Dan Wheldon Frustrated With Car's Speed Before Crash


"This is not a suitable track, and we seen it today its nowhere to get away from anybody. One small mistake from somebody and there's a massive thing," Franchitti said.

Jamie Little, pit reporter for ESPN, told "Good Morning America" Monday that there was talk of the danger of the event, the challenges of the Las Vegas track made the event exciting.

"Anytime you go to racetrack with Indycar series, especially at a track like this, there's so much grip -- that's what makes it exciting. There was a lot of talk … you have that, there's always concern. What we saw happen was so tragic," she said.

Wheldon was beloved on the Indycar circuit as a gregarious figure and talented driver who'd won the series championship in 2005.

"He was one of my best friends and one of my greatest teammates," Brazilian driver Tony Kanaan said Sunday.

Sven Behm, Wheldon's father-in-law, spoke kindly of him after he learned of the news.

"He wasn't just a great driver he was a great human being. He was always very, very positive. Always had something good to say about everybody" Behm said.

After learning of Wheldon's death Sunday's race was canceled. As bagpipes sounded, Wheldon's fellow drivers drove five laps in his honor.

Just before the race, Wheldon wrote: "This is going to be an amazing show. The two championship contenders, Dario Franchitti and Will Power, are starting right next to each other in the middle of the grid. Honestly, if I can be fast enough early in the race to be able to get up there and latch onto those two, it will be pure entertainment. It's going to be a pack race, and you never know how that's going to turn out."

He ended the blog on USA Today, telling fans: "As long as I can find some speed and keep up with the pack, I'll do everything I can to put on a show."

Born in Emberton, England, he began racing go-karts at the tender age of 4 after his father got him started in competitive racing.

"I love the go-karts," he told the Los Angeles Times last week. "I get them up to around 90 on the straights."

He competed in England, winning eight British national titles along the way before moving to St. Petersburg, Fla., in 1999.

After time in a few low-profile series, he joined the IndySeries in 2003. In eight full IndyCar Series seasons, he has posted 132 career starts, collected 26 top-three finishes, 93 top-10 finishes and five pole positions, also winning the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.

Wheldon, who won the Indy 500 in 2005 and 2011 and won 16 other races, was set to replace Danica Patrick next season in the Go-Daddy-sponsored car for Andretti Autosport after she moves to NASCAR fulltime in 2012.

Family has been a staple in Wheldon's life. In 2010 he released a photo book in collaboration with photographer Michael Voorhees. The book includes pictures of his wedding, candid photos off the racetrack, as well as a photo tribute to his racing career.

The Associated Press and ESPN contributed to this report.

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