Fast Facts: St. Pete's Dan Wheldon & Victory Circle Monuments

In 2011, we lost an incredibly important man, not only to the INDYCAR family, but also to the Green Savoree Racing Promotions family and St. Petersburg, Fla. community, Dan Wheldon aka “Lionheart”. His impact continues to be felt throughout the paddock, from his fellow athletes who loved him, the up-and-coming drivers who idolized him, and the fans who cheered for him. 

On March 21, 2013, the Dan Wheldon and Victory Circle Monuments were unveiled to continue on Lionheart’s legacy for years to come and recognize those who have also won on the streets of St. Petersburg. Dan Wheldon’s wife Susie Wheldon and his two sons, along with past Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg winners, Dario Franchitti, Graham Rahal, Will Power and Helio Castroneves were at the dedication ceremony of the new monuments. All the winners previous to 2013 were installed during the ceremony with plaques commemorating their terrific victories on the streets of St. Petersburg.

Continuing as a tradition on the Friday or Saturday of every race weekend, the previous year’s winner is presented a plaque that he personally receives and installs into a permanent place on the Victory Circle Monument as well as taking a moment to honor the legacy of Dan Wheldon. In late April 2021, Josef Newgarden will once again stand at the monument carrying on the recent tradition of back-to-back winners of the event. 

Quick Facts:

  • Helio Castroneves holds the title of most wins at the Firestone Grand Prix, so he boasts three plaque installations on the monument wall. 
  • Roger Penske was presented with a special plaque for 50 years of racing in 2016. 
  • There has only been one instance where a driver was unable to install his own plaque. Juan Pablo Montoya was unable to join us in 2017, so Roger Penske and Tim Cindric instead were presented with the plaque in JPM’s honor. 
  • Team Penske dominates the wall of the monument with 10 plaques displayed representing the wins across five of its drivers.