Best Race Weekend In Automotive History: Memorial Day Triple Crown Recap
The long Memorial Day weekend is over and what a weekend it was for the sport of auto racing Over the weekend we had the triple crown races, Formula One at Monaco, IndyCars at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and NASCAR racing at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
It all started off with Formula One racing at the famed Monaco street circuit for the Monaco Grand Prix. The race was held off because of rain that started very slow and turned to a downpour in a matter of minutes, it was unsafe to start the race at the time. After a wait of over ten minutes the lights went green with the red Ferrari of Charles Leclerc leading the field of 20-cars into the first turn. The race would feature many different strategies and tire compounds due to the unexpected weather. Mid-race there would be a red flag as the HAAS of Mick Schumacher spun, colliding with the wall and splitting in half. The heart stopping crash came just moments after teammate Kevin Magnussen retired from the event. The Grand Prix would be won by Sergio Perez due to time as Formula One requires every GP to be completed within a two hour window.
IndyCars were back at racing on the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indy 500. Veteran driver Scott Dixon led the field to green in what was a very fast moving race with not a lot of action. That all changed though on the final lap as a crash would occur in the back of the field sending out a yellow, showing Marcus Ericsson as the winner. The win for Ericsson gave his country of Sweden their second Indy 500 win, their first since the 1990s. Marcus Ericsson came to IndyCar after being unsuccessful in Formula One where in 97 Grand Prixs, he failed to finish on the podium and was considered a F1 bust. Marcus Ericcson is now an Indy 500 Champion.
NASCAR was at the Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600, 400-laps and 600-miles in a true battle for history. The race would be caution filled with cars spinning and even going airborne, tempers were flaring undoubtedly. Denny Hamlin started on pole as he is in the midst of a very inconsistent season, he led 15 out of the 413-laps, extra laps were added on due to NASCAR overtime from multiple yellow flags. An official race time of 5 hours, 13 minutes saw the guy who started first finish first. Denny Hamlin got the win in an unforgetting overtime clash where it was truly anyone’s race. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver finished just .119 of a second ahead of teammate Kyle Busch. This race also marks the longest race in NASCAR history at 619.5 miles, NASCAR confirmed, beating out the previous record of 608 miles in the 2020 race. A total of 413 laps featured 31 lead changes, 18 cautions with 17 cars failing to finish (20 finishers total) and two overtimes all in five hours of jammed packed racing. Sunday night was also the first time in decades where NASCAR has its lowest car finishing count. The 20 finishing cars was the least amount of finishers in a NASCAR race since the 1987 Oakwood Homes 500 where 19 cars finished that day