The Dan Wheldon Memorial Auction numbers were announced on Friday morning, at a total of $627,203.14. That number is purely from the auction and does not include additional funds that have been given to the Wheldon memorial trust fund established after Wheldon's fatal accident at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Started by Graham Rahal with help from his girlfriend Laken Kurtz and Ryan Hunter-Reay's wife Beccy Gordon, and later in partnership with eBay, the auction sought to raise as much as possible for the Wheldon family. Rahal's helmet was the first item to enter the auction and within the following days, hours and weeks, an outpouring of items became available from the entire motorsports community.
Once the initial period of bidding had closed, Rahal discovered there had been some individuals who had bid for items but not paid. Those items were then re-listed in late December for 10 days before closing on Jan. 2, with the new winners confirmed and validated.
“I can't thank you all enough for your support of the Wheldons,” Rahal said. “It means the world to see all of you rally around and support them like this! It has been a huge joint effort of lots of people to make this happen, but when it all started I never thought this would be possible.”
The week started with Susie Wheldon accepting the “Baby Borg” on Wheldon's behalf at the BorgWarner Championship Drivers' Trophy on Jan. 11 in Detroit (ABOVE). Wheldon won his second Indianapolis 500 this past May for Bryan Herta Autosport, with team co-owners Herta and Steve Newey also accepting their “Baby Borgs” as the championship-winning owners.