Memorial Day Sunday is about to happen again, and that means what little apssion I have about auto racing comes front and center. And this year, thanks to the growing popularity of F1, three different circuits will stage epic events back-to-back-to-back, on the West Coast, virtually from dawn to dusk.
ABC will air the Monaco Grand Prix beginning at 6 AM ET, with a compelling story line in such an epic venue, as Jerome Pugmire of the Associated Press reported:
Ten years after last winning a Formula One race, Fernando Alonso fancies his chances of victory in the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday.
The 41-year-old Spanish driver has four third-place finishes in five races with Aston Martin this season.
“I will attack more than any other weekend,” the two-time F1 champion said. “I come here thinking I will try to win.”
Apres ca, the attention turns to Indianapolis, where the Brickyard will host a Sunday lunchtime start for the 50th time since it was rooted on the holiday weekend Sunday in 1974. As FanNation’s Mark Lammey reported:
The race will be taking place at 12:45 PM ET this Sunday, May 28, and we have a great outlook weather-wise. We’re looking at temperatures in the mid-70’s Fahrenheit with virtually no chance of precipitation whatsoever.
As we alluded to, being the pole sitter hasn’t fared well in recent history at the Indy 500. Just one has won the race in the last 13 events, which makes it a very interesting race to handicap. It’s a very wide track, which means plenty of passing should take place.
It’s also a very fast track consisting of two long straightaways over the course of the 2.5-mile oval. The four corners are rather unsymmetrical, which also makes for exciting moments. Since we don’t need to focus on the pole sitter and we haven’t seen a repeat winner in quite some time, our 2023 Indianapolis 500 predictions are focused on simply an overall great driver.
Pato O’Ward is one of the top favorites to win the Indy 500 but is still providing great value at +600 odds. He’ll be starting in the #5 spot, which is where last year’s winner, Marcus Ericsson, began the race.
And finally, at 6 pm ET, Charlotte Motor Speedway will host another massive throng for the Coca-Cola 600., far and away the longest race of the year. CBS Sports reported on the frontrunners:
Kyle Larson added another win to his total when he took the checkered flag at the All-Star Race last week, giving him momentum heading into Sunday’s 2023 Coca-Cola 600 at 6 p.m. ET. Larson is the 9-2 favorite in the 2023 Coca-Cola 600 odds at Caesars Sportsbook, as he is trying to win at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the second time in three years. William Byron, who has three wins this season and four top-seven finishes in the last four points-paying races, is sitting behind Larson at 11-2.
Some of the other 2023 Coca-Cola 600 contenders include Denny Hamlin (13-2), Chase Elliott (7-1) and Martin Truex Jr. (8-1). Hamlin is the defending champion at this race and has a chance to move into the top three of the current Cup Series standings, giving him motivation heading into Sunday’s race.
One of these years I may actually be able to afford to go to one of these events. One of these years I may even be able to afford to place a small wager. It won’t be this year. But I’ll be watching.