

I was fortunate enough to meet Dan on several different occasions, and as has been said over and over, he was a genuinely nice guy. And I'll admit the 14 year old girl inside me was a bit crushed when he announced his engagement. But after seeing the smile on his face when he was with her and the absolute ease and excitement with which he took to fatherhood, no one could hold his new family man status against him.

Dan was a man full of kindness, good humor, and talent. He is the face I associate with IndyCar racing and it absolutely breaks my heart that I will never see those perfect teeth smiling back at me at the track ever again. His untimely death seems so cruel, unfair and almost unimaginable to me. Thinking of his friends, family, wife and little boys quite literally breaks my heart. The loss I feel can't even hold a candle to theirs. I keep faith in the thought that he touched so many lives, including mine, and he certainly lived his to the fullest.

You will be missed, truly and greatly, Dan. Until we meet again, Godspeed.

---Kristin Slevin

Unfortunately, I was never afforded the opportunity to meet Dan, personally. I can only remember him from what I witnessed on television and from what others have said of him.

Shortly after this year's Indy 500, I interviewed Bryan Herta and Steve Newey, principals of Bryan Herta Autosport, about their triumph. There were a number of topics discussed, but one that received special emphasis was Wheldon's impact on the team when he signed that one-race deal. According to them, if Wheldon had not been their driver, this victory would never have happened.

And that can sum up what he meant to the sport, both on and off the track. He was among the best in the paddock, with 16 wins, two Indy 500 victories, and one series title in a career that still seemed quite young. New life had been injected to it this year and he had only just signed on with Andretti Autosport for the 2012 season. I had planned to speak with Dan in the off season about his return to Michael Andretti's outfit, along with his other accomplishments from 2011, and what the season overall meant to his career, which seemed to stall after a disappointing two-year stint with Panther Racing.

But, like the great champion he was, Wheldon bounced back, helping Bryan Herta Autosport to the ultimate triumph. And though it was his only planned race of the season, he was then able to take advantage of other opportunities. He became a guest analyst with Versus during the summer, allowing his wit and charm to shine in all of its glory. Surely, once he decided to retire from racing, a career in the broadcast booth beckoned.

Wheldon was also an ambassador for the sport. That wit and charm made him a favorite with everyone. He was great with all fans, big and small, great with the media, great with the teams he drove for. There aren't many who can do that. I heard it once said that few drivers, despite extraordinary racing skills that may put them in the spotlight, are universally liked as people. Wheldon was one of those few.

In this time of tremendous sadness, I would like to thank my fellow INDYCAR Nation writers for there kind thoughts. I would also like thank those who offered memories of Dan Wheldon, allowing those us who never knew him a glimpse into who he was and what he was like. I also thank those who shared moments that displayed his indelible humor, letting us know that though we are all sad about Dan and will mourn his loss, we can still smile when we think of him.

Put simply, Dan touched the lives of everyone, even those who never had the pleasure of personally meeting him. My deepest thoughts and condolences go out to his wife Susie, sons Oliver and Sebastian, the rest of the Wheldon family, and the entire INDYCAR and motorsports brethren. We have lost a tremendous driver, colleague, friend, and champion.

