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Dan Wheldon..:(
Posted by: haikuman
Date: October 16, 2011 06:04PM
I am not wild about Auto or Indy Car Racing. That said these guys are Wild Ponies always pushing the envelope. I was very sad to see this news about Dan Wheldon.

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RIP Dan Wheldon



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Re: Dan Wheldon..:(
Posted by: Acer
Date: October 16, 2011 06:24PM
Sad event. Leaves a wife and two youngsters.

I never realized that the bodies of indycars are no bigger than kayaks.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/16/2011 06:24PM by Acer.
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Re: Dan Wheldon..:(
Posted by: honu
Date: October 16, 2011 07:26PM
RIP Dan Wheldon.
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Re: Dan Wheldon..:(
Posted by: decay
Date: October 16, 2011 07:29PM
my wife was just talking with Jeff Andretti's wife the other day. she said they were going to Vegas together for a big race.

reading Wheldon's history (I hadn't heard of him before), i see he was on the Andretti team a number of years ago. they must be crushed that a close friend like that was lost.



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Re: Dan Wheldon..:(
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: October 16, 2011 08:05PM
Quote
Acer
I never realized that the bodies of indycars are no bigger than kayaks.

Which is a testament to the engineering that goes into those things. Whether my perceptions are accurate or not, I'm surprised at this death. It 'seems' way more often than not, the drivers survive horrific crashes. I'm sure it's all in the particulars of a specific crash though.

If small airplanes were designed in a similar manner, they'd be prohibitively expensive.
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Re: Dan Wheldon..:(
Posted by: Black
Date: October 16, 2011 08:11PM
I was stopped at an intersection a few minutes ago and a platform tow truck passed carrying a large silver SUV that had apparently been in a collision within the last hour-- the horn was stuck "on" and going strong, as if the battery was still completely at peak. The windshield was smashed and the airbag had deployed.
Kind of a macabre one-vehicle procession immortalizing what possibly was the drivers last act . . .
Meanwhile 114 others lost their lives today in this country in automobile crashes, and 3299 worldwide.
I don't know if a race car driver adds one or is already counted.




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Re: Dan Wheldon..:(
Posted by: Bimwad
Date: October 16, 2011 08:31PM
Quote
Carnos Jax
Which is a testament to the engineering that goes into those things. Whether my perceptions are accurate or not, I'm surprised at this death. It 'seems' way more often than not, the drivers survive horrific crashes. I'm sure it's all in the particulars of a specific crash though.

While the driver is mostly cocooned inside the "tub" that forms the central unit of the chassis, they are still relatively exposed on top, with only a roll hoop to protect them in instances where the car flips. Most impacts occur with all wheels still in contact with the ground, so drivers are well protected most incidents.

In this melee, four cars went airborne, and into the outer wall, or, in Wheldon's case, the catch fencing. His car rotated in midair and the exposed top of the cockpit struck the catch fencing at ~200 mph.

Jeff Krosnoff was killed in Toronto in 1996 in a incident involving the same type of vulnerability, but that was on an urban street course where he struck a utility pole.
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Re: Dan Wheldon..:(
Posted by: dmann
Date: October 16, 2011 08:58PM
I turned on what I expected to be the local news, but instead was the continuation of the broadcast from the race. Before I knew what I was looking at, I saw the crash. Horrific does not even begin to describe it.

I am so sorry for his family.

DM
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Re: Dan Wheldon..:(
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: October 16, 2011 10:06PM
There's really not a "bright side" to this, but if one looks at the less-dark side; Look at all the cars involved; and only ONE fatality!
The engineers and drivers know what the risks are, and they've done an amazing job at protecting the drivers in these accidents.



Paul F.
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----
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Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

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Eureka, CA
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Re: Dan Wheldon..:( -- long-ish post
Posted by: Diana
Date: October 16, 2011 11:32PM
A fantastic driver who died way too young. He didn't have a full-time ride this year, but won the Indianapolis 500 anyway. He had just signed for a full-time ride next year, so his future was looking brighter. A new car is coming out next year, one that is safer and (supposedly) a bit slower, but until they do something about the "open" design where the wheels are as exposed as they are, anything that hits the wheel (such as another wheel) can and often does cause massive problems.

