A week after the Victoria Day long weekend in Canada (the May Two-Four) the Americans have Memorial Day and it is always the greatest day in professional motor racing. Monaco in the morning, NASCAR in the evening, and the meat in the sandwich: the Indianapolis 500.
FORMULA 1: Monaco Grand Prix
Everyone wants to believe that the late race rain really spiced up the proceedings. But the podium finishers started in that same order. Maybe Aston Martin made a mistake by putting Alonso on slicks instead of inters during his first pit stop (Lance wasn’t doing so well on the green sidewall tire). But the 2023 season is now the ‘Max Verstappen Show‘ and it’s become boring to watch the same guy win every week. At least Fernando had one foot on the top step this week.
INDYCAR: 107th Indianapolis 500
Since it was Memorial Day, it would have been patriotically poetic to see Ferrucci win in the No. 14 A.J. Foyt stars-and-stripes livery car. But at least he had a better day than Rahal who’s backup car (at a backup team) wouldn’t start for the ceremonial three-wide start. Then there was Canapino’s slow motion crash into the back of O’Ward in which the Argentinian appeared to have no steering or brakes.
Team Penske’s Newgarden is a deserving victor. It’s just unfortunate that IndyCar had to put an asterisk next to Josef’s name by bending the rules to create their own version of Abu Dhabi 2021…but hey…it’s called a motor race. They went car racing.
A truly frightening moment occurred when Kirkwood’s No. 27 hit the No. 6 of Rosenqvist, shattering the rear suspension of the IndyCar. The rear wheel went flying over the catch-fence and narrowly missed a grandstand packed with spectators. The tire landed in a parking lot, slamming into the white Chevy Cruze of race fan Robin Matthews. Nobody was hurt in the incident, Mattews was given some special treatment by IndyCar officials, and a car to drive home in. No word if they will let her keep the Chevy Camaro pace car.
NASCAR: Coca-Cola 600
Rained out on Sunday, the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway actually ran on Monday, and was won by driver Ryan Blaney, who copied fellow Team Penske winner Newgarden the day before, by going tinto the grandstand to celebrate with fans. Great moment!