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Wheldon

Unread postby Govbarney » Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:07 pm

Well he was my favorite driver mainly because he won the first Indy 500 I ever attended. Spent most of the afternoon watching them not race in Vegas due to the red flag as opposed to the browns game , kind of glad I did that , the 5 lap tribute they did was great to see.
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Re: Wheldon

Unread postby peeker643 » Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:13 pm

Govbarney wrote:Well he was my favorite driver mainly because he won the first Indy 500 I ever attended. Spent most of the afternoon watching them not race in Vegas due to the red flag as opposed to the browns game , kind of glad I did that , the 5 lap tribute they did was great to see.


Stunning to see that accident. I mean, that was take-your-breath-away horrific. And to see the reaction of the drivers and the people closely associated with the sport was gripping as well.

Heart goes out to his wife and two really young kids. Takes a second to completely and forever change lives.

Bad, bad scene.
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Re: Wheldon

Unread postby Govbarney » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:09 pm

I been watching open wheel racing all my life , I can honestly say that was one of the most horrific accidents I ever saw, not because of the flames or the cars breaking apart, Indy cars are designed to break apart to absorb impact, and drivers wear flame retardant suits, but at the speed tau which those cars hit the wall especially Wheldon's. No new safety measure will ever protect against pure inertia.
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Re: Wheldon

Unread postby peeker643 » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:22 pm

Govbarney wrote:I been watching open wheel racing all my life , I can honestly say that was one of the most horrific accidents I ever saw, not because of the flames or the cars breaking apart, Indy cars are designed to break apart to absorb impact, and drivers wear flame retardant suits, but at the speed tau which those cars hit the wall especially Wheldon's. No new safety measure will ever protect against pure inertia.


225mph, airborne for 200ft and into the catch-fence with the cockpit facing the fence.

The man had no chance to avoid it and no chance to survive it.

Yahoo has the video of the lead-up to the crash as well as the crash itself. It's not graphic in nature but you can see exactly how fast everything happened as well as the destruction of the vehicles involved.
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Re: Wheldon

Unread postby Govbarney » Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:00 am

I DVRed the race today , watched the wreck a few times before they announced Wheldon's death, the way that car impacted the fence u knew it was serious , immediately reminded me of the way Earnharts car hit the wall. Called my father who has gone to every indy 500 since '89 and told him he needed to switch over from the Browns game. Sad day, really makes you respect those guys, and what they do.
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Re: Wheldon

Unread postby Spin » Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:39 am

Been an open wheel fan most of my life, and it never gets easier. In fact I think it's getting harder when something like this happens.

Sad thing is next year there are new cars that have devices to help prevent the wheel climbing. The cars will be harder to drive, and different engines, so the cars won't be all packed together. And the horsepower is dropping.

Which makes it all that much harder, they had one more race to get through...
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Re: Wheldon

Unread postby Govbarney » Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:46 am

Spin wrote:Been an open wheel fan most of my life, and it never gets easier. In fact I think it's getting harder when something like this happens.

Sad thing is next year there are new cars that have devices to help prevent the wheel climbing. The cars will be harder to drive, and different engines, so the cars won't be all packed together. And the horsepower is dropping.

Which makes it all that much harder, they had one more race to get through...


I was under the impression horsepower would be going up since they would be bringing back turbochargers. I was slightly disipointed in the new car only because indycar didn't take it a step farther by allowing different chassi makers to get Involved e.g. Delta wing. However by allowing different engin makers, and chassi modification the new car is a huge step in the right direction because it takes Indy car away from being cookie cutter spec car racing and harkens back to its roots of different teams and automakers innovating to build better cars. the new cars are much safer as well from what I understand, but we won't know that for sure intel they start racing them.
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Re: Wheldon

Unread postby Triple-S » Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:26 pm

I apologize if I come off as "The Crying Wrestling Fan" in all of this, but this has been rough.

The loss of Wheldon is awful.

I feel really guilty now as he had never been one of my favorites (Tony Kanaan, Graham Rahal, Marco Andretti), when looking back he really should have been. He truly loved Indy Car and was all-around great guy, anyone who has ever been a fan of Indy Car could tell you that.

I mean, the guy was never bitter about not having a ride, and just continued to promote the sport by all means. To see this happen to him makes you feel awful. I recall being at Kentucky two weeks a go and mentioning to my dad how great it was to see him getting a ride, despite the fact that we had grown to love him in the booth.

