Each year, the winner of the Indianapolis 500 is awarded, among other prizes, a chance to celebrate with the iconic Borg-Warner trophy. If you look closely at any photo of this trophy, you might notice something: It’s almost exclusively photographed from the rear. That’s because the little man on the top is completely nude.
You read that right. The flag-holder adorning the top of the Borg-Warner is naked. In the buff. Unclothed. In a true state of nature. And yes, he is depicted with his penis on full display.
Don’t believe me? Shield the eyes of children and make sure your boss isn’t looking over your shoulder, because this is a cold, hard, cast-in-silver fact:
I recently posted about this on Twitter, and even longtime Indy fans were shocked to learn the little fella was naked, despite having looked at this trophy for decades. Most photos, are angled in such a way that the checkered flag preserves this little man’s modesty. If you don’t know to look for it, you probably would never notice.
The reason? Well, the man on top is modeled after an ancient Greek athlete, and those dudes all competed in the nude. The Borg-Warner aims to model the Olympic spirit, so the trophy’s mascot is also disrobed. Like many things in the Indy 500, the free willy is a throwback to sporting tradition. We just don’t flaunt this element of tradition.
That being said, the whole concept of a bunch of dudes spending their racing careers pining after a trophy featuring a naked man, just hoping to have their face added to that trophy’s base, gives a whole new spin to the Indy 500 — and I doubt you’ll ever be able to look at the Borg-Warner the same way again.