By Adam Tate, Associate Editor
Now that we are now one week removed from racing’s biggest weekend of the year, I’d like to take a look back to just how historical, significant and amazing the trio of the Monaco Grand Prix, Indianapolis 500 and Coca Cola 600 were this year by looking at some of the incredible facts and statistics of the day.
- The Monaco Grand Prix had never before started under the safety car, until this year when rain caused the field to take the first 10 laps behind Bernd Maylander in the Mercedes AMG GT.
- Lewis Hamilton won the Monaco Grand Prix for the second time in his career. Curiously on both occassions he started third, survived a wet race and benefited from key rival’s misfortunes en route to victory.
- Victory for Hamilton means that at least for now, his number of wins matches his racing number of 44.
- The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, marked the first time a motorized race of any kind has reached 100 starts.
- Alexander Rossi became the first rookie to win the Indy 500 since Helio Castroneves did back in 2001. The last rookie before that was 2015 winner and first to crash out this year; Juan Pablo Montoya. The last before that was Graham Hill, all the way back in 1966.
- Rossi also became just the fourth driver in the post-war era to earn his first IndyCar victory by winning the Indy 500. Hill did so in 1966, Montoya did so in 2000 and Castroneves did in 2001. Hill and Montoya are also the only drivers in history to have won both the Monaco Grand Prix and the Indy 500, perhaps history is giving us a glimpse into Rossi’s future on that one. Time will tell.
- A true sellout crowd of 350,000 plus people made the 100th Indianapolis 500 the largest single day sporting event in human history.
- Truex set a new NASCAR record for the longest distance led in history by dominating the race for 392 laps, covering 588 miles.
- The only polesitter in any of the big three races to win was Truex in his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota. Daniel Ricciardo finished a disappointed second in Monaco and James Hinchcliffe faded to seventh at Indianapolis.
- With Rossi and Truex victorious, it marked the first time American’s won two of the big three since 2014. The last time before 2014 was in 2006 when Sam Hornish Jr won at Indy and Kasey Kahne took the checkered in Charlotte.