---Kyle Lavigne

45 Comments

  1. 1 tutorials 12 Nov
    Some communicative blog!
  2. 2 Dave Arnfield 27 Oct
    On a trip to the USA from England we had the great pleasure of meeting Dan at  Sonoma in 2010, We have been following indy since 1993. We went to Macy's for a PR signing of 10 of the drivers, most of the drivers gave you a signiture and you were moved on then we reached Dan, he talked to us like old friends and gave us a lot of time thanking us for coming to watch the race, I took a great photo of Dan at this event. Two days later at the race Dan noticed my son stood at the back of Dario's moterhome, he shouted my son over giving him a 15 minute tour of his motorhome then giving him two hats signing one wishing my wife a happy birthday. This guy left a great impression on all of us. After following Dan for all these years never missing a race we have grieved his loss and will remember him always. Are hearts go out to all his family. Dan died doing what he loved, not many of us can say that. RIP Dan and thanks for all our racing memories, will miss you my friend.   
  3. 3 Dave Arnfield 27 Oct
    On a trip to the USA from England we had the great pleasure of meeting Dan at  Sonoma in 2010, We have been following indy since 1993. We went to Macy's for a PR signing of 10 of the drivers, most of the drivers gave you a signiture and you were moved on then we reached Dan, he talked to us like old friends and gave us a lot of time thanking us for coming to watch the race, I took a great photo of Dan at this event. Two days later at the race Dan noticed my son stood at the back of Dario's moterhome, he shouted my son over giving him a 15 minute tour of his motorhome then giving him two hats signing one wishing my wife a happy birthday. This guy left a great impression on all of us. After following Dan for all these years never missing a race we have grieved his loss and will remember him always. Are hearts go out to all his family. Dan died doing what he loved, not many of us can say that. RIP Dan and thanks for all our racing memories, will miss you my friend.   
  4. 4 lindsey 25 Oct
     My father and Bryan Herda are best friends, so I had the pleasure of being friends with Bryan and Danny. I remember meeting Dan like it was yesterday. He was the most genuine and funniest guy i've ever met. He loved to joke with everyone, and his jokes were one of a kind. I have to say that I did have a crush on him, and told him once before. He was so sweet and funny about it, that was Dan. He made you feel so special, if you were just a fan of Dan, he'd make you feel like a friend. Bryan was so proud to call him his friend, and to be his boss. He'd joke how he loved telling Danny what to do. Best part of his job! He was just such an amazing man, and to be able to know him, was the greatest joy. I want to give my prayers to Susie, Sebastain and Oliver. I know one of the saddest parts of Dan's death was the fact his little boys will never know how special he was. Danny's legend will forever live on in my heart and others. We all miss you D.W Godspeed
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  6. 6 Jeff Anderson 25 Oct

    I was at the track near turn one. I never met him face to face, shook his hand, or exchanged conversation.  But over the 30+ years I've been an Indy car fan, Dan Wheldon stood out as someone you would really like to have as a close friend. Not only a great competitor and a great driver, but an example of the kind of person you hope to be. I have cried on multiple occasions since leaving the track in Las Vegas, I will miss this friend I never met.  I entered the "Win $5,000,000.00 - if Dan Wins You Win Contest", as it turns out..... the real prize would have been to shake his hand and be able to call him a friend.  Prayers to Suzie and the Children.

     

  7. 7 Sue,a Brit and Fl resident now.( as was Dan) 24 Oct
    It's just over a week since we lost Dan and I am still in disbelief . I have spoken to friends in our home country of England , all have asked me why was he driving in what was an overcrowded track built for NASCAR. However it is now too late to question his choice to do so .   I chose to follow Dan's career when I first saw him race at the track near Miami. The irony being that Indy had  lost another driver in an accident that weekend. Dan won the race and from then on I watched him flourish as a driver . This year I watched and listened to him on Versus and knew he would be drawn to a commentating career later in life.We have lost a very gifted driver . INDY in 2012 will start no doubt in St. Petersburg Fl , Dan's adopted home .It truly will be a day of mixed emotion .  Like others my thoughts are with his wife and their sons.
  8. 8 Gerri 24 Oct
    Free info like this is an apple from the tree of knowelgde. Sinful?
  9. 9 Cathy Shumaker 24 Oct

    I am a member of the LVMS Fire Safety team and was at the track when Dan crashed.  A very sad day for the Indy Car racing family.  I was also lucky enough to see Dan win Indy twice.  To Susie and his sons, please know that we all share your sorrow and will keep you in our thoughts.  Dan, you will be missed, Godspeed.

    I signed up to walk in an Alzheimer's Association charity walk last Saturday, because my father is suffering with the illness.  I know that Dan's mother is also afflicted and that Alzheimer's was his charity of choice.  In honor of Dan and my dad, I wore my Izod Indy Car hat from the Las Vegas race as well as my 2011 Indy 500 T-shirt during the walk.  A small gesture, but somehow it made me feel closer to Dan. RIP

     

  10. 10 Tony Oliver 24 Oct

    As a fellow Brit I follow our drivers racing in Indycars with great interest and I am part of group backing Justin Wilson. When the news broke here in England I was devastated like many others at Dan's untimely death and can only hope that some good will come from this disaster. Thankfully no others were seriously injured.  My thoughts are with his family and my sincere condolences go to them at this heart renching time. I will be attending, along with no doubt many hundreds of other fans, a memorial service for Dan to be held in his home village on Sunday 6th Nov. RIP Dan

     

