Best Sunday of auto racing kicks off in Monaco, heads to Indy, ends with a Coca Cola

Best Sunday of auto racing kicks off in Monaco, heads to Indy, ends with a Coca Cola

May 23, 2017 3:05 AM


I love the football Sundays, but this particular one is my favorite day of the year. It’s a gear-head paradise with three totally different car races on three different race tracks and it all starts before the sun rises in Las Vegas.

Make some breakfast and start this best Sunday ever by watching the Monaco Grand Prix Formula-1 race on the streets of Monaco.

It’s awesome television with the most amazing race cars in the world and they turn this beachside community into the place everyone wants to be, including me – someday hopefully.

I don’t watch too many Formula-1 races, but I always watch Monaco because of the colors, the homes, the boats, the tunnel and the dressed up beautiful people everywhere. The prestige is what sets it apart from anything else. The race has been run since 1929 and it’s considered one of the Triple Crowns of motor sports. One of the others in that group is the Indianapolis 500 and the green flag on it drops a few hours after the checkered flag waves in Monaco.

The Indy 500 has been running on the 2.5-mile layout in Speedway, Indiana since 1911. It is an American tradition and the annual race on Memorial Day Weekend has been billed as the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. I don’t follow the series closely anymore, but I always watch this race. It’s simply been a part of my life. It’s embedded in me. It’s as simple as putting trousers on.

Every year on my birthday weekend, I watch the Indy 500 and celebrate all the fallen soldiers who sacrificed everything for my freedoms. I thank my grandfather, Jay Roberts, who fought in the Battle of the Bulge and my other grandfather, Paul Kukich, who fought at Guadalcanal. Always.

And then I watch the race. It’s a routine that in many ways defines me. I love military history, I love my country, I’m proud of my own family history in this country and I also love auto racing. This day gives it all to me in a big package with a huge bow like no other.

As if the Monaco Grand Prix and Indy 500 weren’t enough to satisfy my car racing thirst, I get my favorite auto racing series, NASCAR, to finish off my best Sunday ever. It’s the longest race of the season: The Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Lewis Hamilton won at Monaco last season and I’m going with him again to just barely beat Sebastian Vettel, who won at Monaco in 2011. Fernando Alonso is a two-time winner at Monaco, but he’s racing in a McLaran Andretti Honda in the Indy 500. He’ll start fifth and will look to be the first F-1 champion to win the Indy 500 in 22 years.

He’s been fast in practice, and daring in some of his moves. He’s been the talk of the month at the track and a few drivers have shown they’re not too happy about the attention he’s getting. I love it and wish more drivers jumped over to race the Indy 500. I wish NASCAR had a couple drivers participating.

Juan Pablo Montoya won at Monaco in 2003 and he won the Indy 500 in 2000 and 2015, and I gave him out to win right here in GT both times. Just because he’s my guy, I’m betting him again. No exact science like in the past, it’s just a fan bet.

As for the NASCAR race, I’ll have plenty of wagers with a thought process where I think I know what I’m doing unlike the other two races. It’s the fifth race of the season on a 1.5-mile track and Martin Truex Jr. has won two of the previous four.

Last season in this race Truex put on the most amazing display of domination Charlotte Motor Speedway has ever seen. He led 392 of the 400 laps in the Coca-Cola 600. He won on the last 1.5-mile track at Kansas two weeks ago and he also won at Las Vegas in March.

Kyle Larson is also going to be tough to beat. He doesn’t have a win on a 1.5-mile track this season, but he’s got three runner-ups and a sixth-place. He’s also got a win on the 2-mile layout at Fontana and he dominated two stages last week in the All-Star Race at Charlotte. I’m looking for him to carry over a strong performance on Sunday night.