Indianapolis Motor Speedway to pay tribute to Dan Wheldon at Indy 500
|By Mark Glendenning||Thursday, May 17th 2012, 11:12 GMT|
Indianapolis Motor Speedway will pay tribute to reigning Indy 500 champion Dan Wheldon with a series of events leading up to next weekend's race.
Wheldon, who was fatally injured in an accident at the 2011 IndyCar season-finale at Las Vegas in October, took the lead of last year's race at the final corner after Panther Racing's JR Hildebrand brushed the wall. It was his second victory at the 500.
The tributes began on Wednesday with the temporary addition of the Bryan Herta Autosport car that Wheldon drove last year to the IMS Hall of Fame Museum, where it will remain on display until Saturday.
Herta will then drive the car for a lap of honour on race day shortly before the instructions are given to start engines.
Fans will be given white cardboard sunglasses mimicking those worn by Wheldon as they enter the track on race day, and will be encouraged to wear them on the parade lap and laps 26 and 98, which were the numbers of his two Indy-winning cars.
Additionally, Wheldon will appear on all of the race day technical inspection stickers, which will be attached to every car in the field.
The series also plans to include Wheldon's widow Susie in the tributes by having her speak at the drivers' meeting on Saturday, and having her receive the traditional winner's ring for her husband's 2011 success when she arrives in Indianapolis.