St. Petersburg: The funeral for two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon, killed in a 15-car crash at a Las Vegas race last Sunday, will be conducted on Saturday in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Susie Wheldon, the racer's wife and mother of their two children, released details of the ceremony and invited the racing community to attend services at the First Presbyterian Church of St. Petersburg.
"Although the last few days have been unbearable for our family, the overwhelming love and support we have received are rays of sunshine during these dark days," she said in a statement.
"The outpouring of sympathy and condolences has been so comforting, and I want to thank everyone for their kind notes, letters, gifts and flowers.
Wheldon suffered unsurvivable head injuries when his car went airborne in a chain-reaction wreck on lap 11 and slammed into the outer safety fence at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, then struck the concrete wall and burst into flames.
"Dan touched the lives of many people, and I would like to invite those citizens in our community who knew and loved my husband to attend his funeral service.
"Though we won't be able to fit everyone inside, I know that Dan would have wanted the community to share in the celebration of his life and to grieve his passing. Thank you again. I am forever grateful for your kindness."
Wheldon, who won his second Indy 500 title in May, was set to join Andretti Autosport for next season after not having a full-season ride in 2011, when he served as test driver for a new 2012 IndyCar chassis designed to be safer.
IndyCar will stage a public memorial service to remember Wheldon on Sunday at Indianapolis in the home arena of the NBA Indiana Pacers.