On October 16, the racing world lost one of their best drivers. IndyCar racer and 2-time Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon was killed in an accident during the IZOD IndyCar World Championships in Las Vegas. He was involved in a 15 car pileup that occurred early in the race.
Personally, I’m not a big fan of racing, NASCAR or IndyCar, but I am somewhat knowledgeable about the sport. I watch SportsCenter and see highlights of these courageous men and women racing in these cars. Many people think it’s not a sport but I beg to differ. It may not require the athletic prowess that football or basketball does, but these racers are controlling a vehicle that is traveling at over 200 miles per hour. That takes a tremendous amount of skill. Any amateur would be facing a death sentence.
However, the danger involved is potentially fatal for even the most skilled professionals, as evidenced by the accident that took Wheldon’s life or the life of legendary NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt in 2001. Some racers have since called for safer vehicles in IndyCar. When Earnhardt was killed, NASCAR implemented better safety precautions and equipment to prevent drivers from being seriously injured or killed on the track. I’m not sure what needs to be done on the IndyCar circuit, but there certainly needs to be action taken to prevent a case like Wheldon’s. Not only has IndyCar lost one of their best drivers, but a wife has lost a husband and a 2 year old son and 6 month old infant will never get to know their father.