Home / Auto News / News article: Top 10 Automotive News Stories of 2011 - AutoGuide.com News
 |  Dec 28 2011, 9:15 AM

4. RIP Dan Wheldon

Fourth on our list of biggest car stories of the year is the tragic death of IndyCar racer Dan Wheldon, who died behind the wheel at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in a horrific crash that even Hollywood couldn’t dream up. The accident involved 15 drivers and occurred during the final race of the season, one in which the winners purse was an astonishing $5 million.

A former Indianapolis 500 winner, Wheldon was the runner up for the racing spectacle two years in a row before tasting the milk again this year. Still, he couldn’t find a solid ride for the 2011 season and sat out the rest of the races until Las Vegas.

Fellow racer Graham Rahal, moved by his colleagues death, first announced he would auction off helmet, gloves and shoes from the race, donating the funds to a trust fund for Wheldon’s wife and kids. The auction grew from there, accepting other items and auctioning them off with all of proceeds going to the Dan Wheldon Family Trust Fund.

Direct donations are available via the Dan Wheldon Family Trust fund at the Fifth Third Private Bank, 251 N. Illinois St., Suite 1000, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

  • Chris Van Auken

    First off, if GM (giant mess, God’s mistake, take your pick) is looking at the volt to rescue them, they are in worse trouble than we thought. The sales of the volt are dismal, and is selling them to government agencies mostly. And we know how efficiant governments are. It is not Pinto wrong. It is worse. Pinto’s could leak fuel which was a hazard no doubt. These things catch fire long after an accident. Talk about a time bomb. GM still owes the government most of the money they took. It is still owned by the federal government as far as I am concerned.

  • Steve

    Right,
    I know why don’t you just slate General Motors. Talk about taking the easy way out.
    GM are a world wide automaker, the Volt needs to be a success. Did you report on why the Volt supposedly catches fire? Did you ask someone at GM for an interview to put the questions to them?
    Why did you not try to put any positive input in your article at all?
    You would need to be a proper journalist to do that I would imagine.
    You owe it to your home auto industry to do your job to your best ability, i would bet it pays your wages. It is easy to take a swipe at GM, no one is going to call round to you home and smack you in the face are they? I would like to!
    why not speak to someone at GM?

  • Jannis

    Get with it. The Volt is only being offered in 7 U.S. cteiis the 1st year. A 50% production increase for 2012 by adding the rest of the nation is not much of an expectation. Nice spin job GM.

  • brimoind

    Typical Jannis, you see a story  and pick out one thing to comment on and that is to show your negativity to General Motoprs nothing else! Great job, keep it up you will all be buying chineese cars soon enough, except that your economy will be in such a mess that most Americans will not be able to afford a car!
    Get with it and support the USA fool.
    By the way i am not American, i do not know anyone personally who is American and i have never been to America. I do know that there are an awful; lot of Americans who seem to support anything other than what they make locally though, a reason?
    It’s still your call, you are the superpower, for the moment anyway!