A step-by-step guide on how to watch three major races in one long day of extreme TV viewing.
Sunday is a big day for the most hardcore motor heads out there.
Sunday is a day like no other because there are three major racing events that are staged from early in the morning until late in the evening.
The tripleheader starts with the Monaco Grand Prix Formula One race, followed by the 101st Indianapolis 500 and ends with NASCAR’s answer to endurance racing, the Coca-Cola 600.
The real fan of all things motorsports will be tempted to join in the marathon, but viewers beware.
If you think of this as a one-day event, you are sadly mistaken. All the races may be Sunday, but this is a three-day event for the race-watching savvy.
On Saturday, you need to stock up on food and beverage, if you plan to truly commit to the three-race program.
And, no going out Saturday night. Get to bed early because you will need every ounce of energy to make those last 100 miles of the Coke 600, sort of the Heartbreak Hill of the day.
Sunday, of course, is Watch Day, which will be detailed further along.
Clear the calendar on Monday, because you will have literally run a marathon (TV sports-wise) and will need the entire day to recover.
So let’s get right into the action for Sunday.
For many of us, this will be the closest we get to the Principality of Monaco, which is located on the French Riviera. Monaco is a constitutional monarchy with the Sovereign Prince of Monaco serving as head of state. Do they have Prince Albert in a can? No, he is free to roam as he pleases. It’s the second smallest country in the world behind Vatican City, where racing is prohibited. The Monaco Grand Prix started in 1929 and has always raced on the narrow streets of the city-state. For F1 drivers, this is their Daytona 500 or Indy 500. This is the big one. While it is the afternoon over there, it will be morning over here. The pre-race starts at 7:30 a.m. and the race goes green at 8 a.m. NBC will offer flag-to-flag coverage.
Course: street course, 2.074 miles
Race Distance: 161.734 miles
TV: NBC, 6:30 a.m.
Grub: This is F1, people. Croissants and cappuccinos only, please.
The Monaco GP will end around 9 a.m. and ABC cranks up its coverage of the Indianapolis 500 at 10 a.m. The race goes green around 11:15 a.m. While F1 cars are considered the most sophisticated in the world, the IndyCar Series open-wheelers will be averaging about 225 mph per lap over Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.5-mile rectangle. You never know what will happen at Indy, such as polesitter Scott Dixon getting robbed at gunpoint in a Taco Bell drive-through lane. Two must-see TV moments are the pomp and circumstance of the pre-race show and the first lap of competition, when the field goes three-wide into Turn 1. Over the last decade or so, the race has been dramatic from start to finish. You will want to buckle in and watch the drama unfold.
Course: 2.5-mile, closed-course, rectangle-shaped
Race Distance: 500 miles
TV: ABC, 10 a.m.
Grub: Pork tenderloin sandwiches with onion rings, hamburger with sides and corn on the cob for everybody.
You will get a two- to three-hour window of opportunity after the Indy 500 to get out, stretch your legs or make a supply run. For others, this may a good time to grab a quick nap. Last year’s Indy race ran just over three hours, but you have to factor in the post-race stuff, too. The Coca-Cola 600 will start around 5:15 p.m. on Fox. NASCAR Race Day, the pre, pre-race show, starts at 3:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1. Fox begins its telecast at 4:30 p.m. This is the 58th running of the 600 and more times than not, there is one driver who stands out among the rest. Martin Truex Jr. had the honor last year by leading 392 of 400 laps. Many well-intentioned “Super Motor Sunday” race fans have nodded off during the race, only to wake up for the last 50 miles of competition when good stuff actually happens. Do the best you can and make the most of your DVR.
Course: 1.5-mile quad-oval
Race Distance: 600 miles
TV: Fox, 4:30 p.m.
Grub: We are talking tailgating paradise, with BBQ ruling the day; so fire up the grill, and get those pieces of chicken and ribs crispy over an open flame.