By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
INDIANAPOLIS – Monaco. Indy. Charlotte.
The Memorial Day Weekend tradition begins as the sun rises on an early Indiana morning.
Formula 1 has an Aussie on pole for the Monaco Grand Prix in the form of Daniel Ricciardo. IndyCar has affable Canadian, James Hinchcliffe on point for 100th Indianapolis 500. Martin Truex Jr. will lead the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series field to green for the Coca Cola 600.
All three unlikely stars that appear ready to shine on this monumental day.
May 29, 2016 – a day that may be remembered as a changing of the guard.
It has been all Mercedes in F1, now Ricciardo is hoping to end a drought from the top podium step equal to Nico Rosberg’s quest for a first championship, to finally get the better of teammate Lewis Hamilton. The Streets of Monaco have been a playground for Rosberg. The German has won three straight and if he wins a fourth today he would hit a mark that only legends Graham Hill and Ayrton Senna have bested.
The Coca Cola 600 may be once again the site of a first time winner in rookies Chase Elliott or Ryan Blaney. Both have come on strong in recent weeks and as the last race of a beautiful triple-header grows nearer, flashes of Jeff Gordon’s first win come to mind. Equally as compelling is seeing if Truex can finally have a clean race from start to finish and seal the deal in taking a trip to Victory Lane.
And then there is the 100th.
The most illustrious event in the history of motorsports needs no further introduction when understanding the magnitude of what we are privileged to witness.
The polesitter, a driver trying to come full circle after a near fatal crash leading up to this very same event last year. Beside Hinchcliffe at the front of the grid is Josef Newgarden, a talented young American who is trying to take that next step in his career. Names like Castroneves, Dixon, Montoya, Rahal, and Andretti lead one of the most talented fields ever at the 2.5-mile oval.
The famous Brickyard will have sold out grandstands and the eyes of the world upon it, with fans young and old clamoring for their driver to have their name written in the history books.
It is the greatest day in racing and without question the most historical of any years before it.
Who will own the day?
Who will forever be remembered on this epic race weekend?
From underdog to future legend, the day is theirs to take.
Image: Chris Owens/INDYCAR