This also leaves Indy Car with a pretty big black eye at the moment, which is sad to me. Open Wheel is so great to follow and to be a fan of, myself personally had been a fan of it since I was like 3. Before I became a Browns homer, my dad and I would watch races together and I've gone to many a Indy Car event with family.

Lately it's kind of dropped off from popularity, which is again sad because the Races to me are far more entertaining than a lot of what's going on in sports right now. I mean at the Race in Kentucky I was at, I watched a Sarah Fisher owned car of Ed Carpenters beat the heavily favored Target/Gnassi owned team of Franchitti (aka Ashley Judd's husband) by .0006 of a sec. on the last lap.

It's bizarre now to me having seen Wheldon on the track, at a cookie-cutter if you will similar to Vegas and Charlotte, and exiting the track to find a couple of race fans so excited by the amazing finish that they were going to try to head to Vegas the next week.

To Dan, God Bless you man. You were a part of what made Indy Car, Indy Car. I may have not appreciated you as I should at the time, but now, I'll never forget. RIP.
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Re: Wheldon

Unread postby Spin » Tue Oct 18, 2011 8:10 am

The engines are going to be smaller V6's, with a big horsepower drop on ovals and a smaller drop on road courses. The car will have less drag/downforce, which means the car will have more speed on straights, and less in the turns. More driving. Less pack racing.

I can't wait to see how it'll work out. I know I can't watch another pack race in open wheel.
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Re: Wheldon

Unread postby RickNashEquilibrium » Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:00 am

Always sad to lose a great one especially an individual with a big personality and a good family man like Dan. As some pundits put it, he was a throwback. He had that swagger, that look, and the tenacity on the track that to me defines what it means to be a race car driver. Its hard to have lost my two favorites in a very similar fashion. The horrific nature of the crash reminded me all too well of Fontana '99 when Greg Moore suffered the same fate. In both instances, I was sitting in the same exact spot on my condo floor watching the race on the tube. I was 16 when Greg died and my family owned the place I live now. Sunday afternoon, I was living that moment all over again and its just so terrible when things like this happen because with all the safety measures you never really expect it. Crazy that almost 12 years later to the date and during the last race of the season we would lose two of the best oval track drivers of our generation.
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Re: Wheldon

Unread postby Govbarney » Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:02 am

Wheldon would not even have been in this race if it wasn’t for the $5 Mil prize for any driver who won who wasn’t a season regular, so I say give that $5mil to his boys, or to a charity of the families choosing.

Also he was scheduled to take over Danica’s ride on Andretti/Green next season, which frankly would have been a huge improvement, but since he was not a full time driver this year, he spent most of this season testing the new car. In his honor they should name the new Car after him.
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Re: Wheldon

Unread postby Triple-S » Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:48 pm

As a fan, I was really excited for this race.

On paper, it seemed like a really cool thing to see. 34 drivers, the championship on the line. a 5 million dollar prize out there.

And I prefer oval racing to road courses, just I guess a preference. Don't get me wrong, Mid-Ohio is great to go to, but Kentucky was much more fun to watch as you had a view of every car on the track, and generally you're more likely to see all the action.

My proposal is, instead of going crazy and having 34, why not do a kind of tourney with 32 drivers, put them in two races with 16 cars each, go 100 laps, and and the top 8 in each field get placed into a final race that would be 100-200 laps that would go for a similar amount of prize money that was suggested.

I really hope this isn't the death of oval racing for open wheel, the drivers don't exactly seem to happy with the whole idea anymore sans Indy.
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Re: Wheldon

Unread postby Govbarney » Tue Oct 18, 2011 1:13 pm

Triple-S wrote:As a fan, I was really excited for this race.

On paper, it seemed like a really cool thing to see. 34 drivers, the championship on the line. a 5 million dollar prize out there.

And I prefer oval racing to road courses, just I guess a preference. Don't get me wrong, Mid-Ohio is great to go to, but Kentucky was much more fun to watch as you had a view of every car on the track, and generally you're more likely to see all the action.

My proposal is, instead of going crazy and having 34, why not do a kind of tourney with 32 drivers, put them in two races with 16 cars each, go 100 laps, and and the top 8 in each field get placed into a final race that would be 100-200 laps that would go for a similar amount of prize money that was suggested.

I really hope this isn't the death of oval racing for open wheel, the drivers don't exactly seem to happy with the whole idea anymore sans Indy.


Your never going to see oval racing disappear, CART tried that after the split and it was a epic fail. This is not Europe, Americans love seeing cars going in big circles, and its why the Indy 500, and Daytona 500 are our marque racing events.