    My

  11. 11 Keith 24 Oct
    I have cried each day for Dan and his family since watching the horror of LV unfold. I only met Dan once at the Indy quali day this year and getting my photo with him was the highlight of the whole event - that and Dan winning which I witnessed with my kids.  My 13 year old son had tears running off his nose when it was announced Dan had passed. He was loved by my whole family which I think shows just how special a personality he was. Good things will come because of this, but the void will remain. I really think this cheeky Brit was the best thing in the sport. Safety will be improved, but the sport will never replace him.
  12. 12 Hillary 23 Oct
    Dan was truly one of a kind. I've heard it said many times this week that Dan had a way of making each person he met feel truly special. I couldn't agree more with that statement. I'll never forget meeting him for the first time in Iowa in 2008 at the Indy race there and instantly became a fan. He was simply the most charming and endearing person I've ever met. For the next three years at the Indy 500 I would make sure I got in his line for the autograph session. Even though our meetings were brief during the autograph sessions they are memories that I will hold forever in my heart. Going to Indy next year just won't be the same, but I have no doubt Dan will be smiling down on all of us as we celebrate racing, and celebrate the race that he loved so much. Dan I will forever miss your contagious smile, and your zest for life. Until we meet again Dan. Sending all my thoughts and prayers to Dan's wonderful family and friends during this difficult time. RIP Dan.
  13. 13 Renee 22 Oct

    As a fan member of Indy Downforce, I've had the pleasure of meeting Dan two times at the IRL race in Mid Ohio.  He was a sweetheart!!  I will always remember his sense of humor & his shoe collection in their boxes & the pranks/teasing he took from driver friends because of it.  I know how devastating his death has been to me as a fan & I wonder if this hurt will ever go away.  I simply cannot imagine how hard it must be for his wife & family.  I pray that God & Dan will watch over The Wheldon Family & friends and help them through this difficult time.  Thank you Dan for the memories!!  God Bless You!!

    PS  Dan, my friends black lab named Cole should be there in Heaven with you.  I told him when he sees you to give you a big wet kiss!!

  14. 14 Mike C 22 Oct
    Listening to Dan talk about the Indy 500 told a person how much he valued and treasured the history and the traditons of the race.   I think there are very few people who "get" the Indy 500 and he was one of them.  The racing world has suffered a great loss and I offer my prayers and those of my family for him, his wife, and his two sons.  RIP, Dan
  15. 15 Jeff Gourdouze 22 Oct


    Sunday in Las Vegas I watched from the first turn the most sobering moment I’ve ever witnessed in motorsports. As the roar of the race quickly faded, we watched with concern about the racers involved. When words came across the PA from pit lane that Dan was in bad shape, the concern became utter
    silence. TK, Dario and the Indy Car family members throughout the track gave away the magnitude of the moment when they couldn’t hold back their tears. While we stood in the concourse next to TV monitors waiting for information, I told some new 1st time Indy car fans about Dan. I told them that Dan is a
    great racer. I told them that Dan LOVED Indy cars, loved talking about them, driving them, he loved the fans, the spectacle, the other drivers. I told them that when a conversation turned to Indy cars, Dan was like an 8 year old who just opened the perfect gift at Christmas. Dans LOVE of Indy car racing was infectious and fans of Indy car racing loved him for it. God speed Dan Wheldon… you’re a beloved Champion!

  16. 16 Rick 22 Oct
    To soon gone,RIP Dan.Prayers for your family and friends.
  17. 17 Ellen & Ed Atkins 22 Oct

    Dan enthusiasm and joy was wonderful.  Our hearts and prayers go out to Dan's family. God bless you, Dan. May you be forever young and on that race track in the sky with Ayrton Senna and the others who have made racing  the exciting sport that it is.You will be always a winner and we will never forget you.    Rest in peace, Dan. May your family's pain be eased by the love of your fans around the world. We're with you always.

     

     

