OFFSTAGE: Dan Wheldon Dies in Indy Crash

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Dan Wheldon died Sunday (Oct. 16) in a tragic crash at the Las Vegas Indy 300 race. He was only 33. And while he was a pro at racing Indy cars and had been go-karting since he was a little boy, he was new to country music. I met him this summer when he was at the CMT Music Awards , and he walked the red carpet with Scott Borchetta, the head of Nashville’s Big Machine Label Group. Wheldon had moved here from England and told me that because of his friendship with Borchetta, he was quickly getting up to speed on all kinds of country music. And that he especially liked Taylor Swift’s music. Borchetta’s record label had sponsored Wheldon in the Indianapolis 500 race about a month before the awards show, and Wheldon had won. It was his second Indianapolis 500 win. After Wheldon’s crash, the rest of the race was canceled. May he rest in peace.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.