The Lionheart (2023) Movie Script

[producer] Ready?
Your victory lap.
We did 20 of those.
[producer] "Here you're fast
or you're last."
Here you're fast
or you're last.
"Here you're fast
or you're last."
Here you're fast
or you're last.
Good on that one.
-"A storm is coming."
- [laughs]
We're supposed
to be cool.
Aren't drivers
supposed to be cool?
-"A storm is coming."
- [laughs]
I've just got to stop laughing.
-"A storm is coming."
- [clears throat]
A storm-- [laughs]
Okay, I'll be serious now.
"A storm is coming."
A storm is coming.
- [crowd roars]
- [dramatic music plays]
[announcer] Without doubt
the fastest man in the world,
Dan Wheldon.
Wheldon! Wheldon! Wheldon!
[David Letterman] Your life
changes yet again, doesn't it?
[announcer 2] Winner of the
Indianapolis 500,
Dan Wheldon and
his beautiful wife Susie.
[producer] "A storm is coming."
[announcer 3] On the high side!
Who's gonna win it?
[Wheldon] A storm is coming.
[announcer 3] It is Wheldon!
[producer] Good. Next line.
"At over 200 miles an hour,
there's no room for error."
[Dan] No shit.
[Dan] Go!
[announcer] Oh, so close.
Right there.
[Wheldon] At over
200 mile an hour,
there's no room for error.
[producer] Very good.
We got one last line.
"Hi, I'm Dan Wheldon
from Emberton, England."
Hi, I'm the good-looking
son of a bitch from England.
And a storm is coming.
[boy babbling happily]
On your right, big boy.
[imitates engine revving]
What motor are you using?
You know I can't say that.
You can't?
- What place you gonna come in?
- First.
[boy 1] What place
am I gonna get?
[boy 2] Like, last.
[gentle music playing]
[Susie] Boys?
Come down, please.
[race car engine revving
I was gonna grab some letters
that we could read.
That's from Lord Charles.
[Oliver] Who's Lord Charles?
[Susie] He's the Earl of March.
There's a beautiful letter
that Elton John wrote.
Oh, Peyton Manning.
Look at this one.
You guys probably don't know
Nancy Reagan,
but she was the wife of
a former president.
So when Daddy
was racing at Indy,
he had the Presidential Seal
of Ronald Reagan on his car.
- What, our dad?
- Mm-hmm.
Oliver, do you
want to read one?
"Dear Ms. Susie Wheldon..."
[bird twitters]
"It is with my deepest sympathy
that I wish to express
our most heartfelt thoughts
and prayers
from the entire American Honda
family of companies.
Dan was the ultimate gentleman
and friend to all who met him.
Our most sincere..."
I don't know what that word is.
[Susie] "Our sincere
"...condolences go out to you
and your family.
May you find comfort
in our prayers
and knowing how many friends
and lives he touched."
This is kind of
too intense, Mom.
Okay, you don't
have to be here, buddy.
You wanna go take a break?
Just don't want to hear about
death and everything.
- Too intense for me.
- Okay.
Oliver, come, buddy.
Do you wanna sit with me
for a bit longer
or are you done?
"We loved your dad..."
- [crowd cheering]
- [car horn honking]
[man on TV] That calls for
a nice cup of tea!
[boy on TV]
I'll put the kettle on!
[man] Hop in!
I'm H-A-P-P-Y!
[dramatic music playing]
[music intensifies]
[music fades]
[solemn music playing]
[man 1] We had some
really good times here.
They're the memories that
will last till the day I die.
I was racing,
and when Dan was born,
he'd come along to the track.
He used to have
a little pedal kart.
Wherever I raced,
he was always with me.
I always heard him say,
"Dad, could I have a kart?"
For his birthday,
we had a kart made for him.
And we used to go down
every weekend
and we'd just practice
and practice.
[man 2] We're all working
on the karts,
and you'd see this
Wheldon Plumbers van show up.
This helmet with legs
walks out, a little...
I mean, tiny...
[huffs] "What is this?"
He got into this kart
and took off.
[engines revving]
[Dario] Lap after lap.
So fast.
"What? Who is that?"
And that was my introduction
to Dan Wheldon.
The Lionheart.
He always had the Lionheart
on the back of his helmet.
[Dario] Richard Lionheart
was about courage
and Dan...
he loved a battle.
[reporter] Out of the 80 drivers
that are here,
there's one that really
stands out.
His name is Daniel Wheldon.
[Clive] When he put
the helmet on,
he dominated.
It was in his blood.
It was always
the Wheldons to beat.
[stirring music playing]
[man] All right,
ladies and gentlemen,
welcome back for day two
of the United States
Pro Kart Series
Quest for the Championship.
We're in the final session
for this weekend
and this is the best
of the best here.
[kart engines revving]
[dramatic music playing]
[announcer] Kart number one,
that's Danny Wheldon,
the young man
with lots of potential.
[Clive] Dan was very clever.
He would look at
the weakest point of the driver
so you'd know where the best
place is to overtake him.
Soon as I sort of got him
in my sight,
I thought, "Top of the straight
or bottom of the straight,
and that's where I got him."
[announcer] Here comes
Sebastian Wheldon.
Wheldon dives right
to the inside.
[crowd cheers]
And he has taken over
the top spot.
What a Cadet's Final
and what a victory for
Daniel Wheldon.
Dan was unbeaten for two years.
[announcer] I think it's gonna
be Wheldon that takes it.
[reporter] He's quite good,
isn't he?
I've had lots of seconds
against him.
[young Dan] Just got to not
make silly moves,
get as many points as possible,
and go for it in the final.
[Clive] He won the British
championship four times.
[announcer] And the British
champion, Daniel Wheldon.
- [announcer] Sebastian Wheldon.
- [crowd cheers]
Oliver Wheldon.
[Clive] Dan progressed
from karting...
[announcer] Out in front,
it's number one,
Daniel Wheldon!
I always thought,
out of the drivers, that
I was one of the strongest.
And that is
what I'm out to prove.
Formula 1 is expensive.
I couldn't afford it.
So Dan wanted to get
to IndyCar.
It was the hardest day
of my life
seeing him going out of Emberton
with his helmets and his bags
to race in America.
Look, I've done my job.
My job was to get him there.
[music fades]
[Susie] Listen, I know
it's a long day,
but we have to get ready
for tomorrow.
I'm gonna go check on
[gentle music playing]
[munching softly]
Get your suit and stuff
and put it in the laundry room.
All right. And your bag.
Empty your bag.
You guys have a big day
in front of you tomorrow.
[music darkens]
[man] Racing is the type
of sport that,
if you get into it,
it gets in your blood.
It's what you wanna do.
[announcer 1] Andretti.
An Italian name,
but an American legend.
[Michael] It started
with my father.
[announcer 2] Mario Andretti.
[announcer 3] The greatest
race car driver
in the history of the sport.
And then I came along,
made it to the big time
at IndyCar.
[announcer 4]
He is driving finer
than any other driver
in the series.
Michael Andretti,
with an incredible
record-breaking year,
wins the title.
Big party tonight.
Big party tonight.
In 2002, I became a team owner.
We were looking for a good
young rookie
that we felt like
we could bring up.
[peaceful music playing]
[birds twittering]
[man] I'll just clean up
a little bit on the side.
[Clive] You want your son
to be the champion.
And to get the attention
of Michael Andretti
would be a big deal.
[clippers buzzing]
[reporter] Breaking news
this weekend.
This young man, Dan Wheldon.
You're gonna get to drive.
How excited are you
with this opportunity?
I'm dying to get
in the car right now.
I just can't wait to go racing.
It's gonna be fantastic.
Dan drove the hell
out of that car.
He had instinct,
he had quick hands.
[engines revving]
And we thought
he'd be perfect
for a rookie that
we wanna bring in.
And so we sign a contract.
[man] Well, good morning,
We are at the Dan Wheldon
monument here in St. Petersburg.
As you all know,
Andretti Autosports
is very involved in
the development world,
and today they're gonna expand
that development series.
Michael, who are
your new drivers in this team?
Well, we got a couple
young hot shoes
that we've been watching since
they've been this tall,
and now they're about
this tall.
You might know their last name
and their father.
I'm gonna bring up Sebastian
and Oliver Wheldon.
[crowd applauding and cheering]
These kids are the real deal,
I can tell you.
I mean, uh, I've been
watching a lot
of what they've been
doing in go-karts.
Everywhere they go
they're running up front.
We're here to get them through
the road to Indy,
and hopefully
to IndyCars one day,
so that's the plan.
[shutters clicking]
[man] What's your favorite race
you've won?
Last weekend,
I won by ten seconds.
[man] And, Oliver,
how about you?
Probably the next race
I'm gonna win.
I like to be at the front.
I'm not the kinda guy
that likes to sit around
in fifth or sixth, so...
Thanks for your time.
Good luck today.
[reporter 1] How exciting
was today for you guys?
It's very exciting especially
because my dad
was on Andretti
and it was his first team.
And it's my first team
that I was pretty much ever on.
[reporter 2] This is what
you wanna do?
[boys] Yes.
[reporter 2] Was it hard for you
because of everything
for them to go into racing?
- Um...
- As opposed to baseball?
Yeah, you know, it's not
really something that I...
- [reporter 3] Swimming?
- Yeah. [chuckles]
You know, obviously,
that kind of...
thought is there, for sure,
um, but it's not something
that is... is...
that I dwell on
or I think about a lot.
[reporters speaking faintly]
[peaceful music playing]
[sobbing softly]
[sighs, sniffles]
[exhales sharply]
You feel lost,
you feel abandoned,
you feel scared, alone,
and then you have these
two little faces,
you know, that are, like,
looking at you.
You just... you know
that you have to
keep going and figure it out.
Racing has taken from me
the most important thing
in my entire life.
But it's also given me so much.
I'm sure a lot of people that
don't understand the sport,
it's like, "Wait a second.
Your husband passed away
in a motor racing accident,
and now you're letting
your kids drive.
How do you reconcile that?"
But that's my job,
to help them pursue
whatever it is
that makes them happy
or fulfills them.
I'm helping them to achieve
their dreams,
just like Dan did.
Signing on with
Michael Andretti
is an amazing opportunity,
but I always tell them,
"You still have to
earn your stripes.
You didn't earn that name
on the back of your suit.
You have to prove
that you're good enough
to be there."
[zips duffel bag]
[Michael] From a team
it's very important not
to only look at the talent,
but you also gotta look
at the personalities.
And so we were very careful
when we picked our guys.
[cell phone ringing]
Fuck! Sorry.
See, I thought I turned it off.
That's my wife.
- [mouthing]
- Michael Andretti calls me
and says, "I bought a team.
Dario's gonna be
one of my drivers
and I want to hire you."
And I'm like, "That's awesome."
I'm gonna be teammates
with my best friend.
How much better can it get?
I see Michael,
he says, "We hired
another driver."
I said, "That's great.
So who did you guys hire?"
[Dan] I'm gonna introduce you
to big-nose Tony Kanaan.
[affects Brazilian accent]
Hi, I am Tony Kanaan
from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.
"Really, man?
Gonna have to put up
with that guy?"
[horn beeps]
The cockiest person
I've ever met.
Pretty quickly,
Dan made his presence felt.
This is gonna be
a little interesting, guys.
So, uh, you gotta bear with me.
Bear with me, I'm gonna
make some introductions.
He's talking to the boss
right now, so...
- This is the famous...
- I'm beautiful.
The famous piece.
And look at that.
I dropped the microphone.
This is the boss,
so obviously we've
got to be nice to him.
- Mr. Andretti.
- Better be nice.
Michael said, "I need somebody
to come here right now
and work with Dan,
a bit of a mentor-type role."
[Dan] This is the new teammate,
Mr. Bryan Herta.
Famous in California for his
skate shoes and baggy pants.
[Bryan] And he told me my belt
was too smart for my shoes.
[chuckles] And I thought,
"That's an odd thing to say
to somebody you just met."
He was a kid that wanted
to learn.
Dan asked many questions.
"How does this work?
What does that do?"
"Are we there yet?
Are we there yet?"
And answered few.
[chuckles] Yeah, typical Dan.
I felt bad for Susie. [laughs]
[Michael] Susie worked for
Dan's sponsor, Jim Beam,
and she ended up
taking care of Dan.
[Dario] There was Dan
doing what Dan did
and there was Susie
making sure
he didn't do anything
he shouldn't do,
or trying to.
Let's interview Susie.
Put the mic on Susie.
- Ask me anything.
- Speak to the camera.
What's Dan Wheldon like
to work with?
We could have
a one-on-one later,
and I'll really tell you.
I didn't know what I was doing.
If I'm honest.
[gentle music playing]
I ended up getting this job
in marketing.
They gave me this...
Jim Beam account.
And I was coming into the
sport really not knowing
much about the IndyCar
side of things,
but, you know,
Dan was a rookie, too.
We were both navigating
through those waters
a little bit
at the same time.
I've gotta buy my own
dinner tonight,
which is a bit
disappointing, but...
I'm working on Susie Behm
to take us out.
[Susie] Because I worked
with him,
you just pick up on the way
that somebody is
and what they expect.
Everything had to be
in its place.
Dan was borderline OCD.
I have the hangers
all going the same way.
The pants are all kinda
hanging without creases.
I even have the shoes
in their original boxes.
He had a certain method
for everything.
He'd always have a pair
of new boots for race day,
and I would always have to
de-lace them
and make sure that they were
exactly the same length
of shoelace at the very top,
and then re-lace them.
[Dario] With a race,
there's so many things
that aren't in your control,
you try and control
as much as you can.
[engines revving]
[Tony] We have to do a track map
to tell how the car behaves.
Me and Dario, we put
a couple notes here.
A couple arrows, some little
chicken scratch things.
[Susie] I was trying to
find the notes.
Like... Like more
engineering notes.
[Bryan] His track maps
were just...
filled with words.
Gosh. Like, this is
the kind of stuff he'd write.
[dramatic music playing]
You're making me look bad.
[Susie] "The throttle,
not the throttle pedal itself.
Does not have
a progressive feel to it.
It's more like
an on/off switch.
If I have my foot
on the throttle 15%,
there's not a 15% response
from the engine,
there's only 5%.
If I have 65 throttle input,
there is a 95 response
from the engine."
Dan had a great rookie year.
[announcer 1] Dan Wheldon,
top 10.
[Michael] And in 2004...
[announcer 2]
Dan Wheldon
has notched
his first victory.
[Michael] ...he won in Motegi.
He was like, "Oh."
He's got potential.
A lot of potential.
But he did have
a massively selfish side.
[helicopter whirring]
[announcer] Ten laps
to go in Phoenix.
Dario Franchitti in
second place.
[Dario] At Phoenix,
I was racing with Sam Hornish
for the win,
and Dan was a lap down.
And he got between Sam and I.
[announcer] Dan Wheldon
is a lap behind.
I don't understand
what he's doing.
I mean, he needs to let
Dario go by.
He stayed there and held me up.
And Dario did not like that.
One of my teammates
get in the way.
We had to do a lot of work
in that last race there.
[announcer] Dario Franchitti
finishes fourth.
[Dario] I was upset
after the race.
And rather than go to see
the bosses or any of that stuff,
Tony, Bryan, myself and Dan
went and sat down
in a hotel room
and had a little discussion.
I remember forcefully
telling him,
"This is how we're gonna go
racing on this team
and here's why,
and you are not providing
the same level
of respect to us
that we are to you."
That actually caught him
by surprise.
You know when you go,
"Wow, I did not expect that."
I saw him...
sort of...
lost for words.
[camera shutters clicking]
[somber music playing]
[Tony] In St. Pete's,
it was like,
"Why don't you get on
with the program here
and we'll be stronger
[reporter] Dan?
[Dan] I'm really excited.
And I'm going to try
not to hold up my teammates
this weekend, uh, but, uh...
No, I'm really
looking forward to it,
and I'm sure you guys
will have a good time.
[engines revving]
[announcer 1]
The green flag is out
and we are off and racing.
Bryan Herta just
came through
the front straight flying.
This is his tenth
IndyCar Series race
that he has led in his career.
We go onboard with
Dario Franchitti.
Here he goes, looking inside.
And he's got it.
[announcer 2]
Dario is masterful.
[announcer 1] Tony Kanaan
takes a peek...
[tires squealing]
Darren Manning
goes into the tire wall!
[announcer 2] Another
fastest lap for Dan Wheldon.
He's been faultless
these last five laps.
[announcer 1]
The sun has shined
on Andretti Green Racing
here today.
The fastest cars in the field,
Tony Kanaan, Dario Franchitti,
Bryan Herta, and Dan Wheldon.
Dan Wheldon
picks up the victory,
followed closely by
Tony Kanaan.
Dario Franchitti and Bryan
Herta in third and fourth.
We finished
one, two, three, four.
I don't know if
it's ever been done.
[announcer 1]
Maybe the first time
four teammates finished
one through four
in a major event.
[shouting happily]
[announcer 1] Hell yeah!
[Michael] This is a dream.
I'm so proud of this team.
[Tony] I think we both
had to say,
"I gotta work with you,
so I might as well try
to get along with you."
[Tony] And we started to hang,
and I'm like,
"He's still cocky,
but I kinda like him."
[Bryan] It was this great
moment for the team,
but I was mostly disappointed.
I finished fourth.
I was a little jealous of Dan.
And then my teammates pulled
me up on the podium with them.
The resentment melted away
right in that moment.
[triumphant music playing]
It just happened
we really liked each other.
[music fades]
[Susie whispers]
Time to wake up, sweetie.
[Oliver] I have school?
[Susie] No, it's race week.
[both laughing]
[Susie] I can't hold you
You're too big for me now.
[gentle music playing]
Everybody in motorsports
has probably already
heard about
Oliver and Sebastian Wheldon
both getting
the development contract
with Andretti Autosport.
Exciting news for them,
I'm sure.
Big future in auto racing
for both of them.
[woman] I knew I wanted
an IndyCar tattoo.
And it was like,
who am I gonna get?
And it was Dan.
[Susie] Wow.
I'm always so touched.
I've seen a few tattoos,
but this,
by far, is one of the best.
[gentle music playing]
[go-kart engines revving]
[man] Okay, guys.
Time to think
a little bit more, okay?
On the go-kart,
this is the key
that mean win or lose the race.
You have to control the speed
on the entry of the turn.
We have to make sure we go
earlier on gas,
not overshoot
the entry of the turn.
Everybody's clear about
turning point over there?
[boys] Yeah.
[Leo] We got a plan?
[both] Yes.
[Leo] We have to go suit up.
[bright string music playing]
[man over PA] Testing, testing,
one, two, three. Testing.
[engines revving]
Go on, go on, go on.
[announcer] Oliver Wheldon
dives to the inside.
He's got the lead now.
Come on. Defense kick.
Okay. Go, go.
No! What are you doing?
What are you doing?
[announcer] Wheldon's driving
with his rearview mirrors.
He keeps looking over
his shoulder
back at Johnson to see
where he is.
Johnson gets up alongside him
on the short chute ,
he's gonna beat him.
Wheldon kept looking back.
I think that cost him
the position, honestly.
Oh, shit.
[Leo] The game changed
right now, okay?
We don't expect an easy race
anymore, you know?
In your entire life,
we win a lot.
You have to be ready to fight.
[engines revving]
[dramatic music playing]
[tires squealing]
[announcer] Sebastian Wheldon
able to move up
six spots to fifth.
Now into fourth.
[go-karts crashing]
Oh, we got a huge schlimazel
in the Monza.
Big schlimazel involving
probably ten karts at least.
Cooper Beasley,
Sebastian Wheldon,
Cameron Weinberg
and Aidan Lourenco
all out of this session.
And your feature winner
in RPG X30 Pro Junior,
number 705, Ayden Ingratta.
[crowd cheers]
[distant engines revving]
[Leo] We are a disaster.
I'm not talking about the boys.
I'm talking about the team.
Our position, you and me,
we planning all this.
So we put the kids
in this situation.
So, we put the kids
in a better condition
or equal condition
or worse condition.
[Susie] Like, this and
everything that I'm doing
is to put them in a position
to perform at their best
and have the best training
and experience and all of that.
[Leo] And I'm so happy
about that.
The only thing is we're talking
about this race.
We, adult, you and me, maybe me
because I have to be more
serious with you--
Just say it. Just say, "Listen,
they can't go on vacation,
plan that another time."
"I have to change the flight,
- talk with my sister..."
- I wish you wouldn't--
"I have to do this.
I have to do that."
What else am I doing?
You need to commit,
and the boys have to be
close to the track.
[car engines revving]
You understand
what I'm trying to say?
[Susie] Yes. I'm never
gonna have a vacation.
I'm uprooting my whole life.
- ["Set Him Free" playing]
- Eenie meenie
- Miney mo
- [kids chattering]
If he hollers
Let him go-o-o
Set him free, yeah...
Let's go eat some
poisonous blueberries.
[overlapping chatter]
Look, they're pomegranates.
[boy] Don't eat it!
I found a little baby bird
one day
And his luck
was almost gone
Tenderly, I picked him up--
- [song stops]
- Shh! Shh.
[distant engines revving]
- Oh, there they are.
- [kids yelling]
Wa-- Wave to them.
[song resumes]
[engines revving loudly]
[Oliver] Hi!
[song fades out]
[crowd cheering]
[solemn music playing]
The Indy 500 is
the biggest single
sporting event
in the world.
It's one the big crown jewels
of auto racing.
It changes your life
when you win the race.
I've led a lot of those laps
all the way up until the end,
but not that 200th.
[Clive] Even as a young racer,
Dan always wanted to win
the Indy 500.
That was his aim.
[Dan] There's 500,000 people.
If you win that, no one can
ever take that away from you.
It's been a dream of mine.
It's something that
I've wanted to be part of
and wanted to win.
We're entering
the speedway now.
You know like in
the Rocky movie
he has that music
to get him going?
In the speedway
you don't need that,
'cause whenever you're here,
it kind of gets you going.
[engines revving]
[announcer] Dan Wheldon loves
to go clothes shopping,
and right now
he's speed shopping
'cause he doesn't
have enough
to get that car
in the front row,
and possibly
the front three rows.
Right now he is 12th overall.
In the 2005 Indy 500,
Dan qualified 16th,
and his teammates
were way far up the grid.
[Dan] I'm obviously
very disappointed.
We started the month
of May very strong
and slowly worked our way
slower and slower.
And there's no-- there's no
good reason for it,
and, uh, that's what
we've got to look into
and try and find out why.
Indy's too special to me
to sit on a time like that.
[announcer] You are looking
live at the home
of the greatest spectacle
in racing,
the Indianapolis
Motor Speedway.
And now let's meet the drivers.
I remember
he was just spitting mad.
Like, really, really
pissed off.
He just... [imitates explosion]
[Michael] He was really
in the speed of his car.
But I said,
"Well, how does the car feel?"
Does it feel good when
you're behind other cars?
"Yeah, it feels great."
I'm like, "Don't worry then.
You're gonna be okay."
[engines roaring]
It's a spectacle
500 miles in the making.
The 89th Indy 500 is on.
Maybe the hottest driver on
the IndyCar circuit right now.
This is Dan Wheldon.
This guy lives
the rock star life,
but he is smooth.
Dan's particular forte
was superspeedway racing.
And that's not more true
on any oval than it is
at the Indianapolis
Motor Speedway.
On paper, it's four corners,
but in reality, in a car
going 230 miles an hour,
it's the greatest challenge
you'll ever face.
[announcer] Sparks coming off
the back of those cars.
And attention to detail
is necessary.
And that was right in
Dan's wheelhouse.
[announcer] This guy has
never seen a slot
too small to pass in.
Dan's style as a driver
was precision.
Just that level of miniscule
inputs in the steering.
That was where he made
the difference.
Wheldon started 16th.
Up to fifth place.
I think Dan became good
because of the questions.
Now he's taking
all of what he learned.
[man] Just be ready.
If you watch his hands
on the in-car camera,
he was perfect
the whole way.
- [man] Keep that speed up there.
- He was relentless.
Danica Patrick leads
the Indianapolis 500,
but for how long?
Wheldon is coming
and coming fast.
[Dan] I'm gonna go
for the lead.
- [man] Copy that.
- [announcer] There he goes.
[man] Inside, inside. Clear.
And I thought,
"Wow, we can win this."
[announcer] The leader now
is Dan Wheldon.
Not one person is sitting here
at the Indianapolis
Motor Speedway.
This young man
from Emberton, England
started 16th,
Scott, 16th.
The checkered flag is out
and the pubs are open
in the UK.
Dan Wheldon has just won
the Indianapolis 500!
[man over radio]
That's my boy!
And the celebration has begun.
[Michael] It was like, wow.
I never won it as a driver,
so to win it
as a team owner was--
was a great moment.
[announcer] And Michael riding
in the car to Victory Lane
with Dan Wheldon.
Here's Clive
giving his son a hug.
I cried my eyes out, yeah.
You got a little emotional
in the car.
The tears are still flowing.
Yeah. This has been a dream
come true for me. I...
I've loved the Indianapolis 500
ever since I've been
a young kid.
There you go, my friend.
[crowd cheers]
Amidst all that commotion,
I was right outside
that metal fencing.
And he just looked over
and we locked eyes,
and he just immediately came
over and gave me this huge hug.
[crowd cheering]
You could see
the genuine happiness
of what it meant for him
to win that race.
[man speaks over PA
[Susie] And he wanted to
share it with everybody.
[upbeat rock music playing]
[Dan] I've got a ton
of thank yous.
The Jim Beam guys,
thanks for my hangover.
- It's, uh...
- [audience laughs]
It's absolutely killing me.
I'm gonna blame you, Kanaan,
because you're always
part of that.
2005, he kind of won it all.
[announcer] The Indy 500 champ
is back home in Victory Lane.
[Dan] After winning
the Indianapolis 500,
you somewhat feel greedy.
Dan Wheldon out in front.
He's gonna bring
this thing home.
And the way I approached that
because of that feeling
was to try and just go out
and win every race.
It's Wheldon on the inside.
Castroneves on the outside.
Somebody wake the Queen
'cause Dan Wheldon
just walked away
with the checkered flag!
Your winner, Dan Wheldon.
Making a mess of
the front straightaway
here in Homestead, Miami.
Dan Wheldon,
once again in Japan.
Thirteenth win for AGR.
It was the Dream Team era.
[announcer] Dario Franchitti!
Bryan Herta!
[Michael] Dan was
starting to feel like
he was really a member
of our family.
[announcer] Dan Wheldon
clinches the championship.
He is saluting the fans.
And at the other end,
we got Tony Kanaan
doing donuts.
He's still our little brother.
[Tony] It's hard to describe
how cool that was.
Four professional
race car drivers.
They're best friends
at the same team.
I will never forget,
Michael Andretti said to us,
"You probably don't realize
how special this is."
[sea birds calling]
Oh, my gosh, you guys.
I thought this was gonna
be our forever home.
[Sebastian] I mean, you
could've just told Leo no.
- Yeah, but--
- Why didn't you say that?
What if it's important for
your guys' journey,
your next step
to become drivers?
[Sebastian] It is.
But all my friends
live in Miami.
[Oliver] We get to be closer
to the track
and we get to drive more.
[Susie] Am I the only one
that's stressed out?
We've been here a long time.
It's the longest place
I've ever lived
in my entire life.
Daddy really loved St. Pete,
and then I moved
when I started working for him
at the end of 2005.
Were you like his butler?
At the end of '05,
Dan's first contract
was coming to an end.
[Susie] Dan did not back down
from change,
and he realized that he would
always be considered
the baby of the team.
[gentle music playing]
[man] We're here today
to talk about
our 2006 plans.
It's a very exciting day
for our team.
I couldn't be happier to be
a part of announcing
we're going to have Dan
Wheldon driving for us.
- [applause]
- [Dan] It's gonna be different,
but there's no doubt in my mind
that this team's capable of
being able to give me
that same amount of success.
It was a big decision.
I think it surprised everybody.
That sucked,
because we'd had such
a good run together
and we were--
we were still having fun.
All the bands and stuff,
they get to the point
where they hate each other.
We were still having fun.
I was with him the entire time.
We were really close.
And not once he told me.
[somber music playing]
And I kinda felt like,
"Man I thought
we were closer than that."
He never gave us any indication
he was gonna leave,
and then he basically told us
right before he announced it,
and that one hurt a little bit,
for sure.
The bridge was burned
when he did that.
[Chip] When Dan became
available to us,
it surprised me.
But one thing about Dan,
once his mind's made up,
his mind's made up.
[crowd cheering]
What he brought
to the team was a spark
that we sorely needed
at the time.
I think that took
Scott Dixon by surprise.
Hey, everyone.
I'm Lauren Bohlander.
I'm Scott Dixon.
- Oh, I'm not Scott Dixon?
- No.
Sorry. I'm Dan Wheldon.
[dramatic music playing]
I was just hoping
I could keep my job.
And Dan was coming over
with a extreme head of steam
and popularity.
He was gonna turn
things around.
- This is the whole store?
- Mm-hmm.
Can we shut the store, please?
Can we shut the store down?
[woman speaks indistinctly
on radio]
[Scott] He had this immense
confidence on ovals
that shocked you.
He would roll out the pits,
you'd watch the leaderboards
and, bam,
he'd go straight to the top.
When I started looking
at what he does,
I was like, "Man,
this guy does something
totally different to what I do."
[gulls calling]
[Clive] We went to see Dan.
And I just remember
looking across the room,
and I saw Susie
stroking Dan's head.
And I thought,
"Susie, that wasn't
in your contract, was it?"
[peaceful music playing]
[Susie] I just loved
making things happen.
Is that better?
- Is the helmet okay?
- Yeah.
[Susie] So that he could focus
on what he needed to do.
[man on radio]
White flag. White flag.
[man speaking indistinctly]
Inside. Inside. Inside.
Still there.
Still inside.
Still inside.
Still inside. Come on, buddy.
Come on, buddy!
Wheldon beats Castroneves!
His tenth career win,
second straight
here at Homestead.
[man] Nice job!
Real proud to be part of
Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
That guy's a race driver,
isn't he?
Holy moly.
[Susie] And we were just
spending time together
a lot more
even outside of work.
There was definitely a shift,
and feelings started to change.
You know, we did cross
the line. [chuckles]
It was scary because
I really loved my job.
So, when you change that,
there's always a risk
that it's not gonna be
the same.
[Oliver] It's getting dark.
Where'd the moon go?
[Oliver] It died.
Sank into the ocean.
[Oliver] Passed away.
[Susie] We've blurred
the boundaries now.
[engines roaring]
[crowd cheering]
Back here at Michigan,
right now Dan Wheldon
and Dario Franchitti
trying to decide
who's going to lead.
And speeds are already
217, 218 plus.
[Dario] I came from the back,
and Dan and I
were wheel to wheel.
[announcer] Franchitti
retaking the lead
at the line,
but this isn't over yet.
We're gonna go three wide
into one.
And he was bloody good on
those high speed superspeedways
with a very close race.
And I think he misjudged
and caught my left rear.
[announcer] Oh, look out!
Franchitti's upside down.
Wheldon is involved.
Dixon is involved.
[ominous music playing]
I'd seen him wreck before.
But it definitely
felt different.
[tires screeching]
[crowd gasps]
[Susie] This is the person
that I'm falling in love with
and I want to have
a future with.
That could completely be gone.
I'm dying inside.
[Chip] Dan, do you copy?
He'd said something
to me after.
"You know, it's not always
great to date a driver,
and I want to make sure that
you're gonna be okay with it."
It's gonna sound really
selfish on his part,
but I always knew that it was
motor racing and then... me.
[solemn music playing]
[go-kart engines revving]
[announcer] Oh, massive impact
out of turn number 11.
Big trouble for
Sebastian Wheldon.
Right there in the middle
of the track,
the karts were piled up
on top of each other.
[engine revving]
- [tires screech]
- [go-kart thunks]
[Sebastian] Help me!
[go-kart crunching]
- Help me. No, please--
- You can't. You can't.
- [Sebastian] Can I get on?
- No.
[Sebastian scoffs]
[Sebastian whimpers]
[Susie] Their safety is a big
part of what I think about.
And as they get into it
deeper and deeper,
the stakes get a lot higher,
and this could all go
really wrong.
[siren wailing]
I could have waited
until they're older.
But it's too late.
You can't.
So when do they usually--
for these drivers,
when do they move up to
kind of Indy 500 and Formula?
After 16, 17 years?
Eighteen? What's the cutoff?
No. No, they, um...
So in Junior Class,
they'll start testing,
like, a Formula car
when they're 14.
[Sven] I'm nervous when
I think about Dan,
what happened to him.
So, you always hope and pray,
that will never happen
to the boys.
It's kind of sad to even
go back to that moment,
but I remember Susan and Dan,
they sang "Happy Birthday"
for me at 9:00 in the morning.
And I remember telling Dan...
[somber music playing]
[softly] It's okay.
It's okay.
I know.
[Susie] The dangers
of the sport,
it's the big elephant
in the room.
Dan and I never spoke about it.
My name is Susie Behm,
soon to be Susie Wheldon.
I have never spoken about it
with other wives either.
It's not often I cry, but I
really wanted to say to you,
that it makes me so proud and
happy to call you my wife.
You make me so very happy,
and I hope I do
the same for you.
So, thank you.
[Susie] It's just something
you do not talk about.
[camera shutter clicking]
And, of course,
the big joke in racing
is, like,
once you get married,
you, like, slow down
and you're not as good.
So, I'm like, "Oh, my, God."
[reporter] IRL CEO
Tony George
and Champ Car
World Series co-owner
Kevin Kalkhoven
shook hands to unify
the Indy Racing League.
[Bryan] The IRL was formed
as an oval-only
But as time went on,
the series started
to evolve,
and it started moving towards
more road courses
and street courses.
And as they added
more of those,
they became more important
to the overall championship.
[Scott] On ovals,
he was very good
at analyzing
and understanding,
and his OCD
kicked into high gear.
He knew what he needed to do.
But with road courses,
there's a lot more variables,
different things going on.
The style of driving
that would then come in,
it didn't suit him.
[tires squealing]
It's a case of just
getting the car
to do what you want it to do
on the road courses,
and I haven't been able
to achieve that.
[announcer] Look out.
Under heavy braking,
somebody's gotta go straight.
A right rear failure on
Dan Wheldon's car.
At the same time, Scott
is absolutely smashing it.
He's winning everything.
[Chip] He won
the Indianapolis 500
and he won the championship.
And some of that
was really due
to what he'd learned from Dan
the previous years of them
being teammates.
He opened the gate to a totally
different dimension for me.
[Dario] Dan's driving was
so much about confidence.
And, of course, the more
people talked about it,
the more it became mental.
[Dan] It's a sport I'm very
passionate about.
It's all I've grown up knowing.
I'd like to be remembered
as a winner,
and I want to be considered one
of the best drivers of all time.
It's what makes me tick.
My goals are to win,
and if I'm not achieving them,
I'm not a happy person
and I don't feel successful.
So, winning's all that matters.
It's all that counts.
[Chip] We put some pressure on
to make some changes
in the way he did things,
and he wasn't real accepting
of that,
and we started to drift apart.
[solemn music playing]
My contract is up.
I've been on Andretti forever.
Chip calls me, and he offers
me Dan's spot.
I'm very divided.
What am I gonna tell Dan?
But then you go, "Well,
he didn't tell me
when he left Andretti."
Dan Wheldon in the ten.
[Tony] We go to Kentucky
and we're racing
really hard together,
and he did something that
we do to other people,
but we never did to
each other, ever.
[announcer] Wheldon takes
the air off of Tony.
That's a bit of a dirty play,
I'll tell you that.
That's not something that you
generally see between people
that know each other well
and used to be teammates.
[Tony] After the race,
I go, "What was that?"
And he just told me, "Go f..."
and slammed the door on me.
We didn't speak for two years.
I decided at the last minute
to stay with Andretti.
Chip had to go back to his
fallback which was re-sign Dan.
[Chip] When it came
down to it, we said,
"Dan, we'd like to have you.
We wanna offer this seat."
- He said--
-"Oh, hey, Chip.
You got the wrong number.
Are you trying to reach Tony?
I'm the second choice now?
Then I've already moved on.
I'm going to find
somebody else.
He was a risk-taker,
and sometimes it paid off
and sometimes it didn't.
I'm the opposite.
I'm always second-guessing
and like, "Oh, my God,
is this right?
How is this gonna be
two years from now, ten years?"
I think that's one of the things
I fell in love with.
[Chip] When Dan left
the team,
we offered the drive
to Dario Franchitti.
And I took over the 10 car.
I've made worse decisions.
[crowd cheering]
[announcer] Dario will win
his second Indianapolis 500
in the bright red Target car,
number 10.
That... stung a little bit.
[announcer 1] Tough one
for Oliver Wheldon.
It seemed like he was
gonna be in a potential fight.
[announcer 2] Wheldon dropping
all the way down to 10.
He qualified third,
had a bad start,
lost a handful of spots.
Clearly not where
he was looking to be
or was expected to be.
[somber music playing]
Do you want me to
get you some lunch?
What would you like?
- It's okay.
- Are you sure?
Yes, I'm sure.
How did the engine feel?
Like you had power?
Or was it just the chassis?
[Oliver speaks indistinctly]
[indistinct chatter]
[child whimpers]
[Susie] One day, these boys
are gonna say to me,
"I wish our Dad was here
and not you.
My mom doesn't know anything,
and if my dad was here
it'd be so much better."
[announcer 1]
Sebastian Wheldon,
only able move up
six spots to 23rd.
[engines revving]
Your times are not bad
towards the end.
- I was looking at them.
- [clattering]
Are you okay?
Huh? No?
You don't need to be
throwing my phone around.
It's just like the dagger
to the heart.
But that's their own grief that
they're gonna have to learn
to process and navigate
and understand.
[Leo] What I can say?
You, Sebastian. Come on, buddy.
You're not thinking.
You're just driving.
You know Dallara?
Why he's sponsoring you?
No, you don't know.
We are a disaster.
So, what direction we wanna go?
If you wanna go forward,
be professional,
or just hanging around
with other guys?
[somber music continues]
I'm a little bit worried
because we're losing confidence.
I don't know--
I want to find why.
When you really kind of stop
and think about it,
it's like, you know, all these
kids are here with their dads.
You know? And it's like,
that has to be obvious,
and more obvious to them
as they're getting older.
I understand a little bit more,
yeah, yeah.
They're trying to process that
a little bit.
[Scott] Dan had been humbled
through that couple of years.
His move to National Guard
Panther Racing, it was iffy.
That team had had
its struggles.
But how you deal
with those moments
is what shapes you
as a person.
Happy Father's Day to you.
You're a new dad.
Go home and celebrate.
I hope you'll be interviewing
my son in about 18 years.
[Scott] It's how
we all mature, right?
And you could definitely
see that with Dan.
Married, young family,
but still bigger than life.
Sebastian, here we go.
One, two, three, go!
[peaceful music playing]
[Susie] When the boys
came along,
you could see the joy
and the pride in his eyes.
- Se-bas!
- Se-bas!
[Dario] For someone
that was so controlled
and buttoned-up
in all aspects of life...
[Susie] Oh, is Daddy having
an aneurysm?
...the sharp edges that he had,
they disappeared.
[Susie] Dan changed.
I felt like he could relax
He was just living
in the moment
and really enjoying
his family.
Is that your favorite toy?
[babbling happily]
[Susie] How do you get inside?
[Susie] This is Seabiscuit and
Daddy in go-kart training.
It put things in perspective.
Go, go, go!
[Susie cheers, laughs]
[Dan] Save that
for the racetrack.
[Susie] I remember
he wrote me a card.
It was like, "Listen,
I've never put anything
before racing until now.
We can walk away
and do whatever.
I just want you to be happy.
You're more important to me."
I knew how big that was
for him to say that.
[Tony] One day in an autograph
session, I'm signing...
I look up and see
a huge set of teeth.
Dan came and hugged me
from behind
and gave me an arm lock,
like, whoa.
And that was it.
We started talking again.
And we picked up
from where we left off.
He was a content,
complete person,
really for the first time
since I knew him.
[Leo] You go too fast
into the turn,
and your exit is slow
compared with him, okay?
He's rolling more speed.
Okay. I can fix that.
- [Leo] You're better here.
- [Sebastian] In that turn?
[Leo] Mm-hmm.
You have to fix a little,
not that much.
"Dear Mom, I have probably
blown any chance I had
at racing because my attitude
is very bad and disrespectful.
I miss my dad.
Just watching
all the other dads
walking their kids to the grid
and it hurts badly.
I would love it if I can change
the day with my actions,
if that's okay with you.
Love you."
It's okay to feel
those things.
[Sebastian] I want to race.
I want to be better
than my dad.
[Susie] I'm not talking
about that, sweetheart.
I was just talking
about the things
that you were saying
about Daddy.
You never said that
to me before.
You don't think
I think about it and miss him
being there
with you and Oliver?
He should be there.
[solemn music playing]
[faint indistinct chatter]
[ping-pong ball clattering]
[Sebastian] Oh... Five-five.
Tony was there was Dan was
trying to figure this whole--
Trying to figure himself out.
Oh, yeah.
So, you've seen it all. [laughs]
- [Tony] You were there too.
- [Susie] I know.
But it-- you know.
[Oliver] Oh.
[Tony] Do you guys know why
it's good to play ping pong?
The quicker you are reflex,
the quicker you're gonna be
as a race car driver,
so let's see how good you are.
[peaceful music playing]
Do you think you lost
the race already?
- Yeah.
- [Tony] No.
- Look at your mom.
- [Susie] I know. I'm actually--
- For somebody that didn't play.
- [Susie laughs]
I'm good at something too.
All their talents don't come
only from Dan.
Come on.
- Yeah. Come on.
- [laughs]
Come on.
- [straining]
- Is that all you got?
I'm only ten!
You-- you shouldn't be talking.
I'm only 46.
Oh, both hands!
Come on,
the two of you together.
Let's go.
Oh, you were close.
Look, look, look.
[boys laughing]
[Michael] Now, you guys
understand what pressure is?
- [Sebastian] Yes.
- [Oliver] Tire pressures?
Not tire pressures. [laughs]
Yeah, they know tire pressures.
- Tire pressures.
- Woo-hoo!
[Susie] A different
kind of pressure.
[Michael] A different
kind of pressure, like...
- Like on the...
- It's more pressure like
you guys being Dan's son,
a lot of people are
gonna be watching you
and eyes are gonna
be on you.
I'm sure you guys
are gonna feel
a little different
than other drivers,
'cause I know I did
when I was driving growing up.
A lot of people expected you
to win, which is unfair,
because not everybody
can win every race.
So, you guys gotta know that
when you go out there and do it,
don't worry about what
everybody else thinks.
'Cause if you start worrying
about what they think,
then it gets your head
all messed up.
Do you guys feel like people
expect a lot more out of you?
- I don't.
- Yeah.
[Michael] You don't?
That's good.
Just a little. It's not even--
[Michael] There's nothing
wrong with feeling it.
[somber music playing]
[announcer 1] Dan Wheldon
running back in 15th position.
Tough weekend for Dan.
[announcer 2]
He's just been struggling
to get a handle on things.
[Michael] He loses his ride
at Panther.
Dan was a bit on
desperate times, for sure.
[birds calling]
[Dario] Dan's out of a ride.
I'm like, what?
You've got one of
the most talented drivers
of a generation,
and he's out of a ride.
How is this possible
that Dan Wheldon
is not gonna drive?
[Scott] It's a pretty
fickle business,
so it didn't surprise me that
options were changing for Dan.
[Bryan] Later in my career,
I started a part-time team.
So, I reached out and said,
"Hey, I don't know
if this is gonna be
of interest,
but we're gonna run
a car at the Indy 500.
Would you consider
driving for us?"
We'd only entered
one IndyCar race ever.
We were the slowest car
in the field.
We crashed in the race.
Right in the middle of a turn,
goes off and ends up
hitting the wall.
[sighs] I remember thinking,
"Is it the right thing
for Dan?"
Dan, you know if you show up
in Indianapolis,
you've got a chance at winning.
Could Bryan and his team
perform to that level?
He felt a loyalty with Bryan,
and quite honestly,
what did he have
to lose at that point?
Dan was like,
"Yeah, let's do it."
[Bryan] We'd formed a technical
alliance with Sam Schmidt.
We rented a car from them.
It wasn't their best car.
It wasn't their
second-best car.
It wasn't their third-best car.
I know for sure it was one of
the oldest in the field.
Let's go see Daddy's car.
But you have to be
really gentle.
[Oliver] Wait, can I?
- Am I allowed?
- Mm-hmm.
[somber music playing]
[Sam] One of the reasons
we partnered with Bryan
is because we knew
Dan would be driving,
and you either love this place
or you're intimidated by it.
And I think he's
one of the guys that loved it.
[Susie] Can you even reach
the pedals?
I can touch the pedals
when I'm right here.
[Bryan] Because of
the importance
of the Indianapolis 500,
we spend more time preparing
there than any other race.
We're literally there
for almost a month.
Every day, even if there was
nothing going on on the track,
he'd come in the garage,
he'd sit in the car.
Have the guys just adjust
the mirror a little bit.
Trim this a little bit here.
"Can we find a little bit
of speed here?
Can we tighten up
the body fit here?
Can we adjust this mirror?"
His attention to detail,
it was incredibly motivating.
We didn't wanna let him down.
Dan Wheldon, the father of two,
ready to compete
at Indianapolis.
Thanks for joining us.
I'm sure my sons
are gonna win
many more races
than me.
So, hopefully
it's Indianapolis.
[Bryan] I'm walking all over.
Didn't know where you guys were.
- [Susie] Trying to find you.
- Good to see you.
Here's what you might not know.
We were a small team,
but your dad would show up
every day at the track.
He'd tell us we're gonna win.
He really believed.
And he believed it so much,
that he made us start
to believe it,
'cause we didn't really
believe it at first.
And he made us believe it.
And then he made us not
wanna let him down.
[man] Dan was always
my favorite driver
when I was your guys' age.
Dan was a huge
inspiration for me
in getting to IndyCars.
Same with me.
I was able to take the 26
right when he went to Ganassi.
I went into that--
into his seat.
So, big shoes to fill for sure.
I think you have to be born
with some sort of, um, skill
that was passed down.
And then it's what you
do with it, how you mold it.
[Tony] We were happy
Dan was in the race,
but he was the underdog.
I mean, such a long shot.
[Dario] Pretty early
in the month,
we're all...
"What's going on?
How are they looking here?"
[announcer 1] And the next out,
Bryan Herta Racing.
[announcer 2 ] He's trying to
wring everything he can out,
and that's what Dan Wheldon
is so good at.
I just don't think we ever
didn't get better.
[announcer 2] Pick up some pace,
about 228.7 for Dan Wheldon.
It was like, okay.
Okay, this isn't too bad.
[solemn music playing]
[Dan] We've had a group that
has really brought the fun
back to racing for me.
[reporters laughing]
From my perspective,
I wanna come together
and just create a headline.
[Bryan] In the garage,
we had a little whiteboard
with a to-do list on it.
There's little boxes
and you'd check the box
after things were done.
The day before the race,
Dan looked at it and wrote
on the bottom,
"Win the Indy 500."
And, uh...
[voice breaks]
Now I'm gonna get emotional.
[soft music playing]
Oh, I kept it together
for so long. [clears throat]
[Tony] Before the 500,
the four of us went to
a very expensive steak house.
[Dario] There was a lot
of piss taking,
but then there was
a softer side.
It was more sort of, "Hey,
we've been through a lot."
And Dan was definitely more
thoughtful about
everything that happened.
It was a great moment where Dan
acknowledged what we--
that we had helped him.
Something he had never really
done in the past.
He said, "Hey, um...
thank you for everything
you guys have done for me.
I mean, I've learned a lot.
I'm a better person,"
and, uh...
that was our last dinner.
I promised I was not
gonna do that.
[exhales] Anyway...
I have a picture of us.
We took a picture.
I still have it.
We all do.
It's a bad picture
because we asked
somebody to take it.
It was on the inside
of a restaurant
with my phone
with no flash.
[soft music continues]
[Dario] It was like, we've
been through a lot together
and it's cool that we're here
and we're still pals.
- Oof! [groans]
- It's gonna be crazy today.
There's gonna be a lot
of people around
- and people that are gonna--
- 'Cause it's the Indy 500.
Yeah. But do you know why else?
It's been ten years
since Dad died?
You were just little.
You were a baby.
[soft, dramatic music playing]
[Susie] In 2011, I was
at the hotel with the boys.
I was just telling Oliver
that it's gonna be, like,
really busy this weekend,
and there's probably gonna
be cameras and stuff,
- 'cause it's a special year.
- Yeah.
[Susie] We got a police
escort to the track.
- I'm good. How are you?
- You are?
Yeah, not bad.
Hanging in there.
- Good luck today.
- Good to see you.
[Susie] I wasn't there
on track with him
like I normally would be.
[Dan] Where's Susie?
[Susie] I was off with the boys
And I really did miss
having a role at the track.
Now I'm here just to watch.
[announcer] This is the 10th
anniversary of Dan Wheldon.
The Wheldon legacy
carries on...
Oh, hi!
[Susie] There's a lot of
pomp and circumstance
with the Indy 500.
Susie Wheldon and the boys,
Sebastian, age 12,
Oliver, age 10.
They love this sport.
You can see it in their eyes.
Dan died doing what he loved,
and now those boys are showing
that same passion
that Dan had for racing,
and Mom can feel that.
[dramatic music playing]
- [both singing]
- [rifles cocking]
[trumpet playing]
- [crowd cheering]
- [fireworks booming]
[arena announcer] Ladies
and gentlemen, Dan Wheldon.
[crowd cheering]
He had something to prove.
Like, "I might not be here
full-time with you guys,
but by no means am I done."
[jet engines roaring]
[crowd cheering]
[dramatic music playing]
[man on PA]
Drivers, start your engines.
It's gonna get loud
on the start.
I love it.
[man] And the green flag waves.
[engines roaring]
[Bryan] From the drop
of the green flag,
Dan was right in the mix.
He was locked in.
It is Dixon, Servi, Tagliani.
Wheldon has got his foot
on the peg right now
trying to make up some time.
You just watch him methodically
moving forward.
Which is the biggest thing
you want to do in these
500-mile races.
We were racing most closely
with the Ganassi cars.
[announcer] Last year's winner,
the 10 car of Dario Franchitti.
Number 9 with Scott Dixon.
He is the favorite
in the field today.
[Bryan] They were able to go
a lap or two longer
on every tank of fuel
that we could.
And so I knew
that if it turned into
a fuel economy race
at the end,
we weren't gonna beat them
at that game.
[announcer 1] Yellow flag
on the racetrack
and a two-car crash.
[Bryan] There was a caution,
and the leaders all pitted.
[announcer 1] Dario Franchitti
has pulled in .
[announcer 2] They're gonna
fill it as full as they can.
[announcer 1] They're trying
to make this in this last stop.
[Bryan] And I've got
a decision to make.
Either we pit with the leaders
and try and bring home
a solid top-five finish,
or we risk it all...
and go for a win.
And we stayed out.
[announcer 2] Dan Wheldon's
saying, "This is the 500,
I'm not gonna give it up."
[Bryan] We made our pit stop
a little bit later,
where we didn't
have to save fuel.
[engine revving]
And we were running hard
at the end of that race,
chasing everybody down.
[engines revving]
[announcer 1]
There is Scott Dixon.
He is out in front and
the laps are winding down.
[Scott] I had what we thought
was a winning situation,
and we calculated wrong on fuel,
so then had to slow down.
[announcer 1] Guess who's now
cycled through to second place?
The 10 car of Dario Franchitti.
But it's gonna be
very tight on fuel.
I was in the fight.
[announcer 1] Dario's pace
has really dropped off.
But we did the fuel stop
too far away
to get to the finish.
Was like, ugh!
[announcer 1]
The last lap for Franchitti.
208. Uh-huh.
Full fuel conservation mode.
And what it's allowing is
J. R. Hildebrand to close.
[announcer 2]
Driving for Panther.
[Susie] The team that Dan
had driven for
for the last two years,
now they're leading the race
with two laps to go,
and it's like...
okay. [sighs]
[announcer 1]
Here comes J. R. Hildebrand.
[man on radio] Bring it home,
baby. Bring it home.
Dan's pretty far back.
[Bryan] Dan got up to fourth,
and I was thinking,
this would be incredible
if we could finish fourth.
And then he passed again.
[announcer 1]
Wheldon able to run fast
at the very end of the race.
And as we're running second...
[announcer 1]
The white flag is in hand.
Through the final two corners.
Dan Wheldon's chances
look like they have faded.
[Sam] He's a quarter
of a lap behind.
I was like, damn, so close.
[announcer 1] How fitting for
the National Guard car to win.
Listen to the crowd
cheer him on.
[crowd cheering]
Half a lap to go and
he's the Indy 500 champion.
And then it wasn't so close.
[announcer 1] He's gotta
get around the traffic.
J. R. Hildebrand.
- No!
- [announcers clamor]
He hit the wall!
[tires screeching]
Is this really even happening?
It's almost like in slow motion
how everything happens.
[dramatic string music builds]
[muffled crowd reaction]
[string music swells]
[announcer 1] Dan Wheldon
is going to win the race!
Wait a sec, did he get it?
- Yeah!
- [squeals] Oh, my God!
Oh, my God. Oh, my God.
I can remember hearing
him on the radio say...
[announcer 1]
That is unbelievable.
Oh, my God.
Oh, my God!
[announcer 1] Wheldon wins when
J. R. Hildebrand hits the wall.
[announcer 2] One of the most
stunning finishes
in not just Indy 500 history,
but sports history.
[Bryan] It was too much
to believe for any of us.
Pandemonium and jumping around
and screaming and yelling...
It was just the most
incredible emotion
that I've ever really
experienced after a race.
[Bryan] We just won
the Indy 500.
Can you believe that?
I can't--
I mean, you know,
we came here to win,
and we kept saying
we're here to win, but...
we actually won!
[announcer 1] Dan Wheldon
now approaching Victory Lane.
I'm like, "Okay. I need to go
get to Victory Lane."
So, I'm running to...
to see him.
[crowd cheering]
[announcer 1] Look at Dan.
The emotion.
[dramatic music playing]
You see his wife, Susie.
[Susie] I just put my face
in the cockpit
and told him I loved him.
[voice breaking]
It was a special moment.
[crowd cheering]
It's just an incredible day.
[interviewer] Congratulations.
Dan Wheldon, the winner
of the centennial anniversary
Indianapolis 500.
Taking my kids to Disney, baby.
I'm taking my kids to Disney.
[crowd cheering]
Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!
Go see everybody.
[crowd cheering]
[Dan] You know, I doubted
myself a little bit.
I think there's times
when you do.
[dramatic music continues]
You know, my wife
has stuck by me.
She's always given me
that inspiration
and the belief that
I'm the best out there.
[crowd cheering]
[Bryan] After Dan won the race
and he came back to the garage,
the first thing he did is he
walked over to that whiteboard
and put a checkmark
right on that box.
[music fades]
[Susie] Really long day.
It's bedtime for you, Mom.
I know.
Let's all settle down now, okay?
- Could I have a hug?
- Yeah.
- You have to come to me.
- You come to me.
This is what your dad
and I used to do.
Okay. I'm gonna squeeze you
as much as I love you.
Ready? One, two, three.
[Susie strains, exhales]
And he used to grab me so hard
and I couldn't breathe.
I thought he was gonna
break my ribs.
[laughs, exclaims]
Oliver, oh, my God!
Oh, I think you might have
done something.
Three, two, one.
Okay, okay! [gasps]
- What have I done?
- [boys laughing]
You raised us wrong!
[gentle music playing]
[boys laughing]
[music fades]
[go-kart engines revving]
[gentle music playing]
[engines revving]
Wheldon down the bottom.
Oliver Wheldon to the lead.
He's having a great run.
[tires screeching]
Sebastian Wheldon
has had a great drive.
It's been super impressive
to watch here today.
[crowd cheering]
- [Leo] It's about time.
- [Susie] Yeah.
[Sam] Winning the Indy 500
was a launching pad
for Dan to re-energize
his career.
He was like, "Okay, now
I've got myself another
five to ten years in the sport
because of this victory."
But in the world
of motorsports,
if you want to win one race,
that's the Indianapolis 500.
This kid coming out here
has won it twice.
[audience cheering]
When will you go back to racing
full-time now?
It's nice that you come
out of retirement once a year
to win the Indianapolis 500,
but when will you have
a regular series ride?
Well, we're working on that
with Bryan Herta.
And, you know, there has
been some interest.
[Susie] At the time,
Randy Bernard
was the president of IndyCar.
He had a professional
bull riding background.
[crowd cheering]
[Sam] Randy came in
with a mission
to raise the image
of IndyCar,
to put more butts
in the seats,
put more eyeballs
on the screens,
and he's a promoter by nature.
We're reaching out to our fans
each and every way we can,
and that's why we did--
if you buy a ticket to any
IndyCar Series race,
you get a free ticket
to the world--
the IndyCar world
[Sam] He was moving
the season finale to Vegas.
I think he was trying
anything creatively
to accomplish those goals.
[somber music playing]
[man] With some exciting news
about the world championship
in Las Vegas,
here is IndyCar CEO,
Randy Bernard.
The IZOD IndyCar Series
and GoDaddy
are very proud to announce
that we will give
a $5 million challenge
to our Indy 500 winner,
Dan Wheldon.
Now, Dan, there's a couple
parameters for you.
[Dan chuckles]
You have to start very last
of this 30-plus car field,
and you have to win the race.
[Bryan] Randy had this idea
that if Dan could come
from last to first,
he and a fan would
win $5 million,
and it sounded like
a great idea.
I feel at Vegas I'll be able to
compete for the win.
[Leo] So, what's up, guys?
Next month we got a big race.
This is like an Indy 500
for go-karts.
It says new venue.
I'm done with language,
and I'm done with history.
So you have math and science?
[Susie] What?
The race is gonna be
at Las Vegas Speedway.
[Oliver gasps] Oh.
Oh. Oh, that's...
- [Susie] What are they saying?
- This?
You know what
that means then, right?
What a coincidence.
Is it a-- is that what a
coincidence is?
Well, it's unexpected, for sure.
Do I have to, though,
if I didn't want to?
I wanna go.
I think you should ask yourself
how you feel about it.
There's a lot attached to that,
and I just want to make sure
you guys are okay with that.
I'm okay with that.
Nothing to say, huh?
[Sebastian] No, not really.
Just like any other race.
[Susie] It's at the Speedway.
[Michael] I thought it was
the dumbest thing.
Randy Bernard had no
experience at all in IndyCars.
There were some gimmicks
with having a fast car
like Dan in the back,
but it was more
the racetrack itself.
It was very wide,
so it was gonna
lend itself to three, four,
maybe even five abreast
racing through the corners.
And when you have
that many lines of cars going,
eventually somebody's
gonna misjudge.
[uneasy music playing]
[Dario] I'd driven Vegas
and I just was telling them
it's not suitable
for an IndyCar.
It's just not suitable.
There's no margin for error.
Somebody zigs and the other one
zags at the same time,
you know, you have
a massive accident.
- She's probably scared.
- Mm-hmm.
[Sebastian] Do you feel sad?
- Yeah.
- Mom, give me a hug.
- It's fine.
- No. You need a hug, Mom.
It's fine. I just want you guys
to be okay, you know?
Mom, I'm gonna be okay,
all right?
[Susie sniffles]
This is a publicity stunt,
putting our drivers
in a dangerous situation.
It's up to the Series
to protect us.
You know? And unfortunately,
this is what we're gonna do.
It was very frustrating,
but I didn't make it public.
I don't care who wins.
I don't care what happens.
Let's just get outta here,
you know, in one piece.
[sniffles] Um...
- [Sebastian] Love you, Mom.
- Yeah. I love you too.
[plane engine roaring]
- [dramatic music playing]
- [engines revving]
[announcer 1]
Getting a little race-y here.
[announcer 2] Wow.
[announcer 1] They go
three wide through four.
[man on radio]
[announcer 1]
That is James Jakes.
- [announcer 2] A big fire.
- That really is.
And he is already halfway
out of the car.
The car has come apart
as it made very hard contact.
The good news is James Jakes
is out of the car,
and he looks to be okay.
[reporter] In terms of
it looked like cars
were going three wide.
Would you expect to see the
same thing in the race?
No. I expect four wide.
I expect it to be really
hairy and, uh, dangerous.
Yeah. This is gonna be
one that fans will love
and the drivers will be
thankful when it's over.
I didn't want him to do it.
I spoke to him
on the Saturday night.
I said to him, "The last thing
you want in a race like that
is to be racing from the back.
Don't do the race."
[tense music playing]
[Bryan] Dan wouldn't have
pulled out of that race.
It just wouldn't have been
in his character to do that.
If you're thinking
about going, go,
'cause it's gonna be
the weekend of your life.
[Tony] That was the Lionheart.
He didn't walk away
from things.
But look...
we all know
the risks we take.
[crowd cheering]
[car horns honking]
[Susie] The night before
the race,
Dan was like,
"Yeah, it's a bit crazy."
I hadn't seen him a lot
that weekend just because
I had both the kids,
and he was super busy
with appearances
and those kinds of things.
Oliver was
a little bit restless,
so I was gonna leave,
but Dan was like, "No,
I really want you to stay."
Mom, look at this ice cream.
[Susie] And I remember
seeing, like, a tattoo place.
[peaceful music playing]
[door bell jingles]
As we got closer,
he was like,
"What do you think
we should get?" I was like...
He hadn't had any tattoos.
I had had a couple already,
and he had talked about
wanting to do something.
Do we like this one?
Yes, Mom,
for the hundredth time.
[Susie] My gosh. Do I say that
when you're at the racetrack?
But I never thought
that he would do it.
I'm like, "You're not gonna
get a tattoo."
He's like, "No, let's do this."
Let's do it.
And I'll hold your hand.
[Susie] Your dad held
my hand the whole time.
[tattoo machine buzzing]
He went first,
and then, of course,
I was like, "Okay, gotta go."
He was like,
"Absolutely not."
We both got a tattoo on our
wrist of each other's initials.
[peaceful music continues]
[distant birds calling]
There's plenty on the line
in the Nevada desert today.
200 laps, 300 miles
at 220-plus miles an hour.
And what an incredible grid
we have.
Dario Franchitti trying
to win a championship,
and we have Dan Wheldon
trying to get $5 million.
[arena announcer] Dan Wheldon!
[tense music playing]
I can't wait for the race.
[Clive] I didn't get much sleep
'cause I was up all night.
I'd opened the French doors
and the TV was on on the wall,
and, um, I fell asleep outside.
[Susie] I made my way back
to meet him at the car.
[crowd cheering]
We both had our tattoos.
I was like, "Now I'm always
there with you."
[announcer] He's got a roulette
wheel painted on his helmet.
He's ready to roll the dice.
[Susie] I felt compelled
to let him know.
[arena announcer]
Are you ready?!
Drivers, start your engines.
- [engines revving loudly]
- [dramatic music playing]
And the 34th and final car
starting in this field
will be driven by Dan Wheldon.
Dan, you're up in the
ABC booth, do you have us?
[Dan] I've got you, Scott.
[Scott] Big question
everybody wants to know is
can you win and take home
the $5 million bonus?
[Dan] Honestly, Scott,
I wouldn't be doing this
if I didn't think
that I could win.
