I ain't no racin' expert, and this is the only place I can say this without being crucified...
I watched it unfold live on television.
Only a handful of laps into the race, and there had already been a tire rubbing incident.
I thought, "Oh fuck. This is really outta hand."
Then they switched to Wheldon's in-car camera.
You can see a puff of smoke off in the distance, and I was thinking at that moment, "Back out of that shit now!"
Wheldon backed out of it a moment or two later, but it wasn't enough.
From the aerial shots, it looks like he damn near went balls to the wall into that mess.
You suppose he thought he could worm his way through that shit?
Was his reaction time too slow?
Am I an asshole?
Even though I have spent alarming and ridiculous amounts of time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway over the years, I never had an up-close and personal interaction with Dan Wheldon at Indy during the month of May.
I tend to observe and take mental notes and pictures, and I don't act like an asshole and pester drivers for autographs and other bothersome favors.
Except for this one time a few years ago...
I had consumed inordinate amounts of beer that day, and I was strolling through the garage area with a couple of my racin' buddies.
This was immediately after Wheldon had his new teeth installed. His chompers were so new and gleamy white that their reflection would blind ground squirrels on a sunny day.
Soon...here comes Wheldon cruising through the garage area on a golf cart.
In a moment of somewhat youthful drunken exuberance I shouted out, "TOOOFUSSES!"
My buddies were guffawing themselves senseless.
Dan had a huge, shit-eating grin on his face as he drove by, and just shook his head in delighted feigned disgust.
That's how I will always remember Dan Wheldon.