Kelly Slater & Other Celebrities Donate Items for Indianapolis 500 Champion Dan Wheldon

VIA – GOOGLE NEWS / AFP

Celebrities donate items for Wheldon auction

(AFP) – 6 hours ago

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana — Celebrities from across American sports and Hollywood have donated items for an auction to benefit the family of the late Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon, IndyCar announced on Friday.

The 33-year-old Englishman, who won his second Indy 500 title last May, was killed last Sunday in a fiery 15-car wreck at a race in Las Vegas. He died of severe head injuries when his car flew into the air and hit a safety fence.

Wheldon, survived by a wife and two young sons, will be buried on Saturday in St. Petersburg, Florida, and a memorial service will be conducted on Sunday at Indianapolis in the home arena of the NBA’s Indiana Pacers.

IndyCar racer Graham Rahal offered to auction the helmet, gloves and shoes he used in the Las Vegas race to raise money for Wheldon’s family and the idea drew international support.

“I certainly appreciate everyone’s support for Dan’s Memorial Auction,” said Rahal. “I never thought when I tweeted about auctioning my helmet that we would get this kind of reaction.”

Scotsman Dario Franchitti, who won his third IndyCar season series title in a row last Sunday, donated race-worn items, as have Tony Kanaan, Oriol Servia, Marco Andretti, Simona De Silvestro, James Hinchcliffe and others.

Formula One racers Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello donated race-worn items, as have US stock car racers Juan Pablo Montoya, Jimmie Johnson, Max Papis, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and Jamie McMurray.

Actors Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett, seven-time Tour de France cycling winner Lance Armstrong, MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden, NBA star center Dwight Howard, tennis legend Billie Jean King and surfer Kelly Slater donated items for the auction.

An autographed Indianapolis Colts NFL jersey…

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