Paul Dana

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Paul Dana
Nationality United States American
Born (1975-04-15)April 15, 1975
St. Louis, Missouri
Died March 26, 2006(2006-03-26) (aged 30)
Homestead, Florida
Indy Racing League IndyCar Series
Years active 2005-2006
Teams Hemelgarn Racing
Rahal Letterman Racing
Starts 4
Wins 0
Poles 0
Fastest laps 0
Best finish 27th in 2005
Previous series
2003-2004
2001
2001
Infiniti Pro Series
United States Formula Three
Formula Ford 2000 USA

Paul Dana (April 15, 1975 – March 26, 2006) was an American race car driver in the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series.

Early life[edit]

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Dana graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Before becoming a race driver, he worked as a mechanic, a private racing coach, a driving instructor, a PR & marketing account representative. He also was an editor and journalist covering motor sport, his writing having appeared in AutoWeek, Sports Illustrated and Maxim.

Racing career[edit]

In 1996 Dana was working as a mechanic at the Bridgestone Racing School in Ontario when he won his first races there. In 1998 he moved to Indianapolis and began competing in Barber Dodge Pro Series, and his top 20 finish earned him an invitation to the inaugural Formula Dodge National Championship. He then competed in the Infiniti Pro Series where he captured one race win and placed second in the 2004 championship. He then secured sponsorship to run in the IndyCar Series with sponsorship from Ethanol suppliers, which he brought to Hemelgarn Racing.

After competing in 3 IndyCar Series events, Dana suffered a spinal fracture while practicing for the 2005 Indianapolis 500 and missed the rest of the season, replaced by Jimmy Kite. He returned to the series to race for Rahal Letterman Racing after he recovered from his injuries.

Fatal crash[edit]

In the practice session for the first race of the 2006 IndyCar Series season, at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Dana collided with Ed Carpenter's disabled car after Carpenter's tire went flat, thrusting the car into a retaining wall, before sliding to the bottom of the track. Paul Dana, in the Rahal-Letterman car, was told to "go low" by his spotter. Slow-motion footage showed that Dana had hit debris from Carpenter's car just before impact, which caused damage to the right-front suspension and prevented effective braking.[citation needed]

ABC/ESPN's telemetry indicated Dana's car hit Carpenter's car at about 176 mph (283 km/h), while Scott Sharp, who was running alongside Dana, reported that he had slowed to approximately 50 mph (80 km/h) by the time of Dana's impact.

Dana was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he died due to complications from his injuries sustained in the crash. He was 30 years old, and is survived by his wife Tonya.

After his death, Dana's teammates Buddy Rice and Danica Patrick did not compete in the Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, as a mark of respect for their deceased teammate.

On his March 27, 2006 television show, an emotional David Letterman paused to offer his condolences to Paul Dana's family; "It's not hard to imagine the despair and sorrow that Paul Dana's wife, Tonya, and the rest of his family are feeling now, and I want them to know that they have the thoughts and the prayers of myself, the entire Rahal-Letterman team, and the entire racing community and, hopefully, that will give them the slightest amount of comfort. I did not know Paul personally but we were all proud to have him on our team and are deeply saddened by his tragic passing at such a young age."

Racing record[edit]

American open–wheel racing results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Indy Lights[edit]

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Rank Points
2003 Kenn Hardley Racing United States
HMS
13
United States
PHX
6
United States
INDY
7
United States
PPIR
DNS
United States
KAN
13
United States
NSH
7
United States
MIS
10
9th 234
Brian Stewart Racing United States
STL
7
United States
KTY
8
United States
CHI
13
United States
FON
14
United States
TXS
2004 Hemelgarn Racing United States
HMS
8
United States
PHX
5
United States
INDY
10
United States
KAN
2
United States
NSH
2
United States
MIL
1
United States
MIS
4
United States
KTY
2
United States
PPIR
2
United States
CHI
8
United States
FON
12
United States
TXS
11
2nd 379

IndyCar Series[edit]

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Rank Points
2005 Hemelgarn Racing United States
HMS
10
United States
PHX
21
United States
STP
Japan
MOT
20
United States
INDY
DNS
United States
TXS
United States
RIR
United States
KAN
United States
NSH
United States
MIL
United States
MIS
United States
KTY
United States
PPIR
United States
SNM
United States
CHI
United States
WGL
United States
FON
27th 44
2006 Rahal Letterman Racing United States
HMS
DNS
United States
STP
Japan
MOT
United States
INDY
United States
WGL
United States
TXS
United States
RIR
United States
KAN
United States
NSH
United States
MIL
United States
MIS
United States
KTY
United States
SNM
United States
CHI
40th 6

References[edit]

External links[edit]