Very Superstitious: Indy 500 Crews Share Pre-Race Rituals

From kicks to handstands, racing teams do silly things to avoid tempting fate.

Superstition runs rampant in autoracing. Some teams never wear new clothing on Race Day, others always put a certain tire on first before mounting the rest.

This morning, in the garages of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, crews were buzzing around preparing the cars before wheeling them off to pit lane for the start of the the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500. When asked, a lot of members kept their superstitions secret.

But not all of them.

Chad Knaus, a crew chief with KV/AFS Racing, fielding Sebastian Saavedra’s ride, kicks the car every time before it exits the pit box at the start of the race.

Carlos Huertas’s Dale Coyne team has a superstition as well: They do handstands on the pit wall before every race (though they didn’t give a particular reason why.)

Huertas’s crew also gathers in a circle and prays for the safety of their driver. But you’d hardly call that superstition.