Dana's business sense, drive put him in IndyCar seat
Paul Dana was a bright, articulate and driven individual. It was these qualities that got him an IndyCar ride. It was these qualities that also cost him his life, writes John Oreovicz.
HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Paul Dana was intelligent enough to earn a journalism degree from Northwestern University, but that didn't prevent him from being bitten by the racing bug.
That bug came with a fatal bite Sunday. Dana, a 30-year-old IndyCar Series rookie, died while practicing for the IRL opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway, making for an extremely somber start to the 2006 open-wheel season. It was a tragic end for a bright and articulate young man who found that writing about car racing ...
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Age: 30; born in St. Louis on April 15, 1975
Education: Bachelor's degree in journalism from the Northwestern University.
Professional experience: Started as a motorsports journalist for several magazines, including Autoweek and Sports Illustrated, but dreamed of getting behind the wheel.
Driving experience: 1996-1997, debuted in Bridgestone Racing School Mechanics Championship and won three races; 1998-1999, ran in Skip Barber Formula Dodge Series, earning six wins and seven poles; 2000, competed in Formula Ford 1600 SCCA Nationals; 2001; made national USF2000 series debut, earning two top fives, and finished second in U.S. F3 series debut at Mosport Park; 2003, six top 10 finishes as a rookie in Indy Pro Series; 2004, finished second in Indy Pro Series points with victory at Milwaukee Mile and pole at Homestead-Miami Speedway; 2005, competed in three IRL IndyCar Series races, finishing season-best 10th in debut at Homestead, sustained season-ending broken back in crash during practice for Indianapolis 500 in May; 2006, signed with Rahal Letterman Racing.
Recent motorsports deaths
Most recent fatalities by series:
IndyCar*: Paul Dana, Homestead, Fla., 2006
NASCAR: Dale Earnhardt, Daytona, Fla., 2001
Champ Car: Greg Moore, Fontana, Calif., 1999
Formula One: Ayrton Senna, Imola, Italy, 1994
* Other IRL deaths: Tony Renna (Indianapolis, 2003) and Scott Brayton (Indianapolis, 1996)
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