Next year, every driver in the IndyCar Series will be driving the new Dallara chassis. But one pilot already had a wealth of experience in the new car: the late Dan Wheldon.

The two-time Indy 500 winner, who died Sunday from head injuries sustained in a massive 15-car pileup at the season finale race in Las Vegas, was Dallara's first choice for an experienced driver to perform the development work on its new chassis. So it only seems fitting that the car he helped create, Indy's next-generation car, is named in his honor.

Dallara has yet to reveal exactly how the late champion's name will figure in the car's final designation, but one likely candidate is DW 001. Sounds like a fitting tribute to us, but like most fans, we would have rather seen Wheldon driving the car himself next year than his name on it.


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  • 24 Comments
      carnut0913
      • 3 Years Ago
      I hate that this happened, especially when a new, safer chassis was in the works. Hearing comparisons between IRL and LasVegas to NASCAR and Talladega are scary considering that IRL races open wheel, open cockpit. Imagine NASCAR running Talladega in convertibles @ 225mph. I know this wont be the last death in racing, but hope we do not see another for a while. As fans, we have the power to push the need for safety. Since the sport is to be entertainment for us, we have the power and should have racing sanction bodies' ears to listen. I am glad that when I watch NASCAR wrecks the last couple of years, no matter how many flips I see, the driver has always walked away- Michael McDowell, Brad Kesolowsi, Jeff Gordon... People complain about the racing, or that the cars arent stock, but they are protecting the drivers.
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @carnut0913
        I'm with you on that last statement. The cars are currently made for safety. The cars that they look like don't have protection against a 200+mph crash into a wall.
      UnReal Tony
      • 3 Years Ago
      The new car has a rear bumper. Hopefully this will prevent cars from flying over other cars in the future.
      blinn8656
      • 3 Years Ago
      Afitting tribute to a great driver and exceptional person . RIP Danny boy we will miss you.
      johnb
      • 3 Years Ago
      Man I get a bit upset to my stomach seeing pictures of Dan Wheldon in the prime of his life like this. So sad.
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @johnb
        That's the thing about Wheldon. He died in his prime, unlike other people who keep driving long after their prime has past. Same thing happened with Dale Earnhardt, Sr. He died in his ULTIMATE prime. Still winning races with 7 championships under his belt with a Daytona 500 win.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      1guyin10
      • 3 Years Ago
      They really need to go to an enclosed cockpit. There really is no need for anyone to die or be maimed for life by a topside impact or flying debris. The same is true of Formula 1.
        Osama bin Larry
        • 3 Years Ago
        @1guyin10
        They all know the risk they're taking. If I could race IndyCar or hell a Formula 1, I'd do it in a heart beat. I wouldn't care about the consequences because my life would be complete at that point.
          Clayton
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Osama bin Larry
          You got it! It is a dangerous sport and everyone involved knows the possible outcome of driving extremely fast. They do it because they love it and the money ain't bad either.
        Narom
        • 3 Years Ago
        @1guyin10
        An enclosed cockpit would not have saved his life though, so how would it have helped?
          Kiiks
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Narom
          How can you say that with certainty? Wheldon died of head trauma. A well designed enclosed safety cell may very well have prevented that. We saw two Audi R18s suffer horrific crashes at LM24 this year, and although neither accident was at the same speed as the IndyCar crash, we saw both drivers walk away. Had they been open top, the headlines may very well have been different. The aerodynamic efficiency issue of coupes can just as easily be addressed by mandating taller trailing edge gurneys on the wings to bring the Cd back up to the same level.
          Elmo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Narom
          An enclosed cockpit would have also made the cars faster because of the improved aerodynamics.
      glalli2
      • 3 Years Ago
      it's time for indycar series to stop racing on oval
      Glynn Hadskey
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hitch was right about this one. He deserves it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Emily
      • 3 Years Ago
      1-I'd still like to know why five laps was chosen to honor his memory. 2-There is a lot of talk about this and that being done to increase safety and some of those ideas may have value. But is everyone ignoring what set off this chain of events? Does no one want to take action to prevent tire rub as a cause of many accidents in this series?
        patrickbgawne
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Emily
        Tire rub is pretty much unavoidable in "Open Wheel" racing. If you put fenders on Indy Cars, they become F-1 cars. I have no idea what motivated the 5 laps decision, maybe that's all the other drivers could handle. Maybe that's how long it takes to play "Danny Boy".
          hobojoe16
          • 3 Years Ago
          @patrickbgawne
          In case you didn't know, F-1 cars do not have fenders
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      hattie54
      • 3 Years Ago
      Where will Dan be buried?
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