Indy 500 driver helmets styled to stand out


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Stefan Wilson’s first racing helmet was a hand-me-down from his older brother, Justin. So was his 2nd a person. And his third.

The Wilson brothers experienced created the pattern jointly as youngsters growing up racing go-karts in England. When Stefan finally acquired a prospect to design and style his individual protective headgear, he made the decision to preserve every thing the similar and just modify the hues.

It labored for a although, but Stefan in the long run “went absent from that to sort of create my individual identity.”

Now, he’s eager to carry it back again. Stefan has a specifically painted helmet for the Indianapolis 500 that pays tribute to his early racing career and his more mature brother, who died soon after being struck by crash debris at Pocono Raceway in 2015.

“It’s variety of neat to go again to that notion that we both shared many, quite a few several years in the past and deliver that type of whole circle,” stated Wilson, whose helmet also options a British flag and remembers three buddies who died in the very last two many years. “To be in a position to continue on to see that pattern that he utilized, that was so simply identifiable as him, to continue on employing that sample and just placing my have spin on it, it’s unique for me.”

It’s also part of a rising custom at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, exactly where extra and far more drivers are putting on 1-off helmets fashioned to stand out during “The Best Spectacle in Racing.” It is really substantial-speed art that’s displaying no signals of slowing down.


The 7-time NASCAR champion and Indy 500 rookie partnered with near good friend and region audio star Blake Shelton to honor spouse and children customers who served in the military services. Johnson’s helmet characteristics a pink, white and blue paint scheme along with black-and-white pictures of his grandfather and Shelton’s brother and father.

“As this race drew in close proximity to, I wanted to do anything special for Memorial Working day,” Johnson said. “Our friendship and the entertainment and pleasure he could convey to this party, I realized he’d be the appropriate person to assist me design the helmet.”


The Mexican driver is paying homage to famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“It’s brick themed,” O’Ward reported. “You can essentially sense the bricks. When I think of IMS, initial of all, the bricks, right? You imagine of the brinks, you feel of the milk. … I required a helmet that represented what I imagine of IMS when I first came here and, indeed, the bricks. That is what you want to have the likelihood to kiss with your group each time you gain all over below.”


The Frenchman turned to sculptor and visible neo-pop artist Richard Orlinski to style and design his helmet.

“It’s couture,” Grosjean mentioned. “He asked me for a couple of phrases. I said, ‘Never give up and acquire.’ We produced a collaboration with individuals text and his designs. He created two. He retains a person and I keep 1.”


Andretti is commemorating his 250th IndyCar race with a helmet that features shots from some of his podium finishes and pole celebrations. Andretti turned to Ryan Young, who has made helmets for NASCAR stars Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin.

“It’s great,” Andretti mentioned. “I now have about 50 on display in my library of the property. This one particular will go there for sure. In the earlier, I’ve compensated tribute to a whole lot of my idols on helmets. But some of them I never ever met. I held the selection to the people today I have fulfilled.”


The 4-time and defending Indy 500 winner authorized sponsor World Health-related Response to handle his helmet structure this yr. GMR is the founding associate of the All Crystal clear Basis, which backs packages focused on improving the lives of first responders. Castroneves’ helmet will be auctioned off to raise dollars for the charity.

The 47-calendar year-aged Brazilian has the previous two of his 4 successful Indy 500 helmets. His moms and dads have yet another and Staff Penske President Tim Cindric has the other.

“I will do a museum ultimately,” Castroneves reported. “And then I will have them all on display.”


The Spaniard and defending IndyCar Sequence winner has a chrome duplicate of the Borg Warner trophy (presented each year to the race winner) wrapping close to his helmet. The chrome-and-blue pairing tends to make it 1 of the far more striking in the paddock.


The Indianapolis native and enthusiast most loved receives a just one-off helmet for the 500 each individual year. He’s accomplished it yearly for the final 19 a long time.

“I do not put in the vicinity of as a lot time into it as other people today,” Carpenter reported. “It’s not always often various than all my other helmets. It’s just 1 that I retire just after this race and hold in the assortment.

“Some are displayed. Some are in a closet at property,” he reported. “I’m having previous enough that I actually have a spreadsheet now to make sure I know exactly where they all are and accounted for.”


Extra AP vehicle racing: and activities


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