Sunday is the biggest single motor racing day in the history of broadcast television with over 18 hours of live action scheduled. The three biggest race series, Formula 1, IndyCar and NASCAR will be showcased on three different U.S. broadcast networks for the first time.
The action starts at 7 a.m. on NBC with the Grand Prix of Monaco, where the tight dangerous streets of Monte Carlo is the star. It might t some fans look like a race in St. Petersburg or Long Beach only on the French Rivera.
This week I spoke with NBC Sports F1 analyst Will Buxton and we talked about how close the fans are to the race :
“The majesty and splendor of this incredible sport, where you can stand trackside here in Monaco with cars flying past you over 100 mph inches from your face. You can feel the working parts of the engine rise through your feet and your legs, up your spine, draw the breath out of your lungs as they fly past you. This place gives you a buzz for motorsports that nowhere else on earth gives you.”
11 a.m. it will be the Indianapolis 500, on ABC and they call it “The great American Race.” Nearly half a million race fans will be on hand at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Lindsay Czarniak, will make history when she becomes the first woman to host the broadcast.
Talking this week with Marty Reid, who will call the race Sunday for ABC, we talked about a chance at seeing history. Both Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti could become a four time Indy 500 winner.
Reid:”It hasn’t been done since Rick Mears back in 1991 when he won his fourth, and for it to happen with one of these two, which both are very likeable, both have a fan base, both have a huge following. What was interesting to me was I caught up with the guys early in the season back in St. Petersburg.
Helio at the time, I said to both of them in individual interviews, I said you’re going to be the focal point here. That means a lot of distractions, and Helio being Helio said bring it on, I love it. It comes with the territory.
Dario at the time saying I’ll do what I have to do to win the race, and I’ll do my commitments. Indy is a special place to me and I am going to ready. My crew and my car will be ready.”
The nightcap at 6 p.m. will be the Coca Cola 600 from Charlotte on Fox. It is the longest race on the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule.”
TNT NASCAR analyst Larry McReynolds talks about some keys to winning the 600:
“Look for a great deal of side by side racing all day into the night. We will see the temps on the track drop a bit as the sun goes down. I think you have to look at Jimmie Johnson who has had great success in this race. Focus is always a concern at the 600 because it is 400 laps and at least four hours of racing. The challenge is going 100 miles further than normal and that takes a toll on the drivers, cars and crews.”