Local Indy Car driver Dan Wheldon dies in fiery crash

Peter Drulias, Staff Writer

Every sport in the world puts its own stress and/or harm on the body. Sports in general are able to put wear and tear on your body, causing injury at any given time. However, the one sport that has a far different type of stress on the body is car racing, whether it be NASCAR or Indy car. Racing high performance cars doesn’t put wear and tear on your body but pays a bigger toll on you if mistakes occur, resulting in death.

   Most of the time drivers do not lose their life on the job, but for St. Pete resident Dan Wheldon , it was different. Dan Wheldon, a winner of the Indianapolis 500 , on Sunday, October 16,  crashed at a Las Vegas track and was caught in the middle of a 15 car crash. All fifteen cars and drivers were able to drive off or walk off on their own power except for one, Dan Wheldon. Wheldon, who was 33 years of age and a father of two, did not survive the crash at Las Vegas. He was diagnosed as having unsurvivable injuries, including blunt head trauma, and he didn’t have a chance of making it. As the race was broadcasted on ESPN2, the news soon made itself around the nation that Wheldon passed away in a freak accident. The race was then put onto hold while the racers had a meeting deciding on what to do from here. As the president of Indy car announced his death, the racers came to the agreement to call the race and do five laps to honor Wheldon. A couple days after the accident, controversy started about if the speed track was safe enough for the racers. While the Las Vegas Speedway claims the racers were able to ride a couple laps for practice and said they agreed to race on the track, others think that since the track is mile and a quarter long, there were way too many drivers who are constantly having to make turns due to the tracks oval shape, which makes it completely unsafe. Even though Las Vegas Speedway believes their track is raceable, I’m sure they will go back over it and try to make the track safer due to the tragedy Sunday.