Racing drivers are a superstitious breed, and the 33 drivers who will compete in this weekend's 92nd Indianapolis 500 wasted little time in rubbing the nose, horns and other anatomical parts of the bronze Charging Bull statue on a visit to New York yesterday [Monday].

The 7000-pound Broadway-based sculpture by Arturo di Modica depicts a flared-nostril bull, the symbol of aggressive financial optimism and prosperity, ready to charge. It's often rubbed by investors - and tourists - seeking good luck, and now - complete with a winner's wreath around one of its horns - has the distinction of being rubbed by 33 IndyCar Series drivers, gathered in the city's financial district for a photoshoot, seeking good luck in the 500.

"Because I'm not very tall, I was in a position where I couldn't see myself in the picture, so I stood on my helmet - and then I was one of the tallest," said HVM Racing's Ernesto Viso after the starting field posed, clad in their racesuits, in the eleven rows of three they will form on race day, "It was great to see all the people on the sidewalks take our picture.

"I rubbed the bull's nose, so now I'll have good luck for my first 500. It's part of all the things associated with the race, and I will definitely remember this."

While all 33 drivers rubbing the bull may actually have a negating effect on one another, the stars certainly captured the attention of passers-by - especially those on the double-decker tour buses, many of whom were treated to close-up photo opportunities - at no extra charge - as a handful of drivers posed on the open-air deck.

"They must have seen me on Dancing with the Stars, " Helio Castroneves said, before jetting off to Los Angeles to take up his 'other' role as an Entertainment Tonight correspondent covering the finals of the top-rated show that he won in November.

Once the photos were done, the drivers filed into the recently-opened Sports Museum of America for a media lunch and tour of the 50,000-square-foot facility that includes multiple items of memorabilia from past and present drivers associated with the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500, and boasts both AJ Foyt and Mario Andretti as members of the board of trustees.

"This event is an absolute home run," said the museum's president and GM John Urban, "It's the first big outdoor event we've done and what could be better? Thirty-three drivers, the [Borg-Warner] Trophy and having everybody here take a look at the museum.

"The auto racing story we tell starts with walking over the original batch of bricks and we talk about the history of the 500 and the great drivers, families and dynasties and moments. We hope the collection and excitement will continue to grow."