Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dan Wheldon Killed: The First and Final Laps, Tweet by Tweet

Will Power and Dario Franchitti as they wait for the command to start engines and begin the race to decide who will be 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series champion. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2011)

Dan Wheldon Killed: The First and Final Laps, Tweet by Tweet

The season finale of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series gets played out here in the land where gambling is king and glitz is the salve that makes everything work. This is the last official race with the old Dallara chassis that helped to establish the Indy Racing League (IRL) and was the equipment used to secure the merger between the ChampCar World Series (CCWS) and the IRL through the last three years.

Thirty-four cars will take to this short 1.5 mile oval for 300 miles and every effort has been made to field all the equipment that can roll and race because this will be the last time these Dallaras will be used by this racing series.

One example as to what can happen when one works hard to take old parts and stitch together a car to race happened when James Jakes had to exit the second practice session on Friday early in a fiery smash in turn #2 due to suspension failure. These 200mph Dallara cars are not supposed to do this.

James Jakes driving for Dale Coyne Racing as he coasts to a stop as fuel flairs up along the wall. Image Credit: Yahoo.Sports.Com

This race may be officially named the IZOD IndyCar Series World Championship presented by Honda ... but we will call this exercise The Duct Tape 300 Tweet-By-Tweet:

CGRTeamsChip Ganassi Racingby LVMotorSpeedway - We're about an hour away from the green flag here for the season finale! Catch the action-packed race LIVE on ABC!

Newman Haas Racing - with friends and

Green Green Green - The flag flies at the Duct Tape 300

Everyone gets off without a hitch - the field of 34 cars are up to speed at over 200 mph

Dario Franchitti moves ahead of Will Power to put him more points down.

Cars go three wide in most of the corners around the track ... very close racing

Lap 10 of 200

SBPopOffValve Tony - Danica in the middle, three-wide. She's thinking, "I can't wait until I'm doing this at half the speed."

Crash Crash Crash - Lap 12 of 200
Eight cars involved, one car flies in the air, one on its lid

Dale_Nixon Dale Nixon - Holy crap this does not look good..
99forever Steph@MoreFrontWing - Can't breathe. #indycar

Red Flag after 12 laps

kart58 Paige - God... that looked like Indy 1973 carnage. Not good. #indycar

UPDATE – 15 cars collected in the mess on turn #2

DRRIndyCar DRRIndyCar - Bia says she's sure she hit debris at slow speed.
toomuchracing Pat W - Will Power's car is involved and he's out of the race, Dario Franchitti is champion

Verizon Penske Racing's car driven by Will Power. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks via broadcast image (2011)

Sebastian Saavedra touches a car next to him with left wheel as he seeks to get out of the top groove and this sets off the chain reaction

DRRIndyCar DRRIndyCar - Assessing the damage to the 24 and 11. Both drivers say their cars are probably going to be able to continue.

pressdog Bill Zahren - RT @rosslancaster: @pressdog RT @f1fanaticlive: Rice, Power, Mann, Lloyd, Wheldon, Viso, Tracy, Kimball, Schec… (cont) 

PantherRacing Panther Racing - Appears JR is out of car and OK.

IndyRacingNut Tony Wittrien - Anyone with word on Wheldon's condition? Please?

SBPopOffValve Tony - Oh shit. The yellow tarp is on Wheldon's car.

shagers Shane Rogers - That tarp is a major, major concern. #indycar

99forever Steph@MoreFrontWing - Bad. RT @JennaFryer WTF is the yellow tarp? #indycar

toomuchracing Pat W - Out of the race per ABC: Power, Cunningham, Hildebrand, Howard, Bell, Scheckter, Meira, Kimball, Mann, Rice, Viso, Lloyd, Mann, Rice

specutainment Midweek Motorsport by radiolemans - 12 cars out in huge shunt at Vegas. Power involved,Dario made it thru. Red Flag. Press room very quiet.

Replay of video taken from Will Power’s car camera … Will takes off and gets launched airborne and turns 180 degrees and lands tail first

toomuchracing Pat W - Hoping the yellow tarp on the car is just a yellow tarp on a car and not a sign of something bad

Dale_Nixon Dale Nixon - That in-car footage on @12WillPower is frightening. That wheel almost came right into his camera

IndyRacingNut Tony Wittrien - Just felt compelled to give my 2yr old son a big hug.....#PrayForWheldon

UPDATE - Dan Weldon taken by heliocopter to University Hospital … all other drivers are under their own power.

pressdog Bill Zahren - Decisions made immediately post-trauma are not usually sound. RT @DriveAvailable: @SBPopOffValve That's racing. Don't over-react please.
colinsato Colin Sato by toomuchracing - Paul Tracy says there are a lot of younger drivers who don't know how to react. He was around for G. Moore and J. Krosnoff. #indycar
specutainment Midweek Motorsport by radiolemans @ @nellietellie another one of those creepy moments at the track when everything goes quiet - even the press room were shocked.....

Will Power has been resubmitted to the field infirmary for further observation

This posting will become updated when more information is available - cars out (13) are #17 Wade Cunningham, #4 JR Hildebrand, #22 Townsend Bell, #15 Jay Howard, #57 Tomas Scheckter, #83 Charlie Kimball, #8 Paul Tracy, #59 EJ Viso, #77 Dan Wheldon, #19 Alex Lloyd, #30 Pippa Mann, #12 Will Power, #44 Buddy Rice.

Two cars are damaged but may continue are #14 Vitor Meira and #18 James Jakes.

Randy Bernard, President and CEO of the IZOD IndyCar Series announces in the Media Center that Dan Weldon passes away from unsurvivable injuries. Pippa Mann, Will Power, and JR Hildebrand were transported to the hospital for injuries and observation.



“Our hearts are saddened to hear the news of the passing of Dan Wheldon. He was a great representative of our sport and personified what the IZOD IndyCar Series is all about. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Susie, his children and family. He will be missed.” -TGPLB-


“It is with extreme sorrow that we have lost one of our champion drivers today. Dan was an Indy 500 champion and IndyCar Series champion with Andretti Autosport-and one of our closest competitors. Dan brought such enthusiasm and passion to the sport not often seen in motorsports. We will remember Dan’s tremendous racing accomplishments with our team as well his infectious personality. We would like to express our deepest sympathy to Dan’s family, racing team and friends today. Dan is one of IndyCar’s greatest champions.”

... notes from The EDJE

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