IndyCar racer Dan Wheldon died in a fiery, 15-vehicle crash at a Las Vegas track in October.

Story highlights

Two-time Indy 500 champ Dan Wheldon died at Las Vegas track in October

IndyCar says it needs more time for an investigation and to test its new car

Las Vegas track is comparatively wide, allowing more side-by-side racing

"This is not a suitable track," driver Dario Franchitti told ABC News after the crash

CNN  — 

IndyCar racers won’t return next year to the Las Vegas track where two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon died in a fiery, 15-vehicle crash, the racing series said on Thursday.

Wheldon’s name wasn’t mentioned in a news release explaining IndyCar’s decision not to have its season-ending race next October 14 in Nevada, as originally planned. And there was no indication that the circuit had ruled out its drivers coming back another year, after 2012.

The move followed consultations between IndyCar and Las Vegas Motor Speedway officials, in which the key parties said “considerable testing with the new car is needed prior to returning to the facility,” according to the release. The new car for the IZOD IndyCar racing series is set to debut next year.

“We feel we need to give our technical team ample time to conduct thorough testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, once we complete our ongoing investigation” into the October 16 crash, IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said.

Weeks before the fatal wreck, Wheldon was behind the wheel of the new prototype car – one meant to make his sport safer, and ideally no less exciting.

The Englishman had been outspoken for months about safety. IndyCar Vice President Will Phillips said in an October story on, the racing series’ official website, that Wheldon had provided “consistent and concise” feedback in this effort.

The crash that killed him raised even more questions, about safety in motor sports generally and at the Las Vegas track specifically. The 33-year-old was among those driving at about 220 mph in tight quarters in the 34-vehicle field when several members of the pack spun out of control and burst into flames.

Two days later, IndyCar announced there would be an investigation. It is being done by the Automobile Competition Committee of the United States and the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, the sport’s national and international governing bodies.

The loop in Las Vegas is 1.5 miles, one mile shorter than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It also is wider than many others – such that more cars can run alongside – and potentially collide with – one another.

After Wheldon’s death, driver Dario Franchitti told ABC News that the oval offered “nowhere to get away from anybody.”

“This is not a suitable track, and we’ve seen it today,” he said.