The 2011 IndyCar Series was a fascinating one, right up until lap 11 of its season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway when Dan Wheldon lost his life doing what he loved and did best: racing hard.
The tragic ending will serve to define the season in years to come, as US open-wheel racing lost one of its most gifted oval racing talents and well-loved personalities, yet perhaps we should remember Wheldon for his incredible against-the-odds Indianapolis 500 success in May rather than the horrible accident that claimed him.
Before Vegas, Penske driver Will Power was 18 points behind title rival Dario Franchitti of Ganassi - five races earlier it had been 62 - yet Power actually jumped ahead of his nemesis with two races remaining, thanks to an incredibly strong streak of results.
But then he was struck in the pits by wayward midfielder Ana Beatriz while dominating at Kentucky, and the title race swung 180 degrees again. With Vegas called a non-event, the title was Franchitti's once more. His fourth, in five years, marks him out as a true giant of the sport.