On Sunday, the sports world was hit with the tragic loss of IndyCar champion Dan Wheldon. The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner died after a massive 15-car crash at the Indy 300 race in Las Vegas. He was 33.
Wheldon, who was born in England, was one of the sport’s young stars, and his death hit the racing community pretty hard. The wreck that cost Wheldon his life happened quite early in the race, and after the other drivers and owners learned of his death, they all decided to cancel the remaining lap and hold an on-track tribute to Wheldon.
They circled the track 5 times while Wheldon’s number, 77, was displayed on the scoreboard.
Bob Parsons, CEO of GoDaddy.com and race sponsor, issued a statement on the passing of Dan Wheldon:
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dan Wheldon’s family and friends on this sad, sad day. All of us in the IndyCar Series family feel an unexplainable sense of loss. Not just for the sport, but for all who knew Dan Wheldon. Dan was a family man, a father, a husband, a son and a brother. The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner was also a competitor and a colleague … our deepest condolences go out to all who knew Dan.”
– Bob Parsons
Go Daddy CEO & Founder
Parsons and GoDaddy (along with Verizon) were sponsoring an IndyCar Challenge taking place at Sunday’s race. They offered to pay any driver who could start the race in last place and finish in first place $5 million. Wheldon stepped up to that plate and was prepared to split his winnings with a New Jersey woman, chosen via random drawing.