October 19, 2011 - In light of this past weekend's tragedy, a group of kart racers from central Indiana are set to honor Dan Wheldon at this year's Robopong 200 Mile Endurance Race. Taking place at the New Castle Motorsports Park track just east of Indianapolis, Colton Aldridge and Tim Hollowell, members of the Kart Racers of America (KRA) program that race regularly at the facility, will steer the ' #77 Team Lionheart DW ' entry.
"We have assembled a team of people to honor Dan," explained Chris Wheeler, who will head up the effort as well as donate his personal Tony Kart to use. "For those of us fortunate enough to be close to Dan I feel it is important to honor him for the amazing man he was. Being able to run two young karters in the event that Dan enjoyed so much means a lot to me. Dan was very passionate about karting and it would be great to be able to come together to win this event for him."
Treating each and every person as a great friend, Dan loved coming to the kart track and seeing the youngest of drivers compete. He loved the grassroots side of the sport and would have loved to see two average racers honor him at an event that he has won in the past.
"When Chris approached me to be part of this program, I could not say no," expressed Mike Maurini. "Dan was a friend of mine and was set to run this year's SKUSA SuperNationals in Las Vegas with me as his tuner. We would like nothing more than to see the kart in his honor win this year's Robopong, and I will help out in whatever way possible."
As seen across the board throughout the entire motorsports community, groups of people are rallying together to make things happen. Shadow Graphics will design a #77 Lionheart decal kit. Trackside, event participants and fans will have the opportunity to donate to a fund that will see all proceeds go to two-year-old Sebastian and seven-month-old Oliver, Dan's two young boys who will be forced to grow up without their father.
A memorial service will be held for Dan Wheldon on Sunday, October 23 at 4:00pm at the Conseco Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis. Also a trust fund has been set up for Dan Wheldon's family. Information listed below:
Dan Wheldon Family Trust Fund, Fifth Third Private Bank, 251 North Illinois St., Suite 1000, Indianapolis, IN 46204
For more information on this project or how to get involved, please contact Chris Wheeler at 317.750.9241 or via e-mail to ChrisWheelerMotorsports@Yahoo.com