Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dan Wheldon's Career Chronology

I tried finding a chronlogical order of event of Dan Wheldon and his career events on and off the track but I could not find it. Either I did a bad job of searching or there isn't one out there! To the best of my ability, here is a chronolgy of Dan Wheldon and his amazing life:

1978
-June 22 - Daniel Clive Wheldon is born in Emberton, England.

1982
-Sometime in 1982, Dan carts for the first time.

1988-1990
-Dan wins British Cadet Kart Championship in three consecutive years.

1993
-Dan Wheldon wins Junior 100B title.

1994
-Dan wins the prestigious Ayrton Senna Memorial World Cup at Suzuka.

1996
-Dan becomes runner-up in British Formula Vauxhall Junior Championship

1997
-Dan finishes fourth in British Formula Ford Championship

1998
-Finished third in British Formula Ford Championship and was also runner-up in the Formula Ford World finals at Brands Hatch.

Dan Wheldon (GBR) and Formula Ford festival winner Jenson Button
Wheldon with Jenson Button in  1998 (Photo: Sutton Motor Sport)
1999
-Dan Wheldon comes to America to pursue a new racing career.
-Wins US F2000 Championship with six wins and 13 podiums.

2000
-Finished second in Toyota Atlantic Series, becoming the first driver to win in his debut race in the series.

2001
-Finished second in Indy Lights Championship.

Photo: Mark Windecker
2002
-Named test driver for Panther Racing.
-September 8th: Dan Wheldon makes Indycar debut at Chicagoland Speedway, starting 7th and finishing 10th.
-In the winter of 2002, Dan becomes the first driver to test the new V8 Honda Engine for Andretti Green Racing.

Photo: PantherRacing.com
2003
-Signs with Andretti Green Racing. Finished 11th in the Championship. Won Bombardier Rookie of the Year.

2004
-Dan Returns to Andretti Green Racing for his second season with the team.
-March 20th: Dan wins first career Indycar pole at Phoenix.
-April 17th: Dan gets first career win at Twin Ring Motegi.
-June 28th: Dan wins second career race at Richmond.
-August 29th: Dan wins third career race at Nazareth.
-Dan finishes the season 2nd in the championship behind teammate Tony Kanaan.

2005
-Dan returns to Andretti Green Racing for his third year with the team.
-March 6th: Dan wins fourth career race at Homestead.
-April 3rd: Dan wins fifth career race at St. Petersburg. Was also significant because it marked the reintroduction of road courses back into Indycar, and Dan was the first to win a road course race.
-April 30th: Dan wins sixth career race at Twin Ring Motegi.
-May 29th: Dan wins seventh career race, but this one was the Indianapolis 500. Dan snapped a British drought at Indy that had been going on since 1966 when Graham Hill won.
-August 21st: Dan wins eighth career race at Pikes Peak.
-September 11th: Dan wins ninth career race at Chicagoland.
-September 25th: Dan secures the Indycar Championship with one race to go.
-Sets series record for most wins in a season (6).

Photo: Mark Windecker
2006
-Dan switches from Andretti Green to Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
-January 28th-29th: Dan, alongside Ganassi Teammate and Nascar driver Casey Mears, wins the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.
-March 26th: Dan wins first race with his new team at Chip Ganassi at Homestead. This was Dan's tenth career win.
-September 10th: Dan wins eleventh career race at Chicagoland.
-Dan finished second in the championship despite tying champion Sam Hornish Jr. Sam got the tiebreaker because tie goes to driver with more wins.

Photo: Mark Windecker
2007
-Dan returns to Target Chip Ganassi Racing for his second season.
-March 24th: Dan wins twelfth career race at Homestead.
-April 29th: Dan wins thirteenth career race at Kansas.
-Dan finished fourth in the championship behind Franchitti, Dixon, and Kanaan.

2008
-Dan returns to Target Chip Ganassi Racing for his third season.
-March: Dan marries Susie Behm, his assistant for many years.
-April 27th: Dan wins fourteenth career race at Kansas.
-June 22nd: On his birthday, Dan wins fifteenth career race at Iowa. Dan donated all of the winnings to the state of Iowa due to massive damaged caused by flooding around the state.
-Dan finished fourth in the championship behind Dixon, Castroneves, and Kanaan.

Photo: Mark Windecker
2009
-Dan switches teams from Target Chip Ganassi Racing to Panther Racing.
-February 1st: Dan and wife Susie welcome first son into the world, Sebastian Wheldon.
-May 24: Dan finishes second in the Indianapolis 500 behind Helio Castroneves.
-A rough year sees Dan finishing tenth in the championship.

2010
-Dan returns to Panther Racing for a second season.
-May 30th: Dan finishes second at the Indianapolis 500 for the second straight year.
-Dan finishes ninth in the championship.

Photo: LAT Photographic
2011
-Dan enters 2011 without a full time ride.
-March 19th: Dan and Susie welcome their second son into the world, Oliver Wheldon.
-March 25th: Dan signs deal with Bryan Herta Autosport to race at the 2011 Indianapolis 500.
-May 29th: Dan wins his second Indianapolis 500. The only lap he led was the last one. This was Dan's 16th and final career win.
-August: Dan and Bryan Herta Autosport hired by Dallara to test next generation Indycar.
-September 14th: Dan and Randy Bernard announces GoDaddy Indycar Challenge. Challenge states that if Dan Wheldon were to win, then Dan would win $2.5 million and a randomly selected fan would win $2.5 million. The only stipulation is Dan has to start last in the field.
-October 2nd: Dan enters in Kentucky Indy 300 to tune up for Las Vegas. Dan finishes 14th.
-October 15th: Despite the challenge, Dan qualifies 29th for the race. His times were voided and he will start last.
-October 16th: On lap 11 of the race, a crash claims the life of Dan Wheldon. He was pronounced dead at 1:54 PM Pacific Daylight Time due to blunt force trauma caused by the accident. The remaining 19 drivers in the field who were not in the wreck did a five lap tribute to honor the life and legacy of Dan Wheldon.

Photo: Todd Warshaw / Getty Images North America
"People always ask me, "Why do you always sign off with til we meet again?" Because goodbye is always so final. Goodbye Dan Wheldon." -Marty Reid, ABC Commentator, October 16th, 2011.

Dan Wheldon Career Stats
Wins: 16
Indianapolis 500 Victories: 2
Indycar Championships: 1
Podiums: 43
Poles: 5
Starts: 133
Laps Completed: 22059
Laps Led: 2865
Average Start: 9.6
Average Finish: 8.1
Running at Finish: 110
Lead Lap Finishes: 92

Photo: Nick Laham / Getty Images

I have always said the Dan Wheldon has been the greatest person I have ever met. This will forever be true. I miss him like crazy and will continue to dedicate my blog to him for as long as it is running.

-Matthew Hickey

1 comment: