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IndyCar cancels championship celebration event

Las Vegas, NV (Sports Network) - Following the death of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon, officials from the IZOD IndyCar Series have called off Monday's Championship Celebration at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.

Wheldon was killed in a 15-car crash that occurred in the early going of Sunday's season-ending race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Race officials canceled the scheduled 300-mile race after the lap 11 incident. Drivers later paid tribute to Wheldon with a five-lap parade around the 1.5-mile track.

"No words can describe my feelings as I reflect on my memories of Dan," IndyCar Chief Executive Officer Randy Bernard said in a statement. "His infectious smile, bubbly personality and big heart made Dan one of the most caring people I had ever met. You could never ask for a better ambassador to a sport.

"Dan represented IndyCar with the utmost respect and integrity. Dan will not only be immortalized as being a great racer but also a wonderful person. My prayers are with Susie and his two children in this very difficult time."

IndyCar said in a news release that information regarding a public memorial for Wheldon will be released at a later date.

Dario Franchitti claimed his record third straight and fourth overall IndyCar championship.

10/17 12:11:50 ET

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