View Full Version : IRL tragedy: RIP Paul Dana.

Mar 27th, 2006, 06:15 PM
I couldn't find a thread with this already posted so thought I'd start it.

RIP Paul Dana, my sympathies go to his family and friends.:sad:

Mar 27th, 2006, 07:11 PM
Yes it was very sad , doesn't happen often with all the safety considerations :sad:

Mar 27th, 2006, 07:13 PM
Yeah, I am a race fan and he drove for Bobby Rahal who is one of my favorite people in racing! It truly is sad!

Mar 27th, 2006, 08:02 PM
what happened?and who is he?

Mar 27th, 2006, 08:38 PM
what happened?and who is he?He was a race driver. In warm ups he spun into the wall and as his car was sliding down the banking, someone going full speed (200 plus mph) t-boned him. :sad: :sad: :sad:

Mar 27th, 2006, 08:40 PM
These things happen in motorsport, but sadly they happen all too often in IRL :(

best wishes to all concerned.

Mar 27th, 2006, 09:38 PM
In warm ups he spun into the wall and as his car was sliding down the banking, someone going full speed (200 plus mph) t-boned him.

I thought it was Ed Carpenter who spun and Paul Dana crashed into him. If this is so, the Rahal team in the sidelines should have given Paul a warning to slow down and to go low into the carpet. But, as I understand it, Paul did not go down in throttle and hit Ed's car and was killed instantly.

Mar 27th, 2006, 09:47 PM

I.R.L. Rookie Dies After Prerace Collision

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Published: March 27, 2006

The Indy Racing League rookie Paul Dana died yesterday after he was involved in a two-car collision during a practice session five hours before the season-opening race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida.
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Luis Alvarez/Associated Press

Dana was a rookie who competed in three I.R.L. races last year.
Luis Alvarez/Associated Press

Dana was pronounced dead at noon yesterday at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. He would have turned 31 on April 15.

A native of St. Louis, Dana was the newest driver on the Rahal Letterman Racing team, which also includes the 2004 Indianapolis 500 champion Buddy Rice and last year's IndyCar Series rookie of the year, Danica Patrick. The Hall of Fame driver Bobby Rahal and the late-night talk-show host David Letterman own the team.

Rice and Patrick withdrew from yesterday's race, the Toyota Indy 300, which took place as scheduled.

"It is a very black day for us," Rahal said at a news conference before the race, which was won by Dan Wheldon, last year's I.R.L. champion.

Dana was fatally injured when his car slammed into the car driven by Ed Carpenter, the stepson of the I.R.L. founder, Tony George. Carpenter's car had gone into a spin on the second turn on the 1.5-mile oval. It then slid down the high banking and came to a stop near the bottom of the track before it was hit by Dana's car, which was traveling at nearly 200 miles an hour.

The collision occurred at 10:03 a.m. yesterday, two minutes into the final practice session before the race. Brian Barnhart, president and chief operating officer of the I.R.L., said the practice session was the first time in which all 20 cars were on the track at the same time.

Buddy Lazier, a veteran driver, told The Associated Press that Dana passed him and a car driven by Scott Sharp before hitting Carpenter's car. Lazier and Sharp were able to slow their cars to avoid hitting Carpenter, whose car is also owned by George. Dana carried too much speed into the corner, Lazier said.

Barnhart said that yellow caution lights functioned properly after Carpenter hit the wall. Rahal said a spotter had cautioned Dana about the accident.

"I think it would be conjecture and probably very irresponsible for me to try to dissect as to why what happened happened," Rahal said. "But there was no problem with communication."

Carpenter, 25, was in stable condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital when the Toyota Indy 300 began with only 16 cars. Wheldon won the race by 0.0147 seconds, or three feet, over Hélio Castroneves.

Before the race, Wheldon placed Dana's car number, 17, on the side of his car. When asked afterward what he would remember most about Dana, Wheldon struggled for an answer. Appearing overwhelmed, he put down his microphone, put on his sunglasses and left the interview room.

"All the drivers here know the risks," Castroneves said. "We know the sport. But we're here because we love what we do. Nobody wants to see something like that happen. At the same time, we need to know how to deal with it. It's not the first time it's happened. And unfortunately, I don't think it'd be the last time."

Dana is the first I.R.L. driver to die as the result of an accident since Tony Renna was killed during testing in Indianapolis on Oct. 22, 2003.

Yesterday's race was the first of only 14 this season for the struggling I.R.L., which was started in 1994 by George, the chief executive officer at Indianapolis Motor Speedway; there were 17 races last season. Kevin Kalkoven, the co-owner of the ChampCar series, which is also struggling, and George said Friday that they had talked about a reunification of the open-wheel circuits.

The decision to pull the popular Patrick out of yesterday's race did not sit well with several of her fans at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where a crowd estimated at 30,000 watched the race. She signed autographs before leaving the track without comment an hour before the race.

"If I was in that situation, I would want to win the race in Dana's honor," said Tim Hawks of Miami Spring.

Dana had been a journalism major at Northwestern and covered racing for AutoWeek and Sports Illustrated in 1997 while he launched his driving career. He was named by Rahal in January to replace Vitor Meira, who is with Panther Racing this season. Dana drove in three races with Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing last year but broke his back in a practice accident before the Indy 500.

"He had a lot of enthusiasm for learning and was coming along very nicely," Steve Dickson, the manager for Rahal Letterman Racing, said of Dana. "You never think too much about something like this happening."

As darkness fell, only one number was left on the scoreboard at the racetrack: 17.

Mar 27th, 2006, 09:57 PM
I am a fan of IRL and CCWS racing and all communications between the drivers and their crews are monitored. The Rahal-Letterman team said that it communicated with Paul Dana to go down in throttle but there is no record of a response -- still I wonder why he couldn't see that two cars ahead of him had slowed down so that he would have responded in kind.

As a fan of Open Wheel Racing (what we call OWR), I have always said that IRL and CCWS should never have split as it did. There are too many inexperienced or overly ambitious drivers who are looking to make a name for themselves by taking undue risks. By having one merged circuit we would fewer but better drivers, fewer and better team crews, sponsors who could direct more financing into their teams rather than spreading the wealth and risking the use of inferior tech for their cars -- this would likely lead to safer and more competitive racing.

Mar 28th, 2006, 01:06 AM
Yeah, but the Rahal Organization is one of the best in the buisness. Its unlike Bobby to bring someone aboard that he doesn't think is ready. I don't know why this happened as it did, but who can say what was going on in his head? :shrug:

Mar 28th, 2006, 05:47 AM
My thoughts and prayers are with his family :sad: