Austin, a liberal college town and the seat of state government, is perhaps best known for its hip counterculture, live music and string of successful high-tech companies.
Fast cars? Not so much.
But in a couple of weeks, the state capital will become the epicenter of the auto racing world when its gleaming new $400 million track — the Circuit of the Americas — hosts the first Formula One race in the United States since 2007.
For top drivers like Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Fernando Alonso of Spain, the Nov. 18 race offers the second-to-last chance to improve their standing in ...