On the morning following the Speedway's announcement, Howard Marmon stopped alongside Ray Harroun's drawing board to check the progress being made on plans involving a new type of carburetor.
"I imagine all of the boys in the shop are talking about the 500-mile race on Memorial Day," said Marmon.
"And wondering how many cars will be running at the finish," added Harroun. "That's almost as far as from Indianapolis to Washington, D. C."
"Some of them will go the full distance," said Marmon, "and there isn't any reason why the winner shouldn't be a Marmon. Another victory would sell a lot of cars for us. I know you've said you are all through with racing, but I'd like you to drive the Wasp again in just this one race. I'm sure you could win with it."
"No," said Ray. "I've had enough. I meant what I said. I don't ever intend to drive in competition again. You don't need me, anyway. There's no reason why Dawson can't do just as well with the Wasp as I would."
"I've been considering the possibility of building another new car for Joe and entering both of you. Think about it for a few days before giving me a final answer."
Then Marmon turned to a technical point: "How do you think the chances of a four-cylinder engine—such as the one we are using in our Model 32, only much larger—would compare with the six we built for the Wasp?"
"It probably would be just as fast, if the piston displacement is comparable. But it wouldn't function as smoothly as the six, and I don't believe it would have quite as much chance of going the distance."
"I'd like to build at least one four for the race," said Marmon. "Like most of the other manufacturers, that's the type of engine we are offering to the public. It would be a real feather in our cap if it finished ahead of the cars entered by our principal competitors—even if it shouldn't win.
"Work out some bore and stroke combinations during the next few days," he continued, "and let me know what 'specs' you believe would be best."
Harroun had the preliminary drawings ready within a week. "Here are some sketches of a four-cylinder engine with a four-and-a-quarter-inch bore and seven-inch stroke," he said, unrolling several sheets of paper. "That will give us a displacement just under 500 inches. I believe it's enough to get the job done.
"And here are a few suggested changes in the design of the six we built for the Wasp. You'll want a complete new engine for it, too, and I believe these modifications would improve its performance without changing the present four-and-a-half-inch bore and five-inch stroke."
"Have you decided to drive it for us?" asked Marmon.
"Five hundred miles is too far for anyone to drive at high speed," said Harroun. "The fellows who try it will be so tired during the last 150 miles they'll be lucky to keep their cars off the wall."
"I certainly agree with you," said Marmon. "I wouldn't expect any man to go the full distance and win. But if you're willing to drive the first 200 miles and the last 200 miles, with a rest of an hour or so in between, I can get Cyrus Patschke to relieve you. He's had a lot of road racing experience in the East.
I had a letter from him not too long ago, asking if we might have an opening for him on the Marmon team. He helped Mulford win a 24-hour race on Long Island last year and he shouldn't have any trouble getting acquainted with the car and the track. How about it?"
"I'll think it over," said Ray.
Marmon found it unnecessary to mention the matter again. During the days of hard work which followed, it became obvious Harroun had decided to drive in the "500."
Almost every racing team in the country was building something new for the Memorial Day event, and the Speedway staff, too, was working overtime. As a replacement for Moross, who had welcomed an opportunity to become the United States representative for Fiat, Fisher had obtained the services of T. E. Myers and C. E. (Heinie) Shuart. Myers, borrowed from the Globe Realty Company to handle Speedway ticket sales for the 1910 events, was placed in charge of the office with Miss Eloise (Dolly) Dallenbach as his secretary. Shuart, a former Indianapolis sports writer, was chosen for the task of publicizing the race. In addition to coining nicknames for many of the drivers, he began calling Myers "Pop." It wasn't long until everyone connected with racing was doing the same.
Before the frost was out of the ground in the spring, interest in the first "500" had exceeded even Fisher's expectations. Superintendent E. B. Pierce was working his crews of men from dawn to dusk to complete the construction of new grandstands, bleacher sections and over-the-track bridges to the infield. The entry list for the race increased steadily to a field of 46 cars. Almost every driver of prominence was engaged in making preliminary practice runs at the track by mid-May.
The only important exceptions were Barney Oldfield, George Robertson, and Bert Dingley. Oldfield was under AAA suspension for participating in unsanctioned events. Unlike Harroun and Lytle, Robertson ignored all efforts to bring him out of retirement, and Dingley remained in California to fulfill previous commitments made to promoters in that area.
