You can imagine Dan Wheldon making phone calls and uttering these words before today. At the end of last season he walked away from his ride with Panther Racing and found part-time with former teammates Brain Herta’s new team, but that ended with the Indianapolis 500. You’d think a driver with 16 career wins including 2 in the 500, but there are no takers as we speak.
This years 500 might go down as one of the more memorable ones. Coming into the month Chip Gannasi and Roger Penske looked to fight it out for the win, but something strange happened . With the current car about to be phased out and most teams not having money to run the full season, most put there best effort into there 500 cars and the results showed. Of the top speeds in practice and qualifying most were single car teams. Yet Gannasi’s team had been at the top of most sessions and indeed lead the most laps in the race, but they had save fuel towards the end and in the last 36 laps lead to 8 different leaders, none of those were Wheldon whom wouldn’t lead a lap until the 4th turn of the final lap of the race.
This years 500 marks the end of era, as the the teams will get new cars and engines in 2012. It also thankful may mark the end of the Danica Patrick era, as ESPN so breathlessly reported while not covering any of the practice or qualifying. It’s interesting to note that her team owned by Micheal Andretti half assed it again and failed to get 2 of the 4 teams into the race, they brought a ride from A.J. Foyt, and everyone was pleased by that (not)
- Wheldon wins stunning Indy 500 when leader crashes (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Crash on last turn hands Wheldon Indy 500 win (sports.espn.go.com)
- Dan Wheldon lands ride for Indianapolis 500 (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Indy 500: Why Dan Wheldon Winning the Centennial Race Is a Perfect Fit (bleacherreport.com)