Justin Timberlake paid tribute Monday (October 17) to late Indy racer Dan Wheldon, who was killed Sunday in a horrific 15-car crash at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Wheldon’s car was sponsored by Timberlake’s clothing line, William Rast, and the two men were said to be friendly.
“I was deeply saddened to hear the news on Dan Wheldon’s unfortunate and untimely death,” Timberlake said in a statement. “He was a great driver and a strong supporter of William Rast Racing. My thoughts and prayers are with his family in their time of loss.”
British driver Wheldon, 33, the father of two young children with wife Susie Behm, was airlifted to a local hospital in the wake of the crash, which sent his car hurtling through the air after it struck another racer’s vehicle. He was pronounced dead a few hours later.
Actress Ashley Judd, who attended the race in support of her husband, driver Dario Franchitti, also paid tribute to Wheldon, writing a memorial poem on her Twitter feed. “As we continue to absorb Dan’s accident — we forget, remember, re-experience shock, denial, anger, pain — I’m reminded of a favorite poem,” she wrote before quoting John Donne’s “Holy Sonnet 10″: “DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so, For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow, Due not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me. From rest & sleepe, which but thy pictures be, Much pleasure then from thee, much more must flow, And soonest our best men with thee doe goe, Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie. One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally, And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.”
The other drivers in the race took five laps in Wheldon’s honor following the crash, which ended the contest.