News & Multimedia

Adopted hometown pays tribute to Wheldon

The corner of Bayshore Drive and Albert Whitted Park -- aka Turn 10 of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg -- is an appropriate spot to pay tribute to Dan Wheldon.

It was Turn 10 where Wheldon overtook Ryan Briscoe and went on to win the inaugural IZOD IndyCar Series street race on April 3, 2005, leading a sweep of the top four positions for then-Andretti Green Racing.

A few hours later, Wheldon jumped into Tampa Bay to celebrate. Seven weeks later, he won the first of his two Indianapolis 500 titles and doused himself in milk and champagne.

Wheldon, the 2005 series champion who moved to St. Petersburg in 2005, died from injuries suffered in a race crash in October. His wife Susie and two young sons still call the community home.

Three weeks before the eighth annual race, Mayor Bill Foster and Susie Wheldon unveiled a street sign at Turn 10, which will be known at Dan Wheldon Way. A few yards away, a permanent memorial honoring Wheldon will be erected this fall. It will contain names of all winners of Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

"I want to take this opportunity to than our St. Petersburg family for all the love and support the past several months," said Susie Wheldon, whose sons were exploring the course while she addressed the crowd. "I am so proud and blessed to be able to call St. Petersburg home. I want to thank the city, the Honda Grand Prix and American Honda for recognizing Dan in such a special way. This is something that we can cherish for years to come. Sebastian and Oliver will be proud to know the impact their father had in this community and the world of motorsports."

Foster, offficials from the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, INDYCAR drivers and officials, representatives of American Honda Motor Co. and the public attended the noon dedication ceremony.

"I know that Dan adored the personal relationship with each one of (the drivers)," said Foster, who counted Wheldon among the members of the city's Sports Alliance. "I saw it in his eyes, I saw it in his actions, and he told me so. His City of St. Petersburg, his adopted hometown, loved Dan Wheldon. Not as a drivers, which was kind of cool, but we loved Dan Wheldon as a neighbor and somebody we could rely upon to do great things in sports.

"He was about so much more than racing."

A day earlier, an image of Wheldon celebrating his 2011 Indianapolis 500 victory was unveiled as the featured element of the 2012 admission ticket for "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

"A few of us went to dinner last night and were telling stories about Dan, and there are a lot of them," four-time series champion and two-time Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti said. "But then you realize he's not here, and that's the bad part."

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Adopted hometown pays tribute to Wheldon
 
Adopted hometown pays tribute to Wheldon
The corner of Bayshore Drive and Albert Whitted Park -- aka Turn 10 of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg -- is an appropriate spot to pay tribute to Dan Wheldon.
Read More
Related Media
James Hinchcliffe Drives a Vintage Porsche
 
Hinchcliffe Tests Legendary Sports Cars at IMS
The three-time Verizon IndyCar Series race winner was tasked by R&T to test drive a Porsche 962, one of the most legendary sports cars on the planet, alongside Porsche’s new 918, at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway for an upcoming issue.
Read More
Juan Montoya
 
Montoya Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
Montoya, 39, who grew up in Bogota, Colombia, equates his outlook on life to his proud heritage. Through Oct. 15, Americans are observing National Hispanic Heritage Month by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of residents whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
Read More
James Hinchcliffe
 
Hinchcliffe Joins Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for 2015
The three-time Verizon IndyCar Series race winner has signed a multi-year contract with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to drive the team's No. 77 entry, beginning with the 2015 race season.
Read More
Borg-Warner Trophy
 
New IMS Website Debuts
Fans of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will find a new online experience at the redesigned IMS.com.
Read More
'500' Champion Hunter-Reay to Compete in Race of Champions
 
'500' Champion Hunter-Reay to Compete in Race of Champions
Indianapolis 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay will represent the Verizon IndyCar Series in the annual Race of Champions, slated to take place at the Bushy Park Circuit in Barbados on December 13-14.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 855
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Phil Sparks at (317) 492-6463 or email at psparks@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
RT @FollowAndretti: Reliving the final six laps of this year's #Indy500 with our @DHLAmericas friends. We've got goosebumps (again)! http:/…
about 2 hours ago