Head case


Meet Will Power, the first Australian to blitz the hard, fast and perilous world of IndyCar racing. What drives his need for speed?

Fat blimps swim in languid circles, choppers chitter, propeller planes drag advertisements for personal injury lawyers and Crown Royal whisky, and that wide Midwestern sky glares on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Chevys and F-150s congest the carriageways in every direction of this city in the American heartland. It takes up to four hours to reach the venue, to commune in the humid haze with more than 400,000 people at what will be the largest single-day sporting event in the world.

For every thousand Americans, one of them is here today, from screaming toddlers to tobacco-chewers in John Deere hats. And they come bedecked in racing-team colours and camouflage, in jorts and bras, smoking cigars and dragging coolers of Bud Lite past the hawkers.

A black man outside the venue does a roaring trade in T-shirts. His best seller: “Hillary sucks, but not like Monica – TRUMP that BITCH”. (Another has two arrows pointing outwards, one at each bicep. And a message: “Let’s see Obama try to take away THESE guns.”)

The more bulbous among the throng inhale concession-stand delights, from smoked turkey legs to litre cups of vodka lemonade, from big Bavarian pretzels to dirty Tanqueray martinis. They say things like: “I rully do love this ee-vent, dontchaknow,” and “Sup, bruther?” and “Good golly!”


Main photograph supplied by IndyCar