Several wealthy American sportsmen, such as Eddie Hearne and Spencer Wishart, had imported expensive European cars to drive in the big event, and their arrival added international flavor to the competition.
Although Harroun was one of the first to turn in practice laps at speeds slightly better than 80 miles an hour, he seemed perfectly content to reel off lap after lap in the 77-78 bracket while some of his rivals soon were being clocked at 82 and 83.
"Maybe we ought to try a different gear ratio," said Marmon as Ray coasted to the pits minutes after being passed by both DePalma and Burman. "If we can't find another two or three miles an hour before race day you won't have a chance of winning."
"I can get that much more out of it any time I want to open it up," replied Harroun, as he climbed out of the cockpit. "But I'm all through running for the day. Let's take it back to the garage.
"There's no reason for us to kid ourselves," continued Harroun, as soon as they were out of earshot of the railbirds. "There are at least a half a dozen cars here faster than the Wasp. But almost every time one of them has passed me in practice, it's back in the pits a few laps later to change tires. If anyone tries to run flat-out all the way, as most of them have been doing in practice, he'll have to change so many tires he'll beat himself."
"How many miles do you think you can get out of a set of tires?" asked Marmon.
"The right rear always wears out first, of course," said Harroun. "But, according to the tests I've been running, I'm sure I can go the first two hours at 75 miles an hour without a tire change.
"It's amazing how much difference two or three miles an hour can make," he continued. "At 77 or 78, I've found out that I run out of rubber within 60 minutes; and at 80 miles an hour or better the tires often blow after only a few laps. These bricks really are hard on tires. All it takes is the least bit of a skid on the turn to tear off the tread, and nobody can drive this track at 80 miles an hour without getting into an occasional slide."
"Most of the fellows are riding on Michelins," said Marmon. "Do you think we ought to change over to them, too?"
"I'm happy with my Firestones. Burman used Firestones, too, on his 140-mile-an-hour straightaway record run in Florida, and I don't believe we'd gain a thing by changing. An extra set of shocks on the rear end might give us a little better tire wear, but otherwise I don't want to change a thing.
"I think an average of 75 miles an hour will win the race," continued Harroun. "Last year, in the Wheeler-Schebler, I went the full 200 at an average of 72 with one pit stop and won easily. By upping that average three miles an hour I feel sure I can repeat."
Marmon frowned and shook his head. "A lot of the boys are going to be running faster than that."
"Maybe they will. We're giving away more than a hundred inches to cars like the Simplex and the Fiats and the Mercedes. DePalma and Wishart and David Bruce-Brown will probably be trying to run wide open all the way. But if they do, they'll be spending a lot more time changing tires than I will."
"What about the Nationals and Buicks?"
"Aitken and Chevrolet still haven't got all of the bugs out of their new engines," said Ray. "I doubt if either one of them finishes. The fellow to watch is Mulford in that big white Lozier. He always manages to go the distance and he drove a terrific race to win at Elgin last fall. If anyone beats me, he's the one most likely to do it. If I can stay close to Mulford and avoid being lapped by any other driver, I don't intend to run more than a fraction of a mile above 75 for at least the first hundred miles. There still will be plenty of time to change our plans then, if necessary."
"All right," said Marmon." Patschke should be here within a day or two. We can talk things over with him as soon as he becomes familiar with the car."
Patschke approved Harroun's strategy and was particularly pleased with the Wasp's handling qualities.
According to the provisions of the entry form, every driver was required to prove his car capable of covering a quarter mile on the straightaway at 75 miles an hour. These time trials took place the Friday before Tuesday's race. Thirty-eight passed the test easily. As Harroun completed his run successfully, however, one of the judges called him aside.
"Do you know a few of the drivers are talking about filing a protest which might keep the Wasp from running Tuesday?"
"That's ridiculous," said Ray. "Are you kidding?"
"They claim you're a hazard on the track because you don't carry a riding mechanic to keep you informed of cars coming up from behind to pass you. Every other driver in the race—even your teammate, Dawson—has a riding mechanic. They may be able to get a lot of support for the protest."
"I didn't hear any objections when I rode alone last year," said Ray. "And there's nothing in the rules that says I have to carry a mechanic. Who's doing the objecting?"
