Dan Wheldon has tragically passed away due to injuries he sustained in a 15-car crash occurring on lap 11 of IRL's Las Vegas 300.
The race was called to a halt after the frightening wreck left fiery debris strewn across the track. There were numerous injuries, lots of confusion and dark speculation as a result of the wreck.
Dan Wheldon was almost immediately airlifted to a local hospital.
A loaded and ominous silence filled the track as debris was cleared and drivers, fans and broadcasters feared the worst for Wheldon.
Drivers were alerted that the worst had occurred before the public. And they could be seen consoling each other as they tried to come to grips with the sudden loss of their well-liked competitor.
The race was called off as the announcement of his passing became public.
The remaining drivers decided to run a five lap salute. The first lap was run in silence as nothing was audible but the now eerie hum of the race cars.
The stands were barely half-full at this point, but the fans there began cheering on the second lap and then alternated between cheers and silence as the drivers completed their five-lap salute with a background of "Oh Danny Boy" and "Amazing Grace" filled the air.
It was a gut-wrenching and surreal scene.
This was the last race of the IRL season. The season will now end appropriately with the tribute to the fallen driver.
Dan Wheldon was an IRL champion in 2005. He won the sports premier event, the Indy 500, in 2005 and 2011. He was a husband and a father. He was 33 years old.