Racing steps it up on Memorial Day Weekend. Many Americans take the weekend to honor those who have served, and are serving, their country by making a trip to some of the biggest races of the year. NASCAR is running in Charlotte with the Coca-Cola 600. The spectacle of the Indianapolis 500 is on as well. The two races are even mixing a bit as Jeff Gordon is set to drive the pace car at Indy and then flying back to drive the #24 at Charlotte.

If that isn’t enough racing to fill your day, Formula 1 is running the famous streets of the Monaco Grand Prix. So far this season it has been a run for Lewis Hamilton with team mate Nico Rosberg hot on his heals.

F1 Monaco Grand Prix: NBC @ 7:30am

Indy 500: ABC @ noon

Coca-Cola 600: FOX @ 6:00pm

A.J. Allmendinger…

Remember him? There was much thrown about for a NASCAR suspension in July of 2012. A drug test showed signs of amphetamines which Allmendinger maintained came from Adderall which he took, he said, from a “friend of a friend”.

Adderall, by the way, is a drug used for ADHD and/or narcolepsy and is somewhat of a derivitive of amphetamines but is also a prescription controlled substance.

Yes… We all know he was suspended. We all know Roger Penske pulled him from the #22 which gave way for Joey Logano to be in it for 2013. We all know it was stupid to take a prescription medication from a “friend of a friend”…

However, A.J. Allmendinger did follow all the rules after the incident, went through the “Road to Recovery” program and was reinstated by NASCAR in September of 2012. By that time, Sam Hornish, Jr. had the wheel of the #22 and Allmendinger was on the search for a seat. (more…)

We’re on the weekend with wide open racing on tap setting the stage for Memorial Day weekend. For those who only tune in to racing on the occasional big event, the Indy 500 opening rounds are this weekend. Qualifying is set for both Saturday and Sunday with the green flag coming next weekend. On top of getting primed for open wheel Indianapolis, the NASCAR All Star is Saturday evening.

So far, the NASCAR season has been hot with rivalry, controversy and some raw nerves. Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart and Brad Keselowski, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch. Joe Gibbs, Matt Kenseth and NASCAR. Penske and NASCAR.

That almost begins to cover the range of friction leading up to Charlotte…

The All Star format sets out four opening heat races leading to the final showdown. There are no Cup points. This is a simple drive to win for a big payday. A really big payday. The overall winner opens the wallet to receive one million dollars. If that same driver wins all five segments there is an additional one million bucks thrown in. (more…)

Sunday racing was a full day. A wake up with Formula 1 followed by the showcase Indy 500 and close it down with NASCAR at the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte.

F1 gave us a spin or two and a Kobayashi bunny hop at Monaco. A good start to the day. From Monaco to Indianapolis the racing went up a notch and was matched up in Charlotte with the Coca-Cola 600.

There might have been a phone call. “I’ll do it if you do it!”

We’re referring to Dario Franchitti and Tony Stewart. It is odd that on the same day two defending champions encounter the same incident, and relatively speaking, at the same location. Coming into the pits at Indy, Franchitti is clipped by E.J. Viso and is spun sideways in the pit stall. The extra time and damage check put him to the back of the field. Skip ahead to the Coca-Cola 600 and here comes Tony Stewart to the pit stall only to have Brad Keselowski make the bump sending “Smoke” around facing traffic. (more…)

The starting grid is set following a weekend of practice, qualifying and the “bump day” for the Indianapolis 500. However, the “bump day” could have simply been labeled “Qualifying, The Sequel”. There were 9 spots to fill out the starting grid and 9 teams/cars going for it so there would be no actual “bump” from the race.

The top tier has shaped up as a veteran vs veteran for race teams. The top six qualifiers filling out the first and second rows are from the Penske and Andretti teams. These same teams fill out the top four spots in the points coming to Indy with Penske at 1-2 while Andretti is in at 3-4.

Will Power has dominated with Verizon/Penske Chevrolet bringing 3 wins of the 4 races along for the ride. Team mate Helio Castroneves is 2nd in points winning that 4th giving Penske a season sweep so far. (more…)