The late Dan Wheldon was remembered for his stirring, unforgettable victory in the 2011 Indianapolis 500 when his wife, Susie, was presented the BorgWarner Championship Drivers’ Trophy on Jan. 11 in Detroit.
BorgWarner Chairman and CEO Tim Manganello presented the award – known as the “Baby Borg" – to Susie Wheldon during the annual Automotive News World Congress dinner. Bryan Herta Autosport owners Bryan Herta and Steve Newey also received the BorgWarner Championship Owners’ Trophy from Manganello at the event.
“Anyone who knew Dan or heard him speak about the Indy 500 knew how passionate he was about this race," Susie Wheldon said. “He loved everything about it.
“I don’t have to tell you how happy it made Dan to win his second Indianapolis 500. Anyone who was there that day or watched on TV could see how absolutely fulfilled and joyful he was. So much so that he laid down on the track, drenched in milk, with feet up in the air and fists pumping, soaking it all in.
“His face will be forever etched on this special trophy, but his legacy will reach far beyond."
Wheldon earned his second Indianapolis 500 victory May 29 in the No. 98 William Rast-Curb/Big Machine entry fielded by Bryan Herta Autosport, taking the lead for the first time on the final straightaway after leader JR Hildebrand crashed in Turn 4. Wheldon also won the ‘500" in 2005.
“The victory at the Indianapolis 500 last year was incredibly special in so many ways," Herta said. “Dan Wheldon’s belief in our team, and his commitment and encouragement to every team member raised the level of the entire program.
“The last 20 laps Dan drove at Indy were among the best I’ve ever seen from anyone in this sport. This victory belongs to Dan, and we’re all very proud to have been a part of it."