The 2011 winner of the Indianapolis 500, Dan Wheldon, has passed away after a crash at Las Vegas.
The IZOD Indy Car Championship was only 13 laps in when a 15-car wreck in the second turn occurred, with many cars going into the catch fence and catching fire. After first being taken to the in-field medical center, he was then transported to the local hospital in Las Vegas, where he died of his injuries.
Indy Car officials met with drivers after an hour and a half into the red-flag period to inform them of the news. Drivers agreed with league officials to end the race. The 19 remaining drivers in the race emerged to run a five-lap tribute to Wheldon, as his No. 77 was the only number on the leaderboard at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Pit crew members and track officials alike lined the edge of pit road, while safety crews stood on the edge of the track as the cars ran around the 1.5-mile racing surface.
The Indy Car season ended with Dario Franchitti winning the title over Will Power, who was also involved in the early wreck.
Wheldon won his second Indy 500 in May when the leader hit the wall in the fourth corner. It was his second victory in the marque race, and he was driving for a team that was put together a few weeks before the race was to take place.
Wheldon is survived by his wife, Susie, and two sons, Sebastian and Oliver. He was 33.