"I don't want to name names unless a formal protest is filed," said the judge. "But the rules do give officials in charge of the race power to disqualify any car which, in their opinion, is a hazard."
"It's too late in the game for them to do anything like that."
"It may be too late for you to make any changes," said the official. "But it isn't too late for them to rule you out. They could do that on the morning of the race if they wanted to—and they might, if enough of the drivers object."
"I still think it's ridiculous," said Ray. "Hell, if they're only worried about how I'll see cars closing in from behind, I can rig up a mirror like one I saw on a carriage in Chicago."
"That might be a good idea," said the judge. "At least it would give the officials an excuse to rule in your favor if a protest is filed."
Ray found a mirror exactly to his liking: it was eight inches long and three inches wide and protected by a steel frame. He bolted two pieces of half-inch iron bars, five inches long, to the edge of the cowling and welded the top of the bars to the lower corners of the mirror's frame; he could see under it without difficulty and still get a good view to the rear by raising his glance a couple of inches. Two longer quarter-inch iron rods, bolted to the top corners of the mirror frame and the forward edge of the cowling, provided sufficient support to eliminate almost all vibration. The first rearview mirror ever used on an automobile was a reality.
Although it caused very little comment at the time, the mirror put a quick end to reports the Wasp might be disqualified. Harroun had silenced his critics without being called on to say a word in defense of his one-man car.
As a final publicity boost, Fisher made a deal with Burman to try for a new track record in his big German Benz at a distance of one mile on the day before the race. A crowd of more than 5,000 was on hand for the occasion at 9 o'clock Monday morning. Burman clipped almost a half second off Oldfield's mark, covering the mile in 35.25 for an official average speed of 102.127 miles an hour.
"That'll give everybody an idea of how fast the boys will be running on the straightaways tomorrow," said Fisher, as the new speed king returned to the starting line to accept the crowd's ovation. "We're going to have the biggest damn crowd anyone in this country has ever seen."
At almost the same instant, smoke and flames emerged from under the hood of the Benz. Fearing an explosion, spectators around it scattered in all directions. Several quick-thinking race drivers grabbed some potted peonies from in front of the judges' stand and smothered the blaze with dirt.
When the excitement was over, the track was cleared so that the eight cars which had experienced mechanical trouble during Friday's trials could have another opportunity to qualify. Two were successful, increasing the official field to 40, and Fisher ordered all of them to take their assigned starting positions—five abreast—for a dress rehearsal of the flying start.
With Fisher at the wheel of his own Stoddard-Dayton and Allison as his only passenger, they pulled away from the starting line slowly. Clouds of smoke from the roaring exhausts made it almost impossible for Allison to see any of the cars except those in the front row. Fisher increased his speed to 60 miles an hour on the backstretch. When they moved into the third turn, Jim was able to see the entire field strung out in ragged fashion for almost a full mile.
"Slow down and give 'em a chance to get into position," he shouted. "They're scattered all over hell's half acre."
"They'll catch up with us," said Fisher.
But at the end of the lap, when Fisher braked to a stop on the pit apron, the formation was worse than it had been on the turn. He waited until they had straggled back to their respective pits at the end of another lap, then tried to find out what had caused the trouble.
"It's a helluva feeling to be in the middle of that pack on the turns at 60 miles an hour with the smoke so damn thick you can't even see where you're going," said Wilcox.
"The straightaways aren't so bad," said Hughie Hughes. "But some of us are going to lock wheels if we have to run five abreast through the corners without seeing well enough to know how close we are to the cars alongside of us. The smoke is bad enough, and then the cars ahead of us churn up so much dust it's worse than riding through a sandstorm."
"If we stay under forty until we get to the head of the main stretch," said Mulford, "it'll be a lot safer for all of us, and we'll have a better chance to maintain formation."
"I want to talk to more of the fellows first," said Fisher. "But if they're in favor of 40 miles an hour it's all right with me."
At 5 o'clock on race day morning, as soon as it was light enough to tackle the task successfully, members of Captain W. P. Carpenter's "security force" cleared the grounds of overnight fence climbers. More than 200 were discovered hiding under the bleachers and high in the trees which were left standing on the inside of the No. 4 turn.
At 6:30 A.M., as an aerial bomb exploded high overhead, all gates to the track swung open simultaneously. Early arrivals for the first "500," coming by shuttle train and traction cars, hurried through the turnstiles at the main entrance after purchasing their $1 general admission tickets. Seats in only two of the huge grandstands, A and B, and the new Paddock stand, had been reserved by number. The big push was for the free seats in Grandstands C and D.
