Las Vegas: Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon was killed in a fiery, 15-car crash at the Las Vegas 300 IndyCar series finale.
The 33-year-old Englishman died from injuries he received after his car was sent airborne over another on Sunday and clipped the catch fencing as a grisly pileup unfolded.
Several cars were sent flying while others careered down the track in flames.
"IndyCar is very sad to announce that Dan Wheldon has passed away from unsurvivable injuries," IndyCar Chief Executive Randy Bernard said.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family today."
Wheldon's fellow drivers had been informed of his death shortly before Bernard made his public announcement.
"IndyCar, its drivers and owners, have decided to end the race. In honor of Dan Wheldon, the drivers have decided to do a five-lap salute in his honor," Bernard said.
The crash coming out of Turn 2 of the 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometer) Las Vegas oval on the 12th lap of the race left Townsend Bell's car upside down.
"I've never seen such a mess in my entire career on the race track," said Danica Patrick, who was in her final race as a fulltime IndyCar driver before heading to NASCAR stock car racing.
"It was debris everywhere across the whole track, you could smell the smoke, you could see the billowing smoke on the back straight from the car," Patrick said. "There was a chunk of fire that we were driving around. You could see cars scattered."