Dan Wheldon’s car restored, will take ceremonial Indy 500 lap

(WISH) – The IndyCar driven by two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon will be a feature at this year’s race, after Wheldon died in a crash in Las Vegas last year.

Crews restored the car and brought it to the Hall of Fame Museum at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday.

IMS officials say the car will play a crucial part in Indy 500 festivities on May 27. An engine will be placed in Wheldon’s car so it can be driven around the track for a ceremonial lap.

"That car is going to run on race day to give the fans the opportunity to stand up and cheer for Dan Wheldon. And then that car will be back on display here at the museum," IMS spokesman Doug Boles said.

As last year’s Indy 500 winner, Wheldon’s face appears on all tickets to this year’s Indy 500. But after his tragic death in Las Vegas, his memory is expected to play a bigger part in the Indy 500.

"What we wanted to do was celebrate him," Boles said. "We didn't want it to be a situation where it's a moment of silence or a 'downer' of a moment. We really know that Dan believed in celebrating. He loved this place – dumped the milk on himself, spread himself across the yard of bricks."

Wheldon's widow and sister are both planning to take part in festivities throughout race weekend. A Wheldon sticker is also being placed on every car competing on race day.

"We're going to have a special tech sticker on race day that'll celebrate Dan," Boles said. "So we're going to have a lot of little components, but all-around celebrating Dan and in a way we think Dan would appreciate."

IMS officials said there will be interactive opportunities for fans to remember Wheldon.

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