Open touring cars, with an occasional horse and buggy in the flow of traffic, moved through the other gates to the free parking areas provided by the Speedway management. Later arrivals, in a crowd estimated at more than 80,000, lined the infield fence as the 40 race cars in the starting line-up were pushed to their pits.
Each driver made one solo lap around the course when introduced by the track announcer. Special tribute was paid to Burman. Referee A. R. Pardington, acting for the Firestone company, whose tires Burman had used while setting a world's straightaway record of 141.732 mph for a measured mile on the Florida sands earlier in the year, presented him with a gold-studded crown valued at $10,000.
Then the cars were rolled to their starting positions. Car numbers had been assigned by the Speedway in the same order the entries were received. Because of the potential advertising value for their Model 32 passenger car, Marmon officials had withheld Harroun's entry until 31 others had been received. Harroun found himself in the sixth row between Dawson and Mulford.
Such favorites as DePalma, Aitken and Strang were among the fortunate drivers occupying front-row positions. Wishart, Anderson, Art Chevrolet, Wilcox, and Merz were some of the other popular veterans near the front of the pack. Brown's position was immediately in front of Harroun. Lytle, Burman, and Hughes were the three most prominent contenders in the seventh and eighth rows.
Race officials moved rapidly from one car to another, reminding every driver the pace lap would be run at 40 miles an hour. Riding mechanics and Harroun's crew chief, Harry Goetz, grasped the cranks of their respective cars as they awaited the signal—another aerial bomb explosion—to start their engines.
When it came, the mechanical monsters roared into life with earsplitting detonations. Many spectators covered their ears with their hands as they stood on tiptoe to watch the clouds of black smoke belch from the exhaust ports of the cars. The odors of benzene and castor oil swept through the stands.
In a matter of seconds, the entire field was in motion toward the first turn and disappearing from view as it headed into the backstretch more than a half mile away. The sound of the engines diminished gradually until it resembled the angry buzz of a swarm of hornets. Then it grew in volume again as the cars approached the head of the main straightaway. The forward rows of the starting line-up and most of the other cars in the field maintained perfect formation until starter Fred Wagner gave them the red flag—signaling a clear course ahead—as the pace car crossed the line and swerved to the pit apron on the inner edge of the track.
Aitken charged to the front instantly in his big blue National with DePalma in close pursuit. Wishart in his expensive chain-drive Mercedes moved up rapidly from his No. 11 starting spot and forged into the lead on the fifth lap. Fred Belcher, whose previous racing experience had been limited chiefly to hill climbs and endurance events, provided the first major surprise of the day by passing all three front-runners with a tremendous burst of speed on lap 10.
Wishart was forced to stop for a new tire. But the other three, accompanied by Brown, soon were lapping the stragglers. When a new-type demountable rim tore loose from the right rear wheel of Art Greiner's Amplex as it emerged from the No. 2 turn, the car overturned, and Greiner's mechanic suffered fatal injuries.
The blue flag, warning all participants of an accident on the course, caused the leaders to reduce their speed momentarily.
As soon as the wreckage was cleared, Brown and DePalma started a terrific seesaw battle for first place, with Aitken a close third.
Driving according to plan, Harroun followed Mulford as the two moved up through the field steadily. Nearing the 100-mile mark (40 laps) Mulford passed DePalma and Aitken to take second place. While Harroun debated the wisdom of making a similar move, Mulford's right front tire exploded. It was all he could do to keep the big Lozier off the wall. At almost the same instant, as if Mulford's misfortune had served as a signal, a veritable epidemic of tire failures swept through the field.
Disbrow's Pope-Hartford and Tetzlaff's Lozier experienced blowouts while running side by side on the main straightaway. They crashed into each other and both cars were damaged too severely to continue. Stragglers and front-runners alike began a steady stream to the pits for fresh rubber. Brown and Harroun were among the few to avoid stops at this stage of the race. Without increasing his speed even a fraction of a mile an hour, Ray suddenly found himself in second place. His strategy was beginning to pay dividends.
