By admin | May 23, 2008
By Richard Allen
Andy Williams sung a song in which he proclaimed that Christmas was the most wonderful time of the year. Well, it is hard to compete with Christmas from the religious or commercial standpoint.
However, for racing fans the Memorial Day weekend has to at least run a very close second.
The day starts off early as Formula 1conducts one of its most prestigious races in the Grand Prix of Monaco. Early risers can check out extremely fast cars twisting through tight streets at one of the most glamorous locations in the world.
Then, American open wheelers take center stage at what is widely considered the most prestigious auto race of them all, the Indianapolis 500.
Jim Nabors, the Purdue Boilermaker Marching Band and Florence Henderson individually seem to have little to do with racing but they either are or have been part of the greatest “pre game” tradition in all of sports.
Who would have thought 33 teams and drivers would work so hard and take such risks for a glass of milk? Well, they give out a trophy and fairly large paycheck to go along with that customary winner’s glass of milk.
Finally, the race day will conclude with the running of the Coca-Cola 600 at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway. NASCAR’s longest race will test men and machines well into the night on the eve of the solemn holiday.
Memorial Day is the traditional beginning of the summer season in the United States. According to weather forecasts there should be sunny skies and warm temperatures in Indianapolis and Charlotte this Sunday. Rain, potentially heavy rain, could play a role in Monaco.
No doubt scores of people will be on lakes and beaches all across America. BBQ grills will be smoking and cold refreshments will be consumed.
At the same time, there will also be scores of racing fans perched in front of televisions and radios enjoying their favorite sport. That is not to mention the over half a million people who will be in attendance in those two American locations.
Three great races in three great locations on three great tracks. Yes, for racing fans this is the most wonderful time of the year.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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