“The family would like to thank everybody for their overwhelming sympathy in such a difficult time,” Clive Wheldon said.
“Daniel was born to be a racer and yesterday he left us doing what he loved. He was a true gentleman and champion, on and off the track.
“He was a devoted son to Sue and myself, loving husband to his wife Susie, and a loving father to his children, Oliver and Sebastian.
"Words cannot describe how much our family will miss him. He touched so many and the world is a better place for him having been in it. We want to thank everyone for allowing us time to grieve in private.”
Other tributes continued to pour in from around the racing world. One in particular came from retired F1 pilot Derek Warwick, who survived any number of scary crashes himself.
Speaking as president of the British Racing Drivers Club, he said:
“The BRDC is extremely proud of Dan and all that he achieved and was achieving in the United States.
“He was undoubtedly one of the great talents of his generation as his racing results testified. Two victories in the Indy 500 put him in a very select group of drivers and having won the Rookie of the Year honours in 2003 it was no surprise that he should win the IndyCar championship in 2005.
“Dan followed this in 2006 by winning the BRDC Gold Star, beating the likes of Jenson Button, Mark Webber, David Coulthard and Dario Franchitti to this coveted award.”
A memorial service is planned for Indianapolis, with a date to be announced.