People like to call the Sunday before Memorial Day “the biggest race day.”
They would be right, as we all know that that particular Sunday starts with the Monaco Grand Prix in Formula 1, followed by the Greatest Spectacle In Racing, otherwise known as the Indianapolis 500 – two of the three events in the “triple crown” of auto racing, 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 entire month is packed with exciting racing action from start to finish.
First, let’s focus on what NASCAR fans are looking forward to this month. After Sunday’s Cup Series race in Dover (which has been postponed to Monday due to rain), drivers and teams from all three national series head south to Darlington Raceway for NASCAR’s annual “throwback weekend.”
Just as baseball teams wear retro jerseys in “Turn Back the Clock” games, teams in all three series will pay tribute to NASCAR’s past by using paint schemes reminiscent of those legendary drivers who 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.
Returning to NASCAR, following in the footsteps of Darlington, the kings of stock car racing visit Kansas Speedway before heading to Texas Motor Speedway on May 22 for the 38th running of the NASCAR All-Star Race.
Currently, 20 drivers are locked into the event. Other drivers can enter if they can win in Darlington or Kansas (and have not yet won a points-paying Cup Series race in 2021 or 2022), by winning one of the stages in the All-Star Open for the last chance, or by winning from an online fan voice.
The All-Star Race has one of the biggest single event payout days in motorsport as the winning driver takes home a 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 long event can last well over 4 hours, so maintaining stamina and controlling the car are both a must for any driver looking to win the 600.
This month is also going to be an exciting month for F1 fans, especially those who live in the United States.
This Sunday, May 8, marks the inaugural performance of F1’s Miami Grand Prix, the first time since 1984 that the world’s most prestigious racing series has held two races in the US, in Miami and later this year, the regular annual visit to Circuit of America in Austin, Texas.
And let’s not forget that the US will host three F1 races next year when the highly anticipated race on the Las Vegas Strip is on the calendar.
The new Miami International Autodrome will be a 3,363-mile, 19-turn course that will take place in the parking lots and service roads of 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 selling price for a ticket on the secondary market is almost $2,500!
After Miami, F1 heads to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the Spanish Grand Prix on May 22 and then the biggest race of the program – the Monaco Grand Prix – on May 29.
Circuit de Monaco is an extremely narrow course with several height differences. While the track may not offer the most passing opportunities, its location next to the harbor and below the high rises creates what is arguably the most scenic location to host 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 racing fan’s bucket list, but only the privileged will be able to afford to attend.
Last but certainly not least, let’s not forget what the month of May means for IndyCar fans.
Sunday, May 29, 2022 will be the 106th edition of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” – the Indianapolis 500. But before the 500, we still have two 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 circuit’s infield road course. The following weekend brings qualifying for the Indy 500 itself. At this point, IndyCar is expected to announce a full