“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dan Wheldon Dies in Spectacular 15-car Indy Car Crash in Las Vegas


  1. Democrats love the Indy 500. It's a contest to see how fast you can go constantly turning to the left.

  2. Wasn't some sort of promotion built around him in this race?

  3. This race was unsafe and should never have taken place, the difference between NASCAR and open wheel racing is huge. Of course Dan was aware of the risks and opted to race, but he's a race car driver what do you expect? The IndyCar organizers should be held accountable, they might as well start calling it "death-race" if they allow their drivers to go oval racing.

    RIP Dan you gave everything to the sport you loved, just a shame it didn't take better care of you .....

  4. First and foremost, RIP Dan, and thoughts must go out to your young family. Such a tragedy.
    However, as a passionate motor racing fan, my sadness is mixed with quite a lot of anger right now: it was clear to many that the Las Vegas track was not only unsuitable for a season-record 34 cars, but was fundamentally unsuitable for Indycar, full stop. Oval racing for open-wheeled cars pretty much ceased around the world when speeds exceeded safety.

    Many commentators and drivers predicted pre-race that due to the nature of the oval, the cars would be running at high speed much too close together, and that a massive accident could well ensue. Sadly, desperately, they have been proved right in the worst fashion imaginable. Money was the sole reason this track was hosting a high-level single-seater race for the first time in years, and that greed has cost a young man his life. Yes, I agree, motor racing is- of course - dangerous, but this particular accident was predictable and therefore preventable - and that makes it just so much worse than it already is.To say the drivers have a choice is true, however people will play Russian roulette for money, nobody will "force" them either, should that be a televised sport as well?

    The onus is on the governing body to keep it's drivers safe, NASCAR have done this and it's great for oval racing, exciting, dangerous but about as safe as motor sport can be. IndyCar know that 225mph on oval circuits is unsafe for open-wheeled cars, why do you think Indy has moved away from short track ovals? in Vegas they allowed the race to go ahead with sadly the inevitable and very predictable result.

    Dan should not have died to satisfy the motor sport culture, safety must come first and this race was never safe. Of course you can never eliminate all risk and I agree "Motor Racing is Dangerous" that doesn't eliminate responsibility ... IndyCar let Dan down badly and there should be no excuses.

  5. If you look at the clip, the open wheel indy cars could not recover from scraping against the wall in with any capability ability of Nascar's to absorb the same hit. All those cars going air-born shows the absurdity of the speed. Very sad.

  6. Drivers had been concerned about the high speeds at the track, where they were hitting nearly 225 mph during practice.

    "We all had a bad feeling about this place in particular just because of the high banking and how easy it was to go flat. And if you give us the opportunity, we are drivers, and we try to go to the front. We race each other hard because that's what we do," driver Oriol Servia said. "We knew if could happen, but it's just really sad."

  7. NASCAR has had some fatalities in the last few years, also, right?

  8. That is true, but Nascar cars are designed to race in close formation. It is like roller derby in cars. Indy cars are too open and too fast to emulate Nascar driving.