White knows both the triumph and the tragedy of working in open wheel racing. He still proudly wears the ring he earned as a fuel man during Eddie Cheever's Indianapolis 500 victory in 1998. Just a year later, White was part of the Player's Racing team when their driver Greg Moore died in a crash during the last CART race of the year.
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"There's probably not a lot they could have done with that particular situation," said White.
As a Certified Safety Manager for Purdue Motorsports Engineering, Danny has poured over video and images of the crash and says two things come to mind, beginning with the car.
"If we can control the cars from becoming airborne, and stopping them from launching like small aircraft, then I think we've mitigated a very huge risk to Indy Car," White said.
The body design of next year's Indy Car appears to address that issue. In fact, Dan Wheldon worked with Dallara to help test the car, which features an aero kit that better protects the rear wheels in order to prevent the same type of wheel hooking that contributed to Wheldon's car launching into the air.
"The difference, I think, if he was in the 2012 car we may be having this conversation with Dan today," White said. "But who knows because you just can't tell because of the way it went into the catch fence."
Danny says that catch fence, which extends above the wall around the track, is the other problem.
"You get up into the fence and the steel cables are very aggressive," White said. "It's kind of like a cheese grater but of a much, much larger scale and it just shreds and destroys the car."
White says he hopes Indy Car forms a committee of safety experts and engineers to look at the possibility of developing safer materials or other options for catch fences. He says it's a committee he'd be happy to be part of in order to prevent another tragedy.
"I believe that we should not let Dan's life go in vain," said White. "I think that we should take this and learn from it. Learn what we can do to improve the safety of the sport and to protect those drivers."
White says Purdue Motorsports is currently working with an outside company to develop their own redesigned aero kit, which could be used by some Indy Cars during the 2013 season.