At 150 miles (60 laps) the favorites slowly were regaining some of the lost ground. But Harroun continued his machine-like 75-miles-an-hour pace in the No. 2 position even though Brown was adding a couple of seconds to his lead on each trip around the course. DePalma, Mulford, Aitken, Dawson, and Wishart trailed the Wasp in that order, with Harry Knight, "Wild Bill" Turner, and Merz completing the first 10.
The physical strain had not been as severe as Harroun had anticipated. His right rear tire was beginning to show signs of considerable wear, however, and he pointed to it as he passed his pit so the crew could get everything ready for a quick change. On his next lap he held up two fingers, indicating he would make his stop two laps later.
"Put Patschke in," Harroun shouted to Marmon, as he climbed from the car while the tire was being replaced. Fuel and oil tanks also were refilled. Before the work could be completed, Brown flashed by the pit, increasing his lead to more than a lap. DePalma, Aitken, and Mulford also roared by, relegating the Wasp to fifth place. While Patschke adjusted his goggles, Harroun screamed instructions into his ear.
"Go after Mulford," he yelled, above the roar of the engines. "If you can catch him you'll be out in front before you know it. Brown and DePalma can't go much farther without changing tires."
"I'll give it back to you in first place," promised the relief driver, letting out the clutch pedal. As the Wasp moved into the first turn and disappeared from view, Harroun turned again to Marmon.
"I'm not nearly as tired as I thought I'd be," he said. "I could have gone another fifty or hundred miles easily. But I thought we might be able to avoid an extra pit stop by making the change now."
"Why don't you go back to the garage for a while and stretch out on a cot?" asked Marmon. "We'll call you at 250 miles so you can be ready when Patschke pulls in."
"I'd rather stay right here and keep track of what's going on. How fast has Brown been running?"
"We clocked him at a little better than 77 just before you stopped."
"He can't keep it up much longer without running out of rubber."
Ray's prediction was fulfilled within 10 minutes, Brown stopping to replace both tires on the right side of the powerful Fiat. His crew worked so swiftly, however, he was running again before anyone except Aitken could pass him. Aitken also experienced tire trouble as the field neared the 200-mile mark (80 laps), with Mulford and DePalma following him to the pits for the same reason.
Brown was back in first place, almost a full minute ahead of the Wasp, and Harroun concentrated on clocking the leader's speed for several consistent laps at 78 miles an hour.
Mechanical ailments were beginning to take a heavy toll, and now the most spectacular accident of the day occurred suddenly on the main straightaway in plain view of all the spectators in the grandstands. A tie rod connecting the steering members of Joe Jagersburger's Case broke without warning and robbed him of all control of the car. The front wheels spread apart, making it impossible for him to steer the car toward the inside rail in order to give the remainder of the field a clear track. All he could do was apply the brakes and hope to avoid being hit from behind—unless someone would give the right front wheel a forceful kick to the left as the car lost momentum.
Joe's mechanic, C. L. Anderson, realized that no one but himself could perform that task quickly enough to avert disaster. Waiting only long enough for the car's decreasing speed to reach a point at which he believed he could jump with safety, he leaped from his seat with the desperate hope of changing the car's course by sheer physical effort.
After traveling almost 75 miles an hour for approximately three hours, however, his judgment of speed was far from accurate. The Case still was traveling at better than 30 miles an hour when he jumped, and he went sprawling headlong on the track.
Knight, approaching the scene at full throttle in his Westcott, was almost on top of the prone figure before he saw it. He cut the wheel sharply to the left and missed Anderson by inches. The car lurched crazily, sideswiping the Case as he tried to straighten it out and regain control. An instinctive tug on the hand brake sent the Westcott sliding broadside into the pit area. It crashed into Lytle's Apperson. Knight suffered severe head injuries, and all three cars were wrecked.
When the track had been cleared, the 29 cars still in the running were permitted to resume racing speed at the 240-mile mark. Brown still led Patschke by 56 seconds. Due to more tire trouble, DePalma and Mulford both trailed the leader by more than a lap with Dawson clinging firmly to the No. 5 spot.
"I've had plenty of rest," Harroun told Marmon. "Call Patschke in. We'll slip on a new right rear tire, and I'll see if I can catch Brown. We can't afford to let him get any farther in front because it looks as if he's going the distance and he might be able to get by with only two more stops for tires."
"The track's getting slicker than hell—particularly the first corner," warned Patschke as he relinquished the wheel at the end of 102 laps (255 miles). "Someone must have lost all of his oil right at the end of the straightaway."
"Brown's coming in for a tire change," shouted Marmon. "If you can finish a lap before he's rolling again you'll be in first place!"
Harroun, already in motion, was unable to hear the good news. But he was quick to realize the situation as he completed the circuit. Marmon was dancing up and down, waving his hat in the air. The Fiat was still in its pit, with two men trying desperately to pry a damaged rim off the right rear wheel. Brown had lost a tire at the south end of the course and two miles of running on the bare rim had mashed it out of shape.
The task required almost three minutes. By the time it was finished, Ray was a full lap ahead of the Fiat, and Mulford had grabbed second place by passing Brown on the turn before he could regain racing speed. Running almost as a team, frequently hub-to-hub on the straightaways, the white Lozier and the maroon Fiat closed in on the Wasp relentlessly.
Ignition trouble finally forced Brown to give up the chase while his crew installed a new set of spark plugs. Several of the other favorites—including Aitken and Chevrolet—already had been knocked out by mechanical trouble. When Strang quit with the same type of steering failure experienced by his teammate Jagersberger, officials of the Case factory withdrew their third entry rather than risk another serious accident.
Harroun found it increasingly difficult to maintain his 75-mile-an-hour average according to plan. The track became more treacherous with each lap, and hundreds of shovelfuls of white sand, thrown on the brick surface at each turn to minimize the oil hazard, failed to improve conditions. But Mulford continued to charge ahead, clipping almost three seconds a lap off the Wasp's advantage.
With all other contenders more than five minutes behind the pair of leaders at the completion of 136 laps (340 miles), they thundered onward toward a final showdown. At least one more tire change was inevitable, and Harroun peered hopefully in his rearview mirror on each straightaway with the thought that Mulford couldn't possibly move much closer before experiencing such trouble. But his own right rear tire exploded one lap later, and he had to fight the steering wheel with all of his strength to keep the car off the wall.
Mulford's hold on first place was short-lived, however. Ten minutes later he was in the pits for fresh rubber, and Harroun was back in the lead by a surprising margin of 1 minute and 48 seconds with 56 laps (140 miles) to go. The rim on the Lozier, like the one on Brown's Fiat earlier in the race, had been so badly damaged it could hardly be pried from the wheel. But Mulford wasn't ready to concede the victory and settle for second place by driving more conservatively.
He resumed his pursuit of the Wasp with a daring display of speed that kept the spectators on their feet. Circling the course at almost 80 miles an hour, he pulled abreast of Harroun with 24 laps remaining and forged ahead on the backstretch.
Anyone of a more excitable nature probably would have battled it out for first place, right then and there. But the cool and calm Harroun still had faith in his original plan. He swung in behind the Lozier, making no attempt to meet the challenge, and saw his decision justified only five laps later.
With Mulford in the pit for almost two minutes, the last threat to Harroun's supremacy was gone. When Wagner flicked the checkered flag over the Wasp's nose after 6 hours and 42 minutes of steady driving at an average speed of 74.59 miles an hour, the Lozier was almost a full lap behind. Brown, 10 miles farther back, nosed out Wishart for third place, with Dawson fifth and DePalma sixth.
Too exhausted to climb from the cockpit without help, Ray's first response to the jubilation of his crew was the barest trace of a smile on his grime-covered face. His hand shook as he took a cup of water from a member of his crew. He gagged on the first sip, spitting it out on the track. His friends lifted him from the car and pounded his back to stop his coughing. Besieged by admirers shouting questions and trying to shake his hand, Harroun had to cling to the car's cowling for support.
"Let me sit down," he said. But no one paid attention. Feeling faint and dizzy, he climbed back into the car.
While Marmon and Goetz, aided by some of Captain Carpenter's guardsmen, were bringing a semblance of order out of all the confusion and turmoil, Ray could feel his strength gradually returning. He posed for the newspaper photographers and began to answer the questions fired at him concerning the most exciting moments of the race, the prize money he had earned (approximately $14,000, including the special accessory awards) and his plans for the future.
"All the credit belongs to the Marmon company for building such a fine car," he declared with his customary modesty. "I never had the throttle wide open at any time.
"The last few miles were the easiest," he added. "But I'll never drive in another race again—not even for twice as much money."