I have conversed with Dan Wheldon many times, in person at the Indianapols Motor Speedway and by mail. By no means am I saying that I knew him, but he made you feel like he had known you all of his life. He had that kind of personality. Up until today there have only been three racing deaths that I can never get out of my mind, Swede Savage (because I was there) Bill Vukovich III and Neil Bonnett (because I had met them). Dan Wheldon's death will bother me for a long time.
Wow. Like others have said, a sad day for racing. I'm afraid to watch ESPN because my wife showed me the Yahoo! article. I read the details about the crash and I can imagine a fiery crash would be any driver's nightmare. I don't have any desire to see that.
Really the fire had nothing to with his death, it was the cockpit of the car slamming head first into the catch fence that did the damage. If the car would have hit any other way chances are he would have survived with injuries or walked away.