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Racing world mourns Dan Wheldon

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Racing world mourns Dan Wheldon

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Las Vegas (CNN) — The racing world was in mourning today after two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon, an Englishman with a ready smile and engaging manner, was killed yesterday in a multicar crash at the Las Vegas Indy 300.
“You know, this is a sport predicated on speed and there are a lot of safety channels,” Sports Illustrated senior writer Jon Wertheim said Monday. But he added, “The fact of the matter is, you’re dealing with very, very fast automobiles. They’re not heavy cars. … There is, unfortunately, an assumption of risk when you get into one of those race cars.”
Following Wheldon’s death in the 15-car fiery crash, the remainder of the race — the marquee event of the IZOD IndyCar World Championships — was canceled. The remaining drivers, many of them visibly emotional after a meeting with IndyCar officials, did a five-lap salute in Wheldon’s honor as “Amazing Grace” played.
Wheldon, 33, died from “unsurvivable injuries,” IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said Sunday.
Video of the crash showed cars spinning out of control and bursting into flames, spewing smoke and debris.
“I’ve never seen a crash like this,” said Carlos Diaz, an anchor on CNN sister station HLN who said he’s been around racing his entire life. He said one witness told him “it was like a bomb went off.”