10 Superstitions From the World of Motor Racing

Talking to the Vehicle
Valentino Rossi of Italy kneels next to his motorbike prior to the start of the German motorcycling Grand Prix at the Sachsenring in Hohenstein-Ernstthal. (UWE MEINHOLD/AFP/Getty Images)

Some people talk to their cars, and others don't. Some people urge the cars to go faster, while others hope they can just sweet-talk their ride into making it home without breaking down. It's not all that uncommon. And if your vehicle was largely responsible for the success of your career, it might make even more sense. Motorcycle racer Valentino Rossi is known for kneeling next to his bike before mounting it. Rossi says he uses those last few moments before the race to talk to his motorcycle, which helps him mentally prepare for the challenge ahead. It's been said that other pro racers also share a few words with their cars, but perhaps they don't like to make this particular ritual public.

Some competitors like to spend quality time with the chariot, but aren't quite so somber. Dancing is always an option, too. At least, that's what one of the co-owners of Michael Andretti's car did, while wielding a cigar, of course [source: Snopes].