This year marks the 100th running of the of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and as we prepare to mark this milestone event Paddock Eye have a new feature called On This Day In IndyCar History so every Sunday from now until the Indianapolis 500 we will run a feature.
Ahead of the launch of ‘Lionheart – Remembering Dan Wheldon I thought that our first feature would be dedicated to Dan.
On March 27 2006, Dan Wheldon, driving the No.10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car rook victory at the Toyota Indy 300 at the Homestead, Miami Speedway. Wheldon qualified for the race in 8th place just ahead of Rahal Letterman Racing’s Paul Dana and just behind Andretti Green Racing’s Dario Franchitti.
It was the first race of the 2006 IndyCar season with Wheldon going into that year as defending champion having won the title and the Indianapolis 500 with Andretti Green Racing in 2005.
It was also the start of a new chapter in Wheldon’s career as he joined Chip Ganassi Racing as Scott Dixon’s team mate.
The race went ahead under a cloud as just three minutes into the morning warm up ahead of the race, Ed Carpenter spun and crashed and as his car came down the track he was hit by Rahal Letterman Racing’s Paul Dana who tragically passed away from his injuries.
Wheldon took the victory just millimeters ahead of Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves and it remains to this day one of the closet race finishes in IndyCar history.