Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win
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Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win

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Saturday 16 October marks the 10th anniversary of Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500

Once upon a time, I reckoned Dan Wheldon was superficial, a pretty boy who found racing and winning came too easy because he was driving for a top team in the Indy Racing League. His winsome, cheeky smile, his bonhomie with TV cameramen and interviewers, his tendency to say only the right things in public, the kidding around with team-mates… From a distance, it all came across as somewhat forced and artificial.

And then I met him. Turns out I had been the superficial one, because I’d been judging the Emberton, UK-born lad only on what I saw or read in the media. I was on the other side of the US open-wheel split, covering the last few years of the Champ Car World Series. But at the end of 2005 I was given the opportunity to interview Wheldon, the first UK-born winner of the Indianapolis 500 for 39 years, and now also the Indy Racing League champion. Long before the end of our one-on-one time, I realised I should have had greater faith in the idiom, ‘Speak as you find’. Dan was mesmerising.

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