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Posted by:
kodiak
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Dan Wheldon lost his life this past weekend in Las Vegas in Indy racing and I would like to take a minute to remember him and his family.

Ok is this a product of racing and we need to move on?

Are all tracks need to be looked at and see if they are safe for each type of car racing?

Is this just another brick in the wall of the end of Indy racing?

Is this possibley the end of racing in general?

Is the cars safe enough?

Should have they continued the race?

October 17, 2011  11:08 AM ET

Was watching when this tragedy happened. The overall opinion was the fact that they had too many cars on a track that is that long and has such high speeds. It all boils down to money. The team owners were saying that we can tell drivers to give a little on the track and don't take chances but in the next breath they said, these guys are competitors and they won't slow down. It looks like the folks in charge have to take a role and make sure things are safe. The tribute 5 laps with the #77 on the leader board was very nice, sad but very nice. Many drivers had tears in their eyes at that point. I was doing O.K. until they played Danny Boy on the PA system at the track. That brings a tear to my eye every time.

October 17, 2011  11:15 AM ET

I thought the coverage was really pretty good through the hours they stayed on air.. its hard to fill that kind of time. Only thing that I was irritated by was the amount of camera and mic time one driver who was NOT involved got.

October 17, 2011  12:40 PM ET

The drivers did not like the "pack racing" that was involved. It is something we see a lot in NASCAR at the plate tracks, and it is a dangerous form of racing. One bobble by someone and you have a big wreck. Stock Cars can handle that to a degree, because of their own mass, and slightly slower speeds then Indy Cars, but even they are not invincible when a wreck happens.

Safety has grown by leaps and bounds in both series with the redesigned cars, the SAFER barrier, and the HANS device. But we can't kid ourselves, the catch fence is still running on 1960's or earlier technology. They can be made from stronger metals, built higher, made with more supports and cross pieces, but they are all the same thing they were when first invented. It is time to look at that aspect and bring it into the 21st century. How to fix it I don't know I am not an engineer, but it is becoming the glaring issue in safety.

But in the same breath I will say great job on the fence at Vegas. Not to minimize what ultimately happened , you still had what looked like 4-5 cars airborn with 2-3 of them hitting the fence and it did not fail to the aspect that the cars went outside of the track. Had Will Power or someone else slipped past the fence and into the billboard signs, billboard posts, or if there were grandstands I think it would have been a greater tragedy with more injuries and deaths.

This will not be forgotten anytime soon. I am sorry it takes something like this before people will stop and see the greater picture of what happened and how to prevent future tragedies from happening.

Thoughts and prays to and for Dan and his family.

October 17, 2011  12:51 PM ET

I doubt this will be the end of Indy racing, and/or racing in general. If multiple concussions, documented brain damage, and other health issues has not ended Football and Hockey, this won't end racing.

Every few years something like this happens and you pickup and move on as best you can. If you want to look at a glass half full sort of way, at least it was the last race of the season, and the drivers have all winter to go though their grief, and be ready to race. Had they been scheduled to race next week I think there would be issues for some people.

Ending the race was the right thing to do. None of the drivers were in the right state of mind to go back out there at 225mph. Someone would have slipped up mentally and there would have been another big wreck.

Not knowing the specifics of what happened to the car and driver, all I can say is this was a freak accident. From the scattered reports about the car damage, it is possible you could throw a car at 225mph into a catch fence 1000 times and not get the same results as yesterday, so to say or ask how this could have been prevented you just don't know.

October 17, 2011  01:15 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I doubt this will be the end of Indy racing, and/or racing in general.

Agreed. I was actually at practice for the 500 when Scott Brayton was killed, well, I exaggerate.. I had just left the track before the end of practice and learned the new by the time I got home. He had earlier in the day broken 240 if I recall, or dam close to it.

the atmosphere was very somber and similar. I believe he was driving for john Menard in fact. (forgive me for looking up the details, its not really that pertinent). Anyway. Indy survived, the 500 went on.. As racing will do, they analyze the issue almost as hard as the NTSB does an airline crash, and make the best adjustments they can determine. That will happen.

I suspect one of the things that will come out of this will be no more ridiculous incentives, and the organizing bodies will actually listen to teams and drivers a bit more, and balance that with the promoters interests. I hope so, at least.

Comment #6 has been removed
October 17, 2011  02:33 PM ET

People have been dying racing Horses, Airplanes, anything you can think of since the beginning of time.
Racing will go on no doubt.

But I think you may see some new faces (in Indy racing) and some older ones like Dario will be gone. He actually won the championship this year, not that he cares much today.

RIP Dan

Comment #8 has been removed
October 17, 2011  05:28 PM ET

Godspeed Dan. My thoughts go out to your family and friends.

Thinking you can make ANY sport "safe" is an illusion. You can strive to make it safer, but even doing that can cause unforeseen consequences. Look at restrictor plates. Meant to slow the speeds and make racing safer. All they accomplish is bunching the cars and causing multiple wrecks.

I'm not saying they shouldn't try, just that it should be based on solid engineering and physics, not knee jerk reactions by administrators.

October 17, 2011  11:02 PM ET

Excellent comments from those before mine.
RIP Dan and hopefully good things will come from this tragedy, like they did after Dale dies.
Condolences to his wife and little sons......

It is going to be very creepy to see the Chase race there in a few weeks.

 
October 18, 2011  12:02 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

..It is going to be very creepy to see the Chase race there in a few weeks.

the 5 races left ... Talladega, Martinsville, Texas, Phoenix, Homestead ...

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