It’s the biggest weekend of the year for big-league auto racing with Formula One, IndyCar and NASCAR all featuring iconic races.
Oh, and the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series is opening its season Saturday night at Mosport Speedway.
More about that in a minute.
At 7:55 a.m. Sunday on TSN, the most famous and romantic of all F1 races, the Grand Prix de Monaco, will go to the post in Monte Carlo. Sebastien Vettel is coming off yet another decisive win in Spain and the question is: can he keep up the pace?
I suggest he can, but Lewis Hamilton is looking pretty racy these days himself.
Qualifying will be Saturday morning at 7:55, also on TSN.
At 11 a.m. Sunday, also on TSN, the Indianapolis 500 pre-race show will start and will feature all the pomp and pageantry leading up to the 100th anniversary of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
Hear the Purdue University Band play "On the Banks of the Wabash," and Florence Henderson sing "America, the Beautiful" and David Foster, with Seal and Kelly Clarkson singing, play the U.S. National Anthem and, finally, Jim Nabors sing "Back Home in Indiana."
Then (and I’m guessing here), Mari Hulman George will say something like "In company with the four women drivers who have qualified for this Centennial race . . ." and then there will be a recording of the late Tony Hulman crying out,. "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!" and there won’t be a dry eye in the 300,000-strong house,
I guarantee it.
Our own Alex Tagliani is on pole, Oakville rookie James Hinchcliffe is inside Row 5 and Paul Tracy will start outside Row 7 (and pass five or six cars on the first lap).
A Hot Wheels stunt (cross fingers it all goes well) will also be worked in somehow and look for some Canadian content there, too.
My pick for the 500? Team Penske’s Ryan Briscoe. And look for young Hinchcliffe to finish right up there.
At 5:30, again on TSN, the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 will be shown from Charlotte Motor Speedway and look for all the things that NASCAR is famous for – close racing, violent crashes and a tight, tight finish. My vote in this one is Kyle Busch.
Now, Kimi Raikkonen has left the truck series ("Been there, done that,") and will race in the Nationwide Series event at Charlotte on Saturday afternoon. Kyle Busch and Joe Nemechek have teamed up to get Kimi in the show.
Next up for the Kimster? The Sprint Cup Series. You’ll remember that Kimi went F1 racing directly from karts and he’s not wasting any time launching his NASCAR career either.
Now, at Mosport, D.J. Kennington of St. Thomas will be out to defend his championship against all his old foes – Kerry Micks, Scott Steckly, Don Thomson Jr., Mark Dilley, Jason Hathaway, Jeff Lapcevich, Jason White, Pierre Bourque and all those guys.
Practice will take place early Saturday afternoon with qualifying set for 5 p.m. and the green flag scheduled for 7 p.m.