IndyCar: Dan Wheldon's Cause of Death Revealed, 2012 Schedule Delayed

FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 06:  Fans Stand for Dan Wheldon on Lap 77 of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 6, 2011 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Sandra MacWattersCorrespondent IDecember 15, 2011

The preliminary results into the cause of death of IndyCar star Dan Wheldon, during a crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in October, have been revealed.

The popular two-time Indianapolis 500 winner was killed in a horrific multi-car crash during the beginning laps of the season's final race.

A press conference with IndyCar President Brian Barnhart and CEO Randy Bernard was held today.  Bernard made some opening statements, including the fact that the LVMS was capable of handling 37 cars.

There were 34 cars in October's Las Vegas event.  The infrastructure, fencing, barriers, track and all facilities were thoroughly reviewed prior to the season's fateful final race.

There were 15 cars involved in the multi-car wreck that took Wheldon's life.  The accident occurred on lap 11 of 200.

Wheldon was running low on the track in the No. 77 car at 224 mph in 24th position.  A chain reaction began and Wheldon's car was basically blocked.

Wheldon suffered two head injuries; one would have been survivable, but the fatal blow was caused by a fencing pole that intruded into the car's cockpit.

Wheldon applied brakes 2.4 seconds prior to impact, but the car went airborne—rear end first into the barrier.

The accident was not a result of the track per se, but more due to a perfect storm involving wheel-to-wheel contact.

The fabric of the fencing is there to protect debris from being scattered outside the track; whether it's inside or outside the posts did not seem relevant.

Everything will continue to be done to provide more safety, and the size of the field will be dynamic going forward.

The 2012 IndyCar schedule has been delayed because of the scrutiny to the banked ovals and what changes will be made to the tracks the series race on. The new schedule is to be released shortly.

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