Fuel & Tires: Indy 500 leads big racing weekend

 

STF

This weekend is one of the biggest, most exciting weekends for racing. Unfortunately, because I'm in a time crunch to get my Indianapolis 500 preview column finished for Sunday's paper, this will be a rather short entry.

INDIANAPOLIS 500

The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 is Sunday, so in advance of that The Associated Press has been banging out tons of stories on every subject imaginable on the race. They interviewed all 27 living race winners on topics ranging from the greatest driver to most memorable moment. Go to www.gazettextra.com/indy500 for a complete list of stories.

You can also check out my column from last week that might give you something fun to do during Sunday's race.

Don't miss my column in Sunday's paper with a complete run-down of the field and my pick for who's going to win the centennial running.

MONACO GRAND PRIX

Formula One's crown jewel event has been held since 1929 and annually since 1955. Along with the Indianapolis 500 and 24 Hours of Le Mans, it forms the triple crown of motorsport.

Alain Prost won it four times while Graham Hill and Michael Schumacher claimed victory there five times. However the record belongs to F1 great Ayrton Senna, who won six times including five years in a row from 1989-1993.

Current points leader Nico Rosberg will look to tie Prost's mark Sunday by winning at Monaco for the fourth time in a row. Former winners in the field include Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel. Juan Pablo Montoya, one of the favorites for this weekend's Indy 500, won at Monaco in 2003.

Coverage of the Monaco Grand Prix starts at 7 a.m. Sunday on NBC Sports Network.

COCA-COLA 600

NASCAR heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600. The race has been run since 1960 and is the longest race on the Sprint Cup calendar.

Jimmie Johnson holds the record for most wins among active drivers with four. Carl Edwards is the defending champion and if the race goes anything like the rest of the season has gone, it will be either Edwards or one of his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates in victory lane.

The Gibbs racers have won seven of the twelve points races run so far this season. That said, Stewart-Hass driver and 2014 champion Kevin Harvick is atop the point standings, 21 points ahead of top Gibbs driver Kyle Busch.

Coverage of the Coca-Cola 600 starts at 5 p.m. Sunday on Fox.

LOCAL RACES

Weather permitting, there's a whole lot of local racing lined up for the weekend:

—Madison International Speedway has a full racing program starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Visit misracing.com for more information.

—Rockford Speedway has a full slate of racing starting at 7:07 p.m. Saturday. Visit rockfordspeedway.com for more information.

—Jefferson Speedway will have a full racing program Saturday starting at 7 p.m. and holds round one of the Tournament of Destruction at 7 p.m. Sunday. The track will hold several rounds throughout the summer. Visit jeffersonspeedway.com for more information.

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