Dan Wheldon, whose dashing style and success made him a fan favorite before his death at an October race in Las Vegas, will be honored today at the Indianapolis 500. • Wheldon, who made his home in St. Petersburg, won the race last year and in 2005. He is pictured on this year's Indy 500 tickets. • He will be recognized today in many ways:
• Fans entering the track will receive a pair of white cardboard sunglasses — white sunglasses were a Wheldon favorite — to wear in tribute on the parade lap, Lap 26 and Lap 98, recognizing the numbers of his winning cars.
• Bryan Herta, co-owner of the IndyCar team for which Wheldon drove last year at Indianapolis, will drive Wheldon's winning 2011 car for a lap of honor during prerace ceremonies shortly before the command to start engines.
• Wheldon will be featured on the technical inspection stickers affixed to all cars in the field.
"Dan embodied the spirit of the Indianapolis 500 and Indianapolis Motor Speedway like few who have ever raced here," said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp. president and chief executive officer. "He loved this race and this special place … and his fans and everyone associated with 'The Greatest Spectacle in Racing' returned that affection with equal passion. We're honored to pay tribute to Dan — an incredible father, husband, friend and driver — through these activities this year. But rest assured, he will be remembered forever at IMS."