We missed this over the weekend, but it deserves some coverage here this week. IndyCar announced Thursday in Houston that The Dan Wheldon Memorial Pro-Am Karting Challenge at New Castle Motorsports Park will be held Oct. 26 to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.
Wheldon was a huge champion for raising awareness about Alzheimer’s after his mother was diagnosed with it in 2008.
Wheldon’s widow Susie has organized the race and found an outpouring of those willing to contribute.
“I feel so blessed to have had such an overwhelming response from people wanting to contribute,” said Wheldon, who will be attending the event with her two small children Sebastian and Oliver, as well as their father’s family from England. “The outpouring of support goes to show what kind of person Dan was and how he affected those he met. I couldn’t be more proud. Being able to carry on his legacy with an event like this, benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association, is something very special.”
The two-hour timed race will feature a four driver lineup of one pro and three amateurs. The pros racing for the 12 corporate-sponsored teams include Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, James Hinchcliffe, Alex Tagliani, Simon Pagenaud, Tristan Vautier, Sage Karam, Ed Carpenter, Martin Plowman, Josef Newgarden, Jay Howard, and Bryan Herta.
More information can be found on IndyCar’s website, here.
We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.
And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.
After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.
In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.
Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.
“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.
“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.
“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”
Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.
“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”
Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.