IMS waited to celebrate his life on Race Day because the historic race meant so much to Wheldon. Wheldon was killed in October 2011 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway during a racing accident.
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“Dan Wheldon was a tremendous figure in the racing industry and I know he’s missed by all of us,” said fan Michael Pryor.
The car Wheldon drove will then be taken elsewhere where Honda will give it a motor because the car will run on race day, during “Back home again in Indiana.”
Bryan Herta, who owned the car last year, will drive it.
“We’re using that as a way for fans to be able to get up on their feet and cheer Dan Wheldon. We don’t want that moment of silence. What Dan would want is people on their feet, sending him on and that car will run on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and then from there go back into the museum,” said Doug Boles with IMS.
“He was a great driver, a family man and we liked that, a real gentleman,” said fan Brad Rey.
Fans who go to the track Race Day will be given white cardboard sunglasses in his memory.
“We want the fans to wear white, white sunglasses in honor of Dan. We’re going to wear them on the parade lap, on lap 26, and 98, the numbers that he won the race with. That’s our way as fans to interact and say thank you so much Dan,” said Boles.
The Race Day technical inspection stickers placed on the cars in the field will feature Wheldon. Fox59 learned Wheldon’s wife, Susie, and his sister will make appearances during the week.