Originally posted on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 10/19/11
Dan Wheldon, who suffered fatal injuries in a 15-car crash at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, twice won the Indianapolis 500. But neither time was his victory the story of the race. Wheldon had a sense of humor about the media coverage of the 2005 Indy 500. Wheldon’s first victory at the Brickyard came in 2005, when he was 26 and beginning his third season as a full-time driver on the IRL IndyCar Series. That race made a star of one IndyCar racer, but it wasn’t Wheldon. Danica Patrick led 19 laps, becoming the first woman to lead at Indianapolis. Patrick was leading at lap 193 and finished fourth. Her performance was noteworthy not only because she was a woman but also because she was a 23-year-old rookie. Much of the attention the media gave Patrick was well deserved, but “Danica Mania” (which was an actual thing) kept Wheldon from getting the recognition that should have come to him. Wheldon won his second Indy 500 this year, capitalizing on the misfortune of rooki...
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