[Scott] And the speeds
we have here,
222 miles an hour.
I mean, just fantastic speeds
here today.
You expect that in the race?
[Dan] Absolutely.
They'll be a little bit faster,
but there's just gonna
be a spectacle.
This is a great way
to go out.
[announcer] And the final race
for the championship
is green.
[Dario] Things start to get
pretty interesting quickly.
[announcer 1] We're already
seeing three wide.
Guys touching...
[announcer 1] Oh, so close
and they are touching!
Tony Kanaan is leading,
but boy,
the action back behind him,
he doesn't know
what he's missing.
[announcer 2]
He does know what he's missing.
He's glad he's not
in the middle of it.
The only plan these drivers
have right now
is to make sure they don't
make a mistake.
That's a big gnarly
mass of cars.
I distinctly remember
Dario and Scott
saying something
I'd never heard on the radio.
They both said,
"Hey, we're just gonna
ride here a little bit
and let some
things pan out."
I just remember thinking, hmm.
I never heard that before.
[Dario] There was a championship
on the line for me,
but I was just so nervous.
Looking for Dan Wheldon.
Started 34th in this field.
He has moved up ten spots.
[Sam] That's when I got
on the radio and said, "Man,
uh, this is-- this is crazy,"
but I don't know
what you can do at that point
to get people to separate.
I was sitting in my timing stand
facing turn one and two.
And so, I saw
the initial contact.
[audio halts]
[Bryan] I honestly have a big
blank spot around that time.
I don't remember
the accident, um,
even though I've seen it.
I've seen video of it.
[announcer] My God!
There's been a huge collision.
I just don't...
[announcers clamoring]
Shuffle through.
Don't remember.
Multiple cars involved.
Even, uh...
for, like, several weeks after.
I guess I'm lucky that I don't.
[announcer] Oh, my.
[ominous music playing]
[solemn choral music playing]
[Sam] It was like a bomb
went off.
Everything's exploded,
and it's just this mass
of chaos and debris.
[helicopter whirring]
[Scott] Normally, you then
cycle back around
until they pick up the debris
and the cars
and clear up the accident.
I remember the spotter saying,
"I don't know
where you should go."
It's like a plane has crashed.
There is so much debris,
there's nowhere to go.
Twelve or more cars were
just blown to pieces.
I've been in racing
for a very long time,
seen many accidents,
but nothing on this scale.
Just, it was so many.
[Tony] I didn't even know
which car was which
because there was
so much carnage.
[announcer] Fifteen cars
we now know of involved.
I was like, wow, this is--
this was bad.
You see E. J. Viso's car.
He is out of his machine.
There is Pippa Mann.
They are trying to get her
out of her car.
It's good to see her
able to walk
under her own power.
That is Dan Wheldon's machine.
I woke up,
and I'm looking at the TV.
All I heard them say,
"We hope Wheldon's all right,"
and I'm thinking, oh, my God,
he's had an accident.
And all's I could see,
this helicopter.
That's not a good sign.
We do not know who is inside
that helicopter at this moment.
[Dario] Then that horrible
rumor thing starts.
It's this guy, it's that guy,
it's so-and-so, it's Dan.
[reporter] IndyCar Series
official just confirmed to me
that it was indeed
Dan Wheldon
that was taken by air
to University Medical Center.
[Scott] And then you start
hearing trickles of stories.
That's the worst part.
"Oh, yeah. He was awake."
And you're like, okay,
that's good news.
And then you run into
somebody else,
and they're like,
"No, it's really not good."
So your emotions
are just... crazy.
[announcer] Dario Franchitti
can't celebrate
this championship right now.
Doesn't want to.
[Dario] I remember it
being quiet.
Which, in my experience,
is the worst thing.
When it goes quiet,
you've got a big crowd,
and it's just quiet.
To be honest, from that
point on, I don't remember.
I don't remember anything.
I just, "Pfft."
Shutters came down.
I went to the infield
care center,
and it was kind of...
chaotic from there.
It becomes clear that things
are a bit more serious
when everybody is kind of
cleared to go and all the,
you know, wives and girlfriends
are leaving,
and you're kind of
the last one standing.
At that point, I was like,
I'm leaving.
I want to go see my husband.
And we went to the hospital,
the doctor came and he said,
"I couldn't save him."
And I just wanted to get up
and leave,
and I wanted my kids.
["Be Free, A Way" by
The Flaming Lips playing]
Did God
Make pain
So we can know...
IndyCar is very sad to announce
that Dan Wheldon
has passed away
from unsurvivable injury.
Our... Our thoughts and prayers
are with his family today.
My life... [sniffles]
...had ended.
The number 77.
Dan Wheldon's car number today
has now been put
at the top of
the scoring pylon
here at Las Vegas
Motor Speedway.
["Be Free, A Way"
continues playing]
[Susie] We left the hospital
and went back to the hotel,
and there was
a lot of people around.
...are empty
[Susie] Every time
the door opened,
Sebastian would run over
thinking that it was his dad
coming back.
I remember Scott
sleeping on the floor.
TK sent me a message
and was just like,
"My heart is broken.
I can't even come see you.
It's devastating."
We were in a beautiful room,
and you could see
the Vegas skyline,
and I remember that moment
the sun starts to come up.
The sun shines down...
[Susie] It was almost like
a feeling of panic.
I didn't want it to be
the next day
because that would be
the first day
that I would have for
the rest of my life without him.
The first day that I wouldn't
be able to hear his voice
or see his face.
Trying to figure out
what's next.
[reporter 1] There was a tragedy
in Las Vegas yesterday.
[reporter 2] A collision as big
and fiery as we have ever seen
on live television
in a sports arena.
[reporter 3]
...has taken the life
of one of car racing's
most well-known names.
[reporter 4] Indy 500 champion,
Dan Wheldon.
[reporter 3] It happened
before thousands
at a motor speedway
in Las Vegas.
[GPS voice] Turn right onto
South Sammy Davis Jr. Drive.
Continue on Speedway Boulevard
for one and a half miles.
[turn signal clicking]
[Oliver] At least the race
is not in the track.
It's on the back side.
[music fades]
- I love you, Mom.
- I love you too, buddy.
- We got a race to win.
- I know. I know.
Your dad would be so proud
of you to be here.
'Cause it takes
a lot of courage
to even show up
here, okay?
- I know.
- All right? I love you.
- I love you.
- Okay.
[Susie groans]
[sniffles, sighs]
Ladies and gentlemen,
welcome to the 24th running
of the SuperKarts USA
Super Nationals
here in Las Vegas.
- [announcer voice fades]
- [truck beeping]
[jet engine roars overhead]
[dramatic music playing]
[sighs] Fuck.
[sobbing softly]
["About Today"
by The National playing]
You were far away...
[Michael] We were ready
to sign a contract
the day that he died.
It was all done.
It was all agreed upon.
He was gonna be
driving for us again.
And I
Didn't ask you why...
[Scott] For Oliver
and Sebastian,
this is something that
they probably always
would've strived to do,
so I don't know
what's right or wrong.
What could I say...
[Scott] But I admire the courage
of Susie to support them
in something that has to be
extremely tough for her.
Far away...
[Dario] She knows Dan would've
wanted the boys to race.
You can't breed tame rabbits
from wild ones. [laughs]
[go-kart engines revving]
When they're in that kart,
they're closer to Dan
than they are at any other
point in their life.
And I just watch you...
Of course that's what it is.
[crowd cheering]
[Leo] Drive like a Wheldon.
How close am I
To losing you
[announcer] Sebastian Wheldon
able to move up
six spots to fifth.
[go-kart rattles]
Wheldon the quickest driver
early on here.
[music intensifies]
["About Today"
continues playing]
[music softens]
[Susie] Check it out.
Your name's there
and everything.
Bro, that suit fits you.
[race car engines revving]
[music fades]
[seat belt clicking]
[engines revving]
[engine roaring]
[dramatic string music playing]
2012 500 comes,
and everybody puts on those
dreadful white glasses
that Dan wore. [laughs]
[announcer] Dario Franchitti
is gonna win the 500.
[Scott] It was
a one, two, three finish.
Dario, myself, and TK.
[Tony] Dan's three
best friends.
I couldn't believe it.
I'm like,
wherever you are, man,
you have more powers
than we do now
because you see everything
wherever the hell you are.
But stop.
You can't, like-- Really, stop.
You know when it says
like all the people
that were a part of the movie?
Am I going to be in that?
[producer] It's gonna say cast:
Sebastian Wheldon.
- Holy sh--
- [producer] Oliver Wheldon.
Susie Wheldon.
No, she's not in it.
Can we make bloopers in this?
- [producer] Yes.
- [Oliver] Let's go!
[indistinct chatter]
[Susie] Do not drop that.
Can I have headphones?
Honey, not up my nose.
How do you feel about, uh,
Dan Wheldon being your husband?
Well... [laughs]
Speak to the camera.
What's Dan Wheldon
like to work with?
Speak right to the camera.
Could probably have
a one-on-one later
and I'll really tell you
but, um... it's very good.
[producer] Maybe don't block
her face there, Sebastian.
I love you to pieces.
- [Susie] I love you.
- [Sebastian] It's a wrap, guys.
[gentle music playing]
It's been fun, guys.
I loved every minute of it.