Allan Brewer, IndyCar correspondent
Susie Wheldon, wife of the late 2011 Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon, accepted the Borg-Warner Championship Drivers’ Trophy for her husband posthumously in Detroit on Jan. 11th.
BorgWarner Chairman and CEO Tim Manganello presented the so-called “Baby Borg” to Susie Wheldon at the Automotive News World Congress held in conjunction with the Detroit International Auto Show. Bryan Herta and Steve Newey, co-owners of the winning team, received the BorgWarner Championship Owners’ Trophy at the ceremony.
“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 recorded his career second Indianapolis 500 victory May 29th in the No. 98 William Rast-Curb/Big Machine car, assuming the lead for the first time on the final straightaway after leader JR Hildebrand crashed in Turn 4. Wheldon also won the race 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.”