Oct. 16, 2011
The two-time Indy 500 winner died in a fiery crash at the season-ending Las Vegas Indy 300. Wheldon, 33, was part of a 15-car pileup at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, his car going airborne on Lap 11. He was airlifted to a local hospital, and about two hours later his colleagues were informed of his death. Wheldon, born in Britain, was the first IndyCar driver to die on the track since rookie Paul Dana was killed in practice on the morning of race day at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2006. In addition to winning the 2005 and 2011 Indy 500s, Wheldon was the 2005 IndyCar Series champion and amassed 16 wins on the circuit in his career.