  18. 18 Jack Brown 22 Oct
    That wa suspose to be  LOVE AND PEACE BE WITH HIM AND FAMILY.  Just to choked up to get it all in at the time.  Jack
  19. 19 Jack Brown 22 Oct
    There are race car drivers and I respect and admire them all.  Then their's Dan a fan of the fans and his love of racing.  A little story of things that create lasting fans. Thanks to Dan!   Years back my young son and I are at Homestead scouring the pits and the haulers  so he could get some autographs.  We come up to Dan's hauler and my son's eyes are just beaming at the chance of getting his favorite drivers autograph on a checkerd flag.  As we aproach the hauler Dan comes out,  my son is eargerly awaiting the moment with flag and Sharpie in hand.  Then Dan hops on his scooter and drives off.   If you have ever been in the pits and hauler area you know of the prerace hustle and bussel. The disappointement was written all over my son's face as he lowers his arms with the lost puppy dog look on  his face.  Dan gets about 20 feet away looks back over his shoulder and makes a U turn and returns.   My son is beyond himself with excitement as Dan autographs his flag and starts talking the upcoming race with us.  Then to top it off he sugest a  picture with my son.  Well there has never ever been a finer Kodac Moment in this ol'e man's life.  This was the type of young man that Dan was.  A Fans Driver for the Ages and thru the following yrs. every time my son and I have incountered Dan at the track.   He has always had time to say hello and speak a little racing with us.  I'll never forget that race at Homestead and I'll never forget Dan!  LOVE AND PEACE BE WITH HIM 
  20. 20 justin pike 22 Oct
    I have just visited emberton and left a tribute for Dan, I know its almost a week but still wanted to do it.
  21. 21 Steve 22 Oct
    Like many here, I did not actually know Dan personally. Yes, I had the opportunity of saying hi and chatting for a few moments at races, but living just down the road from Dan in Sarasota, FL. we always felt a little special bond for a fellow Floridian. We saw Dan as a local favorite and always were excited to see him race. Our prayers go out to his family and friends. Dan, you will be missed! God speed....
  22. 22 Merita Ross 22 Oct
     My condolences goes out to the Dan Weldon family.Dan will be greatly missed in the world of racing.God needed Dan to come home too race on the oval track in heaven.With all the other GREAT racers.that is there.In thinking back I remember  a time when I belonged to a NASCAR RACING GROUP. few of the women in the group developed  a crush on Dan.It was just at the time he was making it BIG TIME in Indy racing.I went looking for pictures of Dan an downloaded them in the group NASCARUSA.I got interrested in the World of Indy Racing joined a Indy racing group on YAHOO.In  closing my prayers and thoughts are with the Weldon family at this time. God Bless       Merita Ross   merita_ross2001@yahoo.com         Dan Weldon Fan
  23. 23 Thomas & Kimberly Mitchell 22 Oct

    Kim and I had gone to see the race at Sonoma and were wandering through the pits when Dan Wheldon stepped from one of the auxilliary buildings with a friend.  Aside from his Indy 500 win, Kim and I had been enormously impressed with the job he had done commentating a previous Indy car race, particularly his "run of the grid" and all the people he had interviewed.  Kim grabbed me by the arm, pulling me toward Dan and without preamble interrupted his conversation,  telling him what a superb job he had done as a commentator.  Never having seen us before and not knowing us from anyone, he never-the-less greeted us as if we were long, lost friends and treated us with respect and friendliness, even encouraging me to take a picture of Dan and my wife, Kim, with their arms around each other like old friends.  He was so incredibly nice and gentlemanly, and after we had parted, we spoke of his genuine friendliness for many days after.  His death brought true mourning to our family and he will be missed on the course and in our hearts forever.  Our sincere condolences to his family for the loss of such a wonderful man.

     

     

