Yesterday, beloved two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon died in a 15-car collision in a Las Vegas race, reminding us all how dangerous race car driving can be. However, he leaves behind a legacy that also reminds us why we love racing. The inherent drama and binary nature of races (first or second, winner or loser) makes racing plots a favorite in Hollywood.

With racing on our minds after this tragic development, we thought we'd take inventory of our favorite racers and drivers in movies. So let’s buckle up, hit the gas, and "add additional racing cliché here"!

7. Maggie Peyton

The name probably doesn’t ring a bell, but the actress playing her in Herbie: Fully Loaded might. Lindsay Lohan really captured the essence of the racer’s spirit in this charming romp about a sleazy-hot girl that races an anthropomorphic Volkswagen Beetle. She also was somehow able to beat fictional NASCAR champ Trip Murphy (played by Matt Dillon) in a race, which is hard to believe, because Lohan has a track record of piss-poor driving, but it's still exhilarating to watch, nonetheless.

She would have placed higher on this list, but her character falls in love with Justin Long, which is ridiculous and improbable.

Seriously. He’s the worst.

6. Stuntman Mike

Death Proof has its share of detractors, but it’s hard not to like the sleazy, for-some-reason-evil baddie Stuntman Mike. He rocks a satin jacket, which is VERY important for reasons I will get into in the next entry. He’s got a car that’s death-proof, which is a pretty badass concept. He kills innocent women, which I’m not totally in favor of, but I’m willing to look past that to his bitchin’ jacket and suave way with the ladies.

If you haven’t seen Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof, check it out immediately, but don’t get too attached to Stuntman Mike.

5. Driver

Not the most helpful character name, so let me elaborate I am referring to Ryan Gosling’s unnamed character in Drive. Technically, he’s a stunt car driver, but he drives cars for a living, so he makes the list. While the movie is great, it’s easy to appreciate this character based on fashion choices alone. All drivers should wear sick satin jackets at every opportunity. It should be like driving with corrective lenses. No room for debate. If yo drive fast or dangerously, you should have to wear a satin jacket and fingerless gloves to let the world know that you are a bad ass that mustn’t be trifled with.

4. Dominic Toretto

He lives his life a quarter mile at a time. How adorable is that? We can’t NOT love that Corona swiggin’, head shavin’, word mumblin’ fool. It’s hard to know where our love of Vin Diesel’s comically tough-guy character stops and our love of his Dodge Charger (with enough torque to bend the chassis!) starts, but why delineate? He does all the things we can’t do with our Honda Element, like race for pink slips and hijack semis. He embodies all the camp and cheese and awesomeness of the Fast and Furious franchise. For that we love him.

And the tank tops. Oh, the tank tops!

3. Ricky Bobby

Take that, NASCAR! Will Ferrell’s over the top, yet good-natured caricature of a stock car driver makes us want to go to a Sprint Cup race. Granted we would just go to the infield and pass out on top of a camper, but still, it would get us there, so he’s doing NASCAR a service. Talladega Nights is hardly a documentary-level look at the world of professional auto racing, but that’s a really good thing, because I’m boring myself just thinking about the world of professional auto racing.

2. Cole Trickle

If you can suspend disbelief that Tom Cruise wouldn’t need a booster seat to drive a stock car, then you can’t help but enjoy the melodramatic Simpson/Bruckheimer classic Days of Thunder. That’s right. I said “classic.” It’s got virtually every convention in the genre. Life-threatening accident that has driver questioning his abilities, generically evil rival driver (Cary Elwes), love interest that wants him to know the risks associated with racing, and clichéd dialogue like:

“I’m dropping the hammer.”

1. Speed Racer

I don’t remember much about Speed Racer except that he has a girlfriend named Trixie, which I think is pretty damn cool. He races with a white helmet and an ascot, both of which are pretty cool, but not as cool as his monkey ownership. I’m not sure what purpose exactly Chim-Chim the monkey is supposed to serve, but he’s a monkey. Given the choice between watching a monkey onscreen or not, I’ll pick “watching the monkey onscreen.”

He’s the quintessential good guy, so don’t think about it too hard. Just throw your support behind him and hope he gives hell to that rat bastard Racer X.