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Dan Wheldon: Stop Reading Between the Lines of a Tragedy

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 29:  Dan Wheldon of England, driver of the #98 William Rast-Curb/Big Machine Dallara Honda, celebrates at the start/finish line after winning the IZOD IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 29, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Ken ArmerSenior Writer IOctober 31, 2011

Bad news is good news in the press, as easily seen by the numerous articles all over the racing media regarding his death. Some have tackled what it means for NASCAR, F1 and even Indy itself going forward. Others have questioned whether it changes how a driver drives and many of the so called "professional" writers miss one fact.

I tune my ride for the Thursday night drag strip, it's a heck of a sight, different (and slower) from going 200 miles per hour in a circle and smashing into a wall but danger is always present. If drivers are scared of wrecking they are in the wrong sport, and a man like Dan Wheldon, who loved the sport and died doing what he loved. How is that truly a tragedy?

That's more fitting than him being 90-years-old, far removed from a car and dying in his sleep. If a driver can't face the danger, he should be a greeter at Walmart.

A sport can always learn something from a tragedy. We learned a lot about safety from the loss of Dale Earnhardt. It improved NASCAR greatly and hopefully Indy can learn a lot from the crash and make it safer for its drivers—something Wheldon was heavily involved in.

Now let me clarify a few things, I'm not bashing Wheldon. He was a great driver and will be missed by many. His death is tragic, as is every death in motorsports. But as fans we have to find some, if only a small amount of joy in the knowledge that these amazing drivers lose their lives doing what they love.

Indy will surely recover, and improve safety in the future, while remembering the loss of Dan Wheldon. But all the safety in the world won't stop an eventual lethal accident.

David DeNenno hit the nail on the head when he said, "If Dan Wheldon's loss has lasting effects on the drivers, they might as well take off their helmets and try to become NASCAR analysts/reporters." So I'm not alone in the Bleacher Report community on this topic.

When we as a racing fans keep Dan Wheldon in our thoughts, we must always remember he died doing what he loved.

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