People love to call the Sunday before Memorial Day “the Greatest Day in Racing”.
They would be correct, as we all know that particular Sunday starts off with Formula One's Monaco Grand Prix, followed by the Greatest Spectacle In Racing, otherwise known as the Indianapolis 500 - two of the three events in auto racing’s “triple crown”, as well as the Coca-Cola 600 - the longest and toughest race on the NASCAR schedule.
While Sunday, May 29 will undoubtedly be the biggest day of the 2022 racing calendar, this whole month is packed with exciting racing action from start to finish.
Let’s first focus on what NASCAR fans have to look forward to this month. Following Sunday’s Cup Series race at Dover (which has been pushed back to Monday due to rain), drivers and teams from all three national series will head south to Darlington Raceway for NASCAR’s annual “throwback weekend”.
Just as baseball teams wear throwback jerseys in “Turn Back the Clock” games, teams across all three series will pay tribute to NASCAR’s past by running paint schemes reminiscent of those legendary drivers once did.
And let's not forget the kings of the quarter-mile, namely, NHRA drag racing. They have one race in May, the Virginia NHRA Nationals, May 13-15, at Virginia Motorsports Park near Richmond.
Going back to NASCAR, following Darlington, the kings of stock car racing visit Kansas Speedway before heading to Texas Motor Speedway for the 38th edition of the NASCAR All-Star Race on May 22.
Currently, 20 drivers are locked into the event. Other drivers can make their way in if they can win at Darlington or Kansas (and have not already won a points-paying Cup Series race in 2021 or 2022), by winning one of the stages in the last chance All-Star Open or by winning an online fan vote.
The All-Star Race has one of the largest single-event paydays in motorsports as the winning driver takes home one million dollars!
Finally, on May 29, we have one of NASCAR’s true crown jewel events, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Coke 600 is a true battle between man and machine. At 600 miles, it is the longest event in NASCAR. The lengthy event can last well over 4 hours, so maintaining stamina and keeping the car under control are both a must for any driver who wants to win the 600.
This month will also be an exciting one for F1 fans, particularly those who are stateside.
This Sunday, May 8, marks the inaugural running of F1's Miami Grand Prix, marking the first time since 1984 that the world’s most prestigious racing series has held two races in the U.S., at Miami and later this year, the regular annual visit to Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
And let's not forget that the U.S. will have three F1 races starting next year when the highly-anticipated race on the Las Vegas Strip joins the calendar.
The new Miami International Autodrome will be a 3.363-mile, 19-turn course taking place all within the parking lots and service roads of the Miami Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium. The inaugural race is one of the most anticipated motorsport events in North America. Official race tickets sold out within minutes, and the average resale price for a ticket on the secondary market is nearly $2,500!
Following Miami, F1 heads to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the Spanish Grand Prix on May 22 and then the biggest race of the schedule - the Monaco Grand Prix - on May 29.
Circuit de Monaco is an extremely narrow course with several elevation changes. While the course may not produce the most passing opportunities, its location alongside the harbor and beneath the high rises creates what is arguably the most scenic location to play host to a Grand Prix.
As usual, several large yachts will fill the harbor and many international celebrities will attend the race. The Monaco Grand Prix is an event that should be on every race fan's bucket list, however only the privileged few will ever be able to afford to attend.
Last but certainly not least, we cannot forget what the month of May means to IndyCar fans.
Sunday, May 29 2022 will mark the 106th running of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” - the Indianapolis 500. But before the 500, we’ll also have two more weeks of exciting racing action from the Brickyard.
May 14 brings the ninth edition of the GMR Grand Prix, an 80-lap race on the track’s infield road course. The following weekend brings qualifying for the Indy 500 itself. At this writing, IndyCar is expected to announce a full 33-car field for the race, meaning that all teams that will have entered the race will actually compete in the event. That means 'Bump Day' will be unnecessary.
While there may not be bumping this year, the four fast laps around the 2.5-mile oval to determine their starting spot in the race will, as usual, be the most daring laps every IndyCar driver will make all year.
Finally, we have the best race saved for last - the Indy 500. The cars and drivers have changed at Indy over the years, but one thing always remains the same: 33 drivers will attempt to run 200 laps for 500 miles to be the next face placed upon the prestigious Borg-Warner Trophy.
This year has added excitement as defending 500 winner Helio Castroneves looks to become the first driver in history to win Indy five times.
We’ll have writers on-site at Indy to bring you all of the coverage, and all of us at ARD are very excited to kick off what will be a phenomenal month of racing action.
There’s only one thing left for us to say: Welcome to May!