Wil Power checked the posted starting positions in a cool, passing fashion. As a race day wind whipped her long, dark curls, she donned her sunglasses with a dramatic flair and looked bored. She heard an increase in volume from the three hundred thousand cheering fans just a tarmac away; they loved her unaffected demeanor and professional detachment.
“You ready?” her crew chief asked.
She nodded. Once.
He nodded. Half of once.
Her team swarmed around her tracksuit body; taming the hair, gloving the hands, booting the feet, and even glossing the lips. They stepped away to reveal Wil Powers: race car driver, today’s favorite to win.
Wil turned to the thousand-person section nearest her and blew them a red-lipped kiss. The resultant screams and foot-pounding shook the ground, even where she stood. Accepting her helmet from the last waiting crew member; she raised it, donned it, straightened it, tucked her hair in it. Spinning on a heel, she strutted the asphalt catwalk to her waiting car.
She loved her car almost as much as herself: sleek, fast, sexy; sporting the top sponsor every other driver envied her for. Let them envy.
Her chief’s instructions droned in her ear as her hands and eyes ran their automatic checks over instruments, seat, steering, and panel. Fully fueled, newly tired, she could feel her IndyCar just waiting to fly.
Not soon enough, the officials were finally ready. Non-drivers began moving away. “Not yet, Baby,” she told her ride.
“Not yet,” echoed in her ear.
Crews scattered, engines started, the customary celebrity car inched forward to lead them.
Not yet, she felt in the impatient rumble through her seat.
The trio in front of her moved out and hers followed after a pause. She was on the inside. She was ready. In a clouded haze of pre-race meditation, Wil saw the race from a distance: thirty-three cars all weaving patiently; thirty-three drivers scratching, adjusting, rubbing visors, quadruple-checking screens.
“Two corners, then green flag,” her crew chief intoned.
“Almost,” she purred.
Another celebrity stood poised atop the tower, his green flag already waving like mad. Wil Power did not even grant him a glance as her red baby zoomed across the start and hungrily revved to reach lap speed.
“Now!” they all chorused. Beneath the helmet, she smiled.
Continued from Seventy-Nine.
Want to start at the very beginning? It’s a very good place to start.