Friday, June 14, 2019

Dale Whittington Found Dead At Age 43 - June 14, 2003

September 23, 1959 - June 14, 2003
Dale Whittington
Born in Orlando, Florida, USA.
He was the youngest of three Whittington brothers. All three are race car drivers and sons of Dick Whittington, a 1950s race car owner.

Despite having little oval experience, Whittington entered the 1982 Indianapolis 500, joining his brothers Bill and Don to become the only trio of siblings to qualify for the same race at Indy. He qualified 23rd, on the eighth row.

On race day, he found himself caught up in the infamous Kevin Cogan crash. During the final pace lap, just before the green flag was to drop on the front stretch, Kevin Cogan struck A. J. Foyt, and then Mario Andretti. As the field checked up to avoid the carnage, Whittington locked his brakes and spun into Roger Mears, a driver in the sixth row. All four drivers were eliminated from the race. Dale was out of the race having never taken the green flag, and never again managed to qualify at Indy.

Whittington avoided prison time in connection with the 1980s IMSA Camel GT drug smuggling scandal which involved his brothers Bill and Don, as well as Randy Lanier, John Paul Sr., and John Paul, Jr. Both of his brothers received prison time.

Whittington transitioned to endurance racing, competing in the ALMS series, as well as competing at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1999 and 2000. He competed in Grand-Am in 2001 often racing with his brother, Don.

During his final years Whittington was working at World Jet, owned by his brother Don, at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. His death came on June 14, 2003. He was found dead by his oldest son, reportedly from a drug overdose.

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