  24. 24 Kevin 22 Oct
    We have a family race pool and if you were lucky enough to draw Dan Wheldon you were happy. A great champion... we will miss him. God bless his family.
  25. 25 dave 21 Oct
    20 years from now i would like to see the WHELDON BOYS in victory lane at the Indy 500 that would be great.Rest in piece Dan and my god be with you and your family
  26. 26 dave 21 Oct
    20 years from now i would like to see the WHELDON BOYS in victory lane at the Indy 500 that would be great.Rest in piece Dan and my god be with you and your family
  27. 27 Tim Martin 21 Oct
    The short times we met, will leave me with a lifetime of memories. All the autographs, pictures I had made with and of u. U just had a way to make everyone feel as if u had known us while u were here. This is not good-bye, only so-long until we meet again!
  28. 28 Rebecca 21 Oct
    Dan was a true racing champion. He has been my favorite driver since 2003. In my 22 Indianapolis 500 races, I'd never been so happy at The Brickyard as I was when he won this year. But I was at LVMS last week and the grief I felt for him and for his family and the entire IndyCar community was unbearable. A few stories: 1) Dan did a video bit when he first came to IC where he showed his closet and said "I keep all my shoes in their original shoeboxes." He also talked about being a "neat freak." My husband teased me and told me I should've hooked up with Dan instead of with him because I also keep my shoes in their original shoeboxes and am certainly not a messy person. 2) In Milwaukee in 2006, I was obtaining Dan's autograph and also Scott Dixon's at the Target trailer. All I wanted to do was politely get the autograph and go on my way. My husband said to Dan "She is one of your biggest fans." (long pause) "Oh yeah, it's bordering on stalking." My head slumped down and I was so embarrassed and Dixon thought it was hilarious. So awhile later, we were walking on the property and Dan and Susie passed us on the golf cart and Dan yelled out at me "It's my stalker!" So after that, the running joke with my friends and on my Facebook postings would be that I was going to "stalk Dan Wheldon." Godspeed Dan! My sympathies to your beautiful and precious family.
  29. 29 Steve Riggs - Dan Weldon Fan 21 Oct
    I, and my family, especially my mother, Jean (78 years old), will miss everything about Dan - his driving skills, his personality, his love of the sport, his upbeat, friendly and truly genuine personality, his great smile and, especially, his British accent. (My mother's English and loved following Dan like me and rooting for a "countryman"). She as well as I were so saddened when we learned that he left us far too young. He will be missed by so many. My deepest condolences to all who loved him - those near and dear to him and those who never met him but who felt something special about him from the first moment they saw and heard him and watched and enjoyed him race, including me, just one the millions of race fans, I'm sure, around the world. The overwhelming sense of loss for Dan among so many who have spoken and written about what he meant to them and the sport does not surprise me. He was one of the few who's impact was so great among so many. What a wonderful legacy to leave behind for his family, friends and fans to remember!
  30. 30 Jim 21 Oct
    A few years back a friend of mine who worked for Target was able to get me a signed pcitue of Dan. My wife has a bit of a Dan crush, and the signature says "I hear your wife likes me, you better watch out.". I now look at that picture with such mixed emotions. He always struck me as a genuine person and someone that I always cheered for. I wish all the best for his family and hope that they know just how much Dan meant to the world.
  31. 31 Cindy 21 Oct
    God Bless your family and I know he will keep you in His loving arms.  IndyCar has lost a very special driver and Dan's family and friends have lost a very special man.  My heart breaks for his family and I hope they can find comfort in memories and in the knowledge that Dan was loved and admired by so many people.  You will always live on in our hearts
  32. 32 Cindy 21 Oct
    God Bless your family and I know he will keep you in His loving arms.  IndyCar has lost a very special driver and Dan's family and friends have lost a very special man.  My heart breaks for his family and I hope they can find comfort in memories and in the knowledge that Dan was loved and admired by so many people.  You will always live on in our hearts
  33. 33 Bobby 21 Oct
    God bless you Dan ---- Thanks for the memories
  34. 34 Keith R. 21 Oct
    Dear Dan, thank you for being you ! A true racer and gentlemen. The golden gates of Indy have opened, and you walked through with that big grin on your face ! Thank you, RIP........
  35. 35 john ruiz 21 Oct
    i know that the names of joe james, bob marvin, jim packard are unknown names to many persons, but not to all. they were part of racing and those exciting moments of competition between fast and beautiful machines. Dan Weldon was part of a fraternity, a unique family, that the persons i mentioned were part of long ago. i have been fortunate enough in my life to enjoy and also to grieve.The engines will be started and the race cars pushed on to the starting line, Dan Weldon will be there          
  36. 36 Faron 21 Oct
    My heart goes out to his family and to his ocean of fans. You could NOT not like Lionheart, an open, enthusiatic gentleman. I met him several times, mostly at the INDY 500, and was there to see both his victories - wildly popular wins. He always smiled, laughed,and took to the time to make the encounter memorable, not just an autograph or picture "on the run." He was a fan's racer, and I'll always remember the wag in him who wore the T-shirt after his 2005 Indy victory (when Danica was getting all the magazine covers, etc) that read: "Hello, I'm Dan Wheldon and I actually WON the Indy 500". A gentle jab at our celebrity-conscious world. Farewell, Daniel Clive. You are loved and will be missed!
  37. 37 DANNY ADDISON 21 Oct
    a sad loss for indy fans .we've lost one of the really good guys.
  38. 38 Dick 20 Oct
    In this time of grief, can we all just pledge, in Dan's memory, to try to be a little bit more like Dan ourselves, in how we conduct ourselves with others and with the life we all continue to be blessed with......What better way to honor the man who was Dan Weldon.  Smile Dan's smile.  Show Dan's generosity and courtesy with others.  And embrace life with the enthusiasm and positive attitude that Dan always showed.     We'll miss you especially next May! 
  39. 39 dave g. 20 Oct
    You will be so missed dan not only for myself but countless indy car fans,You were a joy to watch race and inspiration on being a better person,You always had a smile and words of wisdom and kindness,I am so glad i got to see you race,Thank you ,God Speed,And to the wheldon family my thoughts and prayers are with you.God Bless.
  40. 40 Rose 19 Oct
    I'll always remember those white sunglasses and his contageous smiles. God bless you.
  41. 41 Adam 19 Oct
    The last memory I have of Dan was Saturday before the race at the Indycar Fan Village. Interviewing Dario and Will and noticing how well he was with the people and what a genuine person Dan really was. I didnt know Dan personally but felt as I did because I noticed the characteristics that all the drivers have described him to be, happy, fun and the bright light bulb in the building. I will also always remember how happy I was for him when he won the Indy 500 this past May. My family's thoughts are with his family and the rest of IndyCar. R.I.P. Dan.
  42. 42 Margie Hendrickson 19 Oct
    Dan Wheldon is a special person in my heart.  Three clear memories stand out of Dan, the first being in 2008.  Our state of Iowa had been ravaged by tornadoes and floods that Spring in 2008 and when Dan won the Indy race at our Iowa Speedway in June 2008, he donated his winnings to the victims of the devastating weather.  How beautiful is that?!  The second memory is just this year in June when Dan reported and commentated our Indy race at the Iowa Speedway.  Aside from being there in person for the race, I set my dvr to record the race and I will cherish that recording always.  My favorite part of Dan's reporting was the Grid Walk.  Dan had such a fun time.  The race was the best Indy race, EVER, at Iowa and it was our first IndyCar night race.  Dan had quite the knack for broadcasting.  The third memory was just late last month when Dan was at Iowa with the 2012 Indy car.  Dan was so excited to be testing the new car for its' inaugural debut in 2012 and looking forward to a full-time ride next year.  I just find it so hard to believe that Dan is gone from us.  I will miss you so very much, Mr. Dan Wheldon.  Thoughts and prayers always for your family. 
  43. 43 Daniel LaVon 18 Oct

    I had met Dan dozens of times. He would always take the time to talk, in the garage or during an autograph session, it didn't matter. He would always comment on the pic he was signing or the shirt I was wearing or even my shoes.  We even laughed together about a waitress he had named " Mother Tucker".

    Two times stick out the most: I took my 2 year old (at the time) daughter named Jolie to meet him at KY speedway. Unfortunately she was wearing a Dario shirt (long story). He let her have it over that shirt and teased her saying "What in the world is on your shirt. You need to get a different one."  He took a picture with her and signed a Hero card to her and we left. About an Hour later the autograph session was over and we (My wife, daughter, friends and I) were standing around talking and I heard " I'll catch up with you guys later. I'm going to say bye to Jolie one more time" When I looked Dan was almost on his knees with my daughter's hands in his and he was talking to her. I was blown away.  The next time I saw him he signed the picture of him and my daughter "To Jolie. Get your parents to buy you a new shirt"

    At Indy this year I had him sign another pic of me and him. He looked at it and said "Look at us, you and me, Just like old times huh?"  He signed it and posed for another pic. We talked for a sec, I wished him luck and we parted ways. That was the last time I saw him face to face.

    He was one of my Hero's. Racing , Indycar, and the world will not be the same with out him. He always made you feel welcome and like he had known you his whole life. I could go on forever. I can't believe he's gone.  Miss ya D-Dub

     

  44. 44 Alan 18 Oct
    I knew I liked Dan, he was a great driver and loved Indy. Over the last couple days as I have read and seen and listened to his fellow drivers, fans, broadcasters, and the IndyCar community, it's abundantly apparent how loved and what a special man he was. The stories of how he made everyone he met feel important and part of his life touched me greatly. He was one of those wonderful people who never met a stranger. My heart goes out to his family and all who knew him...its alot of people, as has been stated repeatedly, if you met him you knew Dan --whether 3 minutes or 33 years. RIP Dan
  45. 45 Alan 18 Oct
    I knew I liked Dan, he was a great driver and loved Indy. Over the last couple days as I have read and seen and listened to his fellow drivers, fans, broadcasters, and the IndyCar community, it's abundantly apparent how loved and what a special man he was. The stories of how he made everyone he met feel important and part of his life touched me greatly. He was one of those wonderful people who never met a stranger. My heart goes out to his family and all who knew him...its alot of people, as has been stated repeatedly, if you met him you knew Dan --whether 3 minutes or 33 years. RIP Dan

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