Dan Wheldon won the 2011 Indianapolis 500 in dramatic fashion when he sped past JR Hildebrand, who led most of the final five laps but crashed on Turn 4 of Lap 200. Wheldon raced to the finish line, drank some milk, kissed the bricks and collected a big fat paycheck.
That last one's pretty important since, as of midnight Sunday night, Wheldon is officially out of a job.
Despite a resume that includes two Indy 500 wins and an IndyCar series championship, Wheldon will be back looking for work between changing his son's diapers Monday as his one race deal with Bryan Herta Autosport ends.
Wheldon is sure to get a sizable share of the estimated $14 million purse for winning the Indy 500. That's especially sweet considering he was a freak accident away from finishing second in the race for the third-consecutive year.
Wheldon spent the last two years driving for Panther Racing, but ended up leaving bitterly, suing for unpaid wages and travel expenses. The racer who took over for him...JR Hildebrand. Wheldon spent the season with Bryan Herta Autosport on a one-year basis.
For more on the race, stay with our 2011 Indy 500 StoryStream. Be sure to head over to Pop Off Valve for all things IndyCar, including the three excellent Indy 500 resources: The Indy 500 experience, Indy 500 traditions and the history of the Indy 500 and the Brickyard.