The world lost a good man today.
Dan Wheldon, a 33-year-old IndyCar driver and father of two, died in a fiery crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. I was shocked and saddened by the news, especially because I've had the chance to talk with the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner a number of times.
Before moving to Utah in the spring of 2010, I was working in Upstate New York where the IndyCar series made a stop every summer at Watkins Glen International. It was in July of 2007 when I had my first run-in with Dan Wheldon.
He was a passionate, dedicated driver who already had two wins that season. During interviews he would always have the biggest smile on his face. He was fun to talk to and fun to interact with off camera. He loved to go to work and he loved to win. Not every professional athlete or celebrity is good to the media, but Dan certainly was.
I spent more time talking with him in 2008 and 2009. Nothing changed. The man brought his best to the table, no matter what team he was racing for.
Today was tough. One minute you see Dan joking around with other drivers in pre-race ceremonies, the next minute, Dan's gone.
It's crazy to think how quick life can change. That goes for everyone, not just athletes. Dan lived life to the fullest. He was a good person who made this world a better place. It's sad to see him gone. RIP.