INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 11, 2014) – The Verizon IndyCar Series championship has concluded, but many of INDYCAR’s biggest stars have one more race on the schedule this season. The Dan Wheldon Memorial Pro-Am Karting Challenge returns on Sept. 20to New Castle Motorsports Park, where participants will race to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association.
The Dan Wheldon Memorial Pro-Am Karting Challenge is comprised of corporate-sponsored teams consisting of one professional driver and three amateur drivers for a timed two-hour event beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 20. Gates open at 7 a.m. ETand admission is free. All professional drivers competing in the event will participate in a free public autograph session from 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. for all spectators attending the event.
This year’s event will feature former Indianapolis 500 winners and Verizon IndyCar Series champions Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan, in addition to Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Briscoe, Josef Newgarden, Ed Carpenter, Sebastian Saavedra and many others.
“I’m proud to be a part of the second annual Dan Wheldon Memorial Pro-Am Karting Challenge,” said Dixon, a former teammate of Wheldon at Target Chip Ganassi Racing. “Last year’s race was a huge success and it was great to see so much support towards Dan’s lasting legacy. This year will be bigger and better as we continue to support the Alzheimer’s Association that Dan was very passionate about. Susie Wheldon does an amazing job. I hope everyone can come out and be a part of a great day.”
The inaugural event last year raised over $100,000 and was the catalyst behind establishing The Sue Wheldon Fund, which funds Alzheimer’s programs in Indiana and Florida.
“The DW Pro-Am Challenge is a very special time for all of us in the INDYCAR family, and it’s a race I look forward to all year long,” said Josef Newgarden, whose team finished second last year. “I’ve been racing at New Castle since I was a little kid and it’s the first place I ever met Dan as a young racer. His love and energy for our sport was so captivating and he was truly an inspiration to me as a young racer. I always look forward to coming back and sharing his legacy with everyone and also using it as an opportunity to help a wonderful cause in raising money in memory of Dan’s mom.”
Wheldon’s widow, Susie, created The Dan Wheldon Foundation following last year’s event as a way to keep her husband’s legacy alive, continue his work of giving back and supporting the Alzheimer’s Association.
“Dan was so giving of his time and resources,” said Susie Wheldon. “I was completely blown away by the response last year and how much money we were able to raise and ultimately to be able to start a fund in Sue’s name. I knew I had to make this an annual event and maybe one day our boys Sebastian and Oliver can participate. Dan will always be remembered as someone who had an immense passion for life and I want to carry on his legacy in the same way. I feel blessed to be able to give back.”
Wheldon’s 5-year-old son Sebastian started racing karts in April and will lead the field in a pace lap before the start of the race.
Each winning team member will receive a grand Turismo quartz chronograph watch from Ritmo Mundo, valued at $1200 and room package compliments of the Conrad Indianapolis.