It's being reported that the cars were doing in excess of 220 mph (Indy car track record is 226.491 mph, set in 1996) on a track that was never really designed for such speeds. The track is 1.5 miles, with 20 degree banking in the turns and 9 degree banking on both the front and back stretch of the trioval. Las Vegas Motor Speedway was designed for stock car racing, and while such cars can reach speeds of 220 mph on some tracks (Talledega comes to mind) and under excellent conditions, they can't do so on this track. The track record for stock cars (Sprint Cup Series) is 188.719 mph set just last year. On tracks where the speeds can typically exceed 200 mph, NASCAR (the stock car racing authority) will mandate a restrictor plate, effectively choking the cars down to speeds that are considered "safer" so that they don't go airborne. The drivers don't like it, but there it is.

Indy cars are not stock cars (obviously) and generate a lot more downforce, and hence, Indy cars ARE faster; most of the drivers are fearless, and those that aren't usually don't drive much longer. This track promotor also was promoting a $5 Million bonus to the driver who started at the very back and made it to the front, winning the race. Dan Wheldon started at the very back and had made up some 10 places when the wreck happened on lap 13 of the race. At the speeds they were running, when someone makes a mistake, any mistake, reaction times for the drivers become mere fractions of a second, even with the spotters telling the driver what is ahead of him. From the video it is apparent that there was really no place for a lot of these guys to go; fluids were spilled on the track, and once it started, they were all "just in it for the ride." Unfortunately, Dan Wheldon took the ultimate ride, and paid for it. My heart grieves for this man, and for his family.

The "promoter" should pay the family the $5 Million, IMHO.

Just typing these words is causing me to start crying again. I have to go now.
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Re: Dan Wheldon..:( -- long-ish post
Posted by: volcs0
Date: October 17, 2011 12:36AM
Quote
Diana
A fantastic driver who died way too young...


Wow... thank you so much for this insightful analysis.
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Re: Dan Wheldon..:( -- long-ish post
Posted by: decay
Date: October 17, 2011 06:20AM
Quote
Diana
The "promoter" should pay the family the $5 Million, IMHO.

agree smiley



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Re: Dan Wheldon..:( -- long-ish post
Posted by: Bimwad
Date: October 17, 2011 08:48AM
Quote
Diana
The "promoter" should pay the family the $5 Million, IMHO.
now.

The series rented the track from SMI and was promoting this race itself, an experiment to explore the possibility of similar arrangements in the future in light of the poor business climate for oval open wheel races.

The announcement of the 2012 schedule has been expected this weekend, but was postponed to see if they could work out some deals to increase the number of oval races with viable business cases. Ironically, they did announce that they planned to stage the season ending race at LVMS again next year, but obviously, that may be questionable now.

The $5M prize was in actuality an insurance policy, to be split between Wheldon, and a selected fan. The sum was to be paid as a 40-year annuity.

Some will inevitably try to lay blame on the series CEO for hatching the promotion that had Wheldon entered in this race, but 1) it could have happened to any one of the drivers in the field, and 2) Wheldon likely could, or would have driven as an additional entry even if the promotion hadn't existed, or for any big prize.
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Re: Dan Wheldon..:( -- long-ish post
Posted by: Diana
Date: October 17, 2011 09:05AM
Quote
Bimwad

The series rented the track from SMI and was promoting this race itself, an experiment to explore the possibility of similar arrangements in the future in light of the poor business climate for oval open wheel races.

The announcement of the 2012 schedule has been expected this weekend, but was postponed to see if they could work out some deals to increase the number of oval races with viable business cases. Ironically, they did announce that they planned to stage the season ending race at LVMS again next year, but obviously, that may be questionable now.

The $5M prize was in actuality an insurance policy, to be split between Wheldon, and a selected fan. The sum was to be paid as a 40-year annuity.

Some will inevitably try to lay blame on the series CEO for hatching the promotion that had Wheldon entered in this race, but 1) it could have happened to any one of the drivers in the field, and 2) Wheldon likely could, or would have driven as an additional entry even if the promotion hadn't existed, or for any big prize.

Thanks. I wasn't aware of the details of the $5M prize; I had heard that it was to be split with a fan, but the details weren't revealed. I don't normally follow the Indy car series, but the husband has started to in the last year or so.

Quote
volcs0

Wow... thank you so much for this insightful analysis.

Wow... You're welcome.
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