Dan Wheldon
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Birthdate: June 22, 1973
Hometown: Emberton, England
Team: Chip  
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In 2002, Wheldon moved up to the IRL IndyCar Series for two events, with Panther Racing as teammate to Sam
Hornish, Jr.. The following year Wheldon joined Andretti Green Racing, taking the spot of Michael Andretti
following his retirement, and collected league Rookie of the Year honours. In 2004, he won his first IRL race at
Twin Ring Motegi in Japan, ultimately finishing as runner-up to teammate Tony Kanaan in the championship
with three wins.

He won the 2005 Indianapolis 500 as well as that season's IndyCar Series championship. His six victories in 2005
also broke the record for most victories in one season (under IRL sanction), previously held by Sam Hornish, Jr.
with 5. His win at Indy was the first for an Englishman since Graham Hill's triumph in 1966. In November 2005,
it was announced that he would be driving for Chip Ganassi Racing in the IndyCar Series in 2006. Shortly after
his first test with Ganassi, he won the 24 Hours of Daytona endurance sports car race with Ganassi teammates
Scott Dixon and Ganassi NASCAR driver Casey Mears.

He began the IndyCar season by beating Hélio Castroneves by 0.0147 seconds at Homestead-Miami, a somber
race due to the earlier death of Paul Dana in a practice session. Wheldon retired at St. Petersburg thanks to
contact with Sam Hornish, Jr. during a caution period. At the end of the 2006 IndyCar season, Wheldon and
Hornish were tied for the lead with each driver having 475 points. In the event of a tie, the driver with the most
wins for that particular season is declared the champion. Hornish had four wins for the 2006 season, to
Wheldon's two; therefore Hornish was declared the 2006 IndyCar champion.

During the close season he was offered a place in the BMW Sauber Formula One team, but declined on
discovering he would not be assured a regular drive. "I do want to race in F1. When my contract expires with
Chip, I’ll take a serious look at Formula One".[2]

Commenting in 2007 on the perception of him as 'difficult', Wheldon said "I put everything into my racing, and I
expect the same back. If I see people who aren't giving it I'm not afraid to say so, but that sometimes comes out
a little brash. That could be improved a little bit."

On 22 June 2008, his 30th birthday, he took his 15th career victory in the IndyCar Series after winning the 2008
Iowa Corn Indy 250 over Hideki Mutoh and Marco Andretti. He donated his winnings to help the victims of the
recent tornadoes and flooding which had occurred in Iowa.[3]

Wheldon was released from his drive at Ganassi on 2 September 2008.[4] He was replaced by Dario Franchitti; "I
have enjoyed these last three seasons with Target Chip Ganassi Racing, but will be moving on to pursue a very
exciting opportunity for 2009," Wheldon said. It would later turn out to be a return to former team Panther
Racing.[5] Wheldon drove the Panther car to a second place finish in the 2009 Indianapolis 500, the second Indy
500 runner-up finish in a row for the team. However, his strong start to the season faded and Wheldon failed to
crack the Top 10 in 7 of the last 8 races of the year. The following year Wheldon again showed strong at the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, finishing second at the 2010 Indianapolis 500. This gave Panther its third straight
runner-up finish at Indy. This time, Wheldon remained competitive all year, challenging for wins on the oval

Despite strong showings in the Panther Racing No. 4 car, Wheldon still failed to win a race during his time with
the team. This led to his being replaced at Panther Racing by the young American driver (and 2009 Indy Lights
champion) J.R. Hildebrand. Wheldon attempted and won the 2011 Indianapolis 500 with Bryan Herta Autosport
in stunning and ironic fashion after inheriting the lead with metres to go after Hildebrand wrecked going into
the final turn trying to get around the decelerating Charlie Kimball with too much velocity, being the first
driver in Indy history to win the race by leading a single lap.[6] Wheldon was very emotional after the win, due
to not having a ride for the rest of the season and concerning his mother who had recently been diagnosed with
Alzheimer's Disease, to whom he partially dedicated his victory.[7] It was Wheldon's first series win in three
Personal life

Wheldon married his long-time personal assistant, Susie Behm, in 2008. They had 2 sons: Sebastian,[9] who was
born in February 2009, and Oliver,[10] born in March 2011. The family lived in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Fatal crash

At the 2011 IZOD IndyCar World Championship at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on 16 October 2011, Wheldon
was involved in a 15-car accident during lap 11[11] of the race. The multi-car pile-up resulted in a red flag.[12][13]
[14] Wheldon had to be extricated from his car and was airlifted to a local hospital with what were described as
"serious injuries."[15] He subsequently died of his injuries.[16] He was 33 years old.[17][18]

It was decided by the IndyCar officials and drivers that the race would be abandoned, and that a five-lap salute
would be held in his honour, with Wheldon's number 77 being displayed alone at the top of the scoring pylon.[19]

After his death, Michael Andretti revealed that Wheldon had signed with Andretti Racing for a multi-year deal
to replace driver Danica Patrick.[20]
Other projects

Dan Wheldon was a guest star in the voice cast for the TV series Hot Wheels Battle Force 5.[21]

On 9 August 2011, Ignite Game Technologies announced that Wheldon would assist the physics development for
its online auto racing game, Simraceway. Wheldon commented "It was pretty obvious that Ignite was not looking
to build just another racing game, so the opportunity to influence Simraceway's physics directly was pretty
appealing."[22] It later emerged Wheldon would also be playing an role in the company’s performance driving
center at Infineon Raceway.