The tragic death of two-time Indy 500 Champion Dan Wheldon on Sunday, after a dramatic 15-car wreck at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, is still sending shockwaves through the racing community.

Drivers described the fiery crash as the worst they had ever seen. Several cars burst into flames, and debris was spread all over the track.

The most prominent names in the sport have voiced their sadness about the loss of the famed British driving star. Wheldon, 33, had won 16 races in his nine-year career, including the Indy 500 in 2005 and 2011, and was well-respected and very well-liked in the sport. 

Reaction has been especially heartfelt to mourn Wheldon from his fellow racers.

It's a black day for the sport. We came in here hoping for a good season-finale and ended up losing a very close friend and a very good racing driver, said James Hinchcliffe.

JR Hildebrand posted this message on Twitter: What a tremendously sad day, my thoughts are with the entire Wheldon family... Dan's passion for IndyCar racing will be sorely missed....

We put so much pressure on ourselves to win races and championships, and that's what we love to do, what we live for, said former teammate Dario Franchitti. Days like today, it doesn't really matter. I lost, we lost, a good friend. Everybody in IndyCar considered Dan a friend. You saw what the reaction was. Dan was one of those special, special people, from when he first showed up at IndyCar.

On Twitter, Danica Patrick posted: There are no words for today. Myself and so many others are devastated. I pray for suzi and the kids that god will give them strength.  

The last time there was a fatality in IndyCar was more than five and a half years ago. Wheldon's recent death recalls another fine driver, and an ambassador for the sport.

Paul Dana, a driver and motor sport journalist for Sports Illustrated, AutoWeek, and Maxim, died on Mar. 26, 2006, at Homestead-Miami Speedway when he collided at 176 miles per hour with Ed Carpenter's disabled car.

Dana couldn't effectively brake due to the debris from Carpenter's car just before impact. It was a horrific crash, and those who witnessed it said it was shocking how the accident occurred.

Many in the sport took the loss of Dana hard. He was extremely passionate about driving and writing, and his enthusiasm had a profound effect on others. ESPN's Brent Musberger was particularly moved by the loss of Dana.