Englishman Dan Wheldon was killed in a 15-car crash on the 11th lap of the scheduled 200-lap IndyCar season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in mid-October. The two-time and reigning Indy 500 winner and former IRL champion became the victim of massive blunt force head trauma when his car was flung cockpit-first into the catch fencing atop the Turn Two wall after becoming entangled in the incident. The race was cancelled in the aftermath of the accident in honor of Wheldon’s memory.
Wheldon was better known in America than his native land given that the major career accomplishments—including his pair of Indy wins—came in the USA. In 2005, driving for Andretti Green Racing, he won both Indianapolis and the Indycar crown, and in 2011 won the big race again, this time with Bryan Herta Racing. Prior to joining the IndyCar Series for two races in 2002, he contested the primary American training categories, FF2000, Toyota Atlantic and Indy Lights, winning races in each, but his grounding in the sport came in England, where he was selected as one of the British Racing Drivers Club’s Rising Stars.