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Like father, like sons — Dan Wheldon’s sons signal junior racing deal

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Standing under the monument on Dan Wheldon Means that honors their late father, the 2 younger sons of the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner took an enormous step of their budding racing careers.

Andretti Autosport introduced Sebastian, 12, and Oliver Wheldon, 10, as the newest additions to a growth program as junior drivers.

“Racing runs deep of their DNA,” Susie Wheldon, the boys’ mom, advised The Related Press. “There have been many summer time days the place I’ve been sitting all day in the course of a discipline in central Florida asking them ‘Are you positive that is what you need to do?’ However they do, they’ve a ardour for it, and now they’ve a path.”

Dan Wheldon was killed within the 2011 IndyCar season finale, 5 months after he had gained his second Indianapolis 500. On the time, Sebastian was 2 and Oliver 8 months previous.

Michael Andretti believes in growing drivers and selling them by way of a ladder system into IndyCar, the extent the Wheldon brothers need to attain.

Their father gained 16 races over 10 years in IndyCar, three of these seasons at Andretti. The British driver gained the 2005 championship and his first Indy 500 driving for Andretti. He had accomplished an settlement to return to Andretti for the 2012 season the evening earlier than he died at 33 in a crash at Las Vegas.

“Dan was household to us, and we had plenty of on observe success collectively, we see plenty of Dan in each Sebastian and Oliver and are very proud to formally welcome them into our racing household,” Michael Andretti stated.

“Nobody will ever be capable of exchange Dan of their lives, however we’re pleased to supply a community for mentorship to assist the boys develop their careers. Karting is step one, however now we have hopes of serving to foster promising Highway to Indy, and ultimately even IndyCar alternatives.”

Each boys have been born in St. Petersburg, the town Wheldon made his American dwelling and the place he gained the inaugural race by way of the downtown streets in 2005.

Town embraced Susie Wheldon and her sons following his loss of life. The monument consists of bricks from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, stones from his native England and the handprints of his spouse and boys that have been put in in 2012 alongside Dan Wheldon Means.

Lately, the mom stated, the boys are racing on a regular basis. They have been in New Citadel, Indiana, final weekend and again dwelling for the Andretti announcement Saturday. Then they headed again to Indiana for extra racing. Susie Wheldon has been guiding their careers since Sebastian started driving shortly earlier than he was 5.

“I am exhausted. I want I may say I used to be drained, nevertheless it’s past that,” she stated. “They love this. However they clearly have expertise, and when you could have proficient children, you’ll want to know what to do with them and tips on how to assist them do what they love.”

For the boys, it is all about wanting forward. Every was requested about his favourite victory.

For Sebastian, it was New Citadel. “Final weekend, after I gained by 10 seconds,” he stated.

Oliver spoke as if he is been at this for some time. “It is the subsequent race I will win,” he stated.

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