It will get safer of that I have no doubt, it always does. Auto racing , like all sports is reactionary when it come to safety, and if you look at the history of open wheel racing, every time a tragedy happens, races become safer. From 1911-1970 death in open wheel racing was common place but with the exception of a few bad years has generally declined even though speeds have increased, this is actually the 4th time that a Indy 500 winner has died the same year he won the race, last time though was 1946.

It will be interesting to see what this event does for Indy car as a sport. I believe Earnhardt’s death was one of the main factors in making NASCAR main stream, and boosting its popularity. The death of a two time Indy 500 winner, on top of a new car design, and some exciting new circuits (e.g. The Baltimore Road course ) could help shift more interest back to Indy car, which has yet to heal from “the split”.

(I don’t want this to come off like I hope they capitalize on a racers death. Earnhardt, and Wheldon both dedicated their life’s to their respective sport, I believe both would want the sports safety and popularity to increase )
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Re: Wheldon

Unread postby Triple-S » Tue Oct 18, 2011 1:25 pm

I think sadly, it took the accident for people to fully appreciate what Wheldon did and what kind of a guy he was for the sport.

Remember, the past two victories in the 500, he had the focus was on other people (Patrick, Hildebrand) over himself. He was kinda taken for granted in a lot of ways.

With Indy as a whole, it's not like it's doing anything wrong at this point from pr. Having gone to two events this year the amount of fan friendly events that went on was really cool to see, and I believe unique compared to say the big sports out there. The average joe sadly, doesn't know about this, and just sticks to watching nascar for his racing fix.

Rumor has it in 2012 that Cleveland is going to get 2 races of all things. One on a friday and one on a sunday. I'd really like to see that happen. I'm also really bummed they won't be going back to Kentucky next year :(.
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Re: Wheldon

Unread postby Govbarney » Tue Oct 18, 2011 1:38 pm

Would love to see Cleveland get its race back, but instead of running it at Burke, they should do exactly what Baltimore did and have a street race through the city. I would imagine a man like Dan Gilbert would not mind seeing a start/finish line in front of his new casino. And lets face it.. If you make this a night race on the streets of downtown Cleveland , its not going to hurt traffic much.

A sharp turn in public square, a strait away on East 9th... If they are willing to shut down large parts of the city for a month for a comic book movie, why not for one weekend of world class Auto racing.
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Re: Wheldon

Unread postby Spin » Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:43 pm

They would never go downtown. The racing was too good at Burke, it was always the best race of the year. The only road course you can see the entire track from the stands. It was an event every IndyCar fan hopes comes back.

The rumor I'm hearing is the Grand Am sports car series is putting something together for Cleveland next year, and IndyCar has put it's schedule out with no Cleveland dates on it. So it looks like we'll be getting Daytona Prototypes and GTs racing at Burke. Hopefully that leads to a companion event with IndyCar in 2013.

I'm looking forward to the GT cars at Burke, I remember the best racing of the year was the old Trans Am series there. It was, shall we say, fender to fender!!! Hopefully the Grand Am will do proper promotions and get people in.
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Re: Wheldon

Unread postby Triple-S » Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:37 pm

the only sched. I'm seeing is on wikipedia and I'm not seeing MidOhio which is making me nervous.

Common sense says they wouldn't bail on one of their test tracks like that, right?
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Re: Wheldon

Unread postby Spin » Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:55 pm

Here's the latest from an IndyCar writer

http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/ ... -revealed/
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Re: Wheldon

Unread postby Triple-S » Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:30 pm

Jimmie Spencer with some good points made at the end of this piece:

I can’t close without expressing my disgust with the “ambulance chasers” who have come out this week. I’ve heard from so many different media outlets wanting to interview me about Dan’s death, but the problem I have with these requests is they’re coming from media outlets who do not cover racing the rest of the year. Where were these guys when IndyCar arrived in Las Vegas for their championship weekend? Where were they when something positive happened in the series during the course of the season? The practice of covering racing only when someone dies makes me sick. It shows disrespect for our sport, our fans, and most importantly, the ones we lost.


http://nascar.speedtv.com/article/spenc ... scar-cope/
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Re: Wheldon

Unread postby Govbarney » Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:06 am

Spin wrote:Here's the latest from an IndyCar writer

http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/ ... -revealed/


It sucks not to see the Milwaukee mile on the schedule anymore, I always felt next to Indy that was one of the best events. Hopefully its only a short absence.

In the future I'd like to see them bring back Milwaukee, and add these events: Cleveland, Michigan, and Watkins Glen. With all its open wheel racing history I would consider making Watkins Glen the last race of the year.
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