Dan Wheldon Pro-Am Karting Challenge Nets $100,000 For Charity

Posted: October 26, 2013 in Uncategorized


NEW CASTLE, Ind. (Sat., Oct. 26, 2013) – With two laps to go in the Dan Wheldon Pro Am Karting Challenge, five karts had a chance to come away with the victory.

But shortly after the white flag, the lead three karts made contact, sending two into the grass and allowing Big Machine Records’ Marino Franchitti and Machine of Awesome’s Ed Carpenter to sneak by and take the checkered flag.

“I saw they had a bit of an issue in the front and it was able to get me back in the lead and that was enough to hold on,” said Franchitti, who was filling in for his brother Dario. “It was just great racing all days and a great way to celebrate Dan and his life. I just wish he were here racing with us because he would have been kicking all of our arses.”

16C_0797Though Franchitti’s kart — which he shared with Big Machine CEO Scott Borchetta, Mark Borchetta and Clive Wheldon, father of Dan Wheldon — was the first to take the checkered flag. Officials originally ruled it had short cut the course on the final lap. 

After determining that the Big Machine kart had not been the offending team, officials declared both Big Machine and Machine of Awesome co-winners of the 100-minute charity race, which saw each team compete in four segments driven by a different Pro or Amateur driver.

Scott Dixon“We got second,” said Carpenter, who teamed with Target Chip Ganassi Racing crew members Blair Julian and Adam Rovazzini and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports crew member Taylor Kiel. “There was a timing issue at the end. It was really good racing. It was a really good event and something we can continue for a long time.

16C_0295“We raced against each other all year long, but this is a more relaxed setting and we were able to raise money for a charity that Dan loved — The Alzheimer’s Association. I feel like we did a lot of good today.”

In describing his day racing, 2013 IndyCar Champion Scott Dixon noted”It was fun and a bit crazy. We had a good start and got up to fourth with some hard racing. I just caught a bit of the edge of the track in the last corner and spun, so I had to chase my way back to the front. It looked like a good show, especially in the final segment and good for everyone to watch. To race for Dan and Susie and with all the sponsors on board, is what it’s all about.

Teams were allowed to buy their way back on to the lead lap by donating to the Alzheimer’s Association, which helped cause further confusion over the final segment.

Second-place was awarded to the American Honda team of Josef Newgarden, Dave Furst, Dan Layton and 16-year-old kart racer Chase Jones. Third-place was the SG Football Helmets/AL Consulting team of Tristan Vautier, Anton Julian, P.J. Chesson and Mark Dismore Jr.

checkThe biggest winner, of course, was the Alzheimer’s Association, which was the beneficiary of the $100,000 raised by the event’s sponsors and participants.

“Overall, I’m so happy and just feel blessed to be part of this and carry on Dan’s legacy in so many ways, no only his passion for racing, but also to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s,” said Wheldon’s widow, Susie, who organized the event.

James Hinchcliffe in discussing racing in the event said “It’s an honor to come out here and participate in something Dan loved doing and for a cause close to his heart. It means a lot to all of us. We’re a close community and to see everybody come out after the season is done. Basically they took our Indy cars away from us and we needed something else to drive. This was a good excuse to get everyone together again and it’s a great cause. It was kind of Susie to invite us all to drive.”

Photos Courtesy of IndyCar – Photos by Chris Owens

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