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During a warm-up session Sunday for the season-opening Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, rookie driver Paul Dana collided going over 200 mph with a car that had hit the wall and spun to a stop at the bottom of the track. Dana and the other driver, Ed Carpenter, were flown to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami where two hours later Dana was pronounced dead. Carpenter escaped the tragedy with no injuries, according to SI.com.

It’s unclear why Dana did not slow down on the track despite yellow warning lights flashing on the track for several seconds before the crash, though out of respect the rookie driver not many are pursuing an answer to that question at the moment.

Dana’s teammates on the Rahal Letterman team, femme phenom Danica Patrick and Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice, did not race during the season opener yesterday out of respect for Dana’s death. Last year’s Indy 500 winner, Dan Wheldon, won the race edging out Helio Castroneves by 0.0147 seconds, the ninth closest finish in league history.

[Source: Sports Illustrated]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      Um, Spear? Those cars, with the wheels kinda sticky outty on the sides, are not run in NASCAR. I know, it's complicated, but I'm sure if you pay close attention you can keep up.
      • 9 Years Ago
      how the fuck can you crash on a fucking circular track??

      Only in America (and NASCAR), guys
      • 9 Years Ago
      Is it me or does this seem to happening more often in past 5-10 years? It seems like a long time past without a death in motorsports, maybe it's just me though.
      • 9 Years Ago
      He didn't die doing what he loved doing. He died crashing. He died knowing he was about to hit something, very hard, and that it would not end well.

      No sane driver wants to die doing that. No sane driver loves to crash.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I remember seeing Mario Andretti do almost the same thing (at a slower speed) about ten or twelve years ago. He hit a car that had been stopped for maybe two laps. His only explanation was that he just didn't see it, even though it was directly in front of him on a short straight and he took no evasive measures -- just a straight shot into it, wiping off the whole right side of his car.

      The real danger is open wheel racing at the super speedways, where this kind of brain fade is likely to be deadly.

      I used to dream about the possibility of racing at Indy. After road racing for 20 years, I can't think of anything (short of jumping out of an airplane without a parachute) that scares me more than the idea of turning in at 200+ mph in an open wheel car.

      In my opinion, open wheel super speedway racing should be stopped, as the risk of lethal mistakes is not a low probability event. Less experienced drivers than a decade ago are now in the open wheel series since the best talents go to NASCAR or European open-wheel racing because of the difference in money.

      I know, I know, who could imagine there being no Indy 500 as we've known it?

      For me, I'd settle for seeing the Brickyard 400 on Memorial Day or at least seeing the open wheel cars running the F1 course.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Jeez, Steve C, at least the guy died doing what he enjoyed. it beats dying in bed at 65 after working a backbreaking job for 45 years.
      don't race if you don't want, but don't deny the rest of us some fun just 'cuz we might die. the risks are worth it.
      • 9 Years Ago
      If you read under the lines, seems to be some sentiment that he wasn't qualified for his seat, and was there primarily because he was good at getting sponsorship. Shame.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Yeah, that was a really bad hit, I was surprised the other driver survived. I'm not an expert, but after viewing the footage, my first question was also, why was he going so fast. You could see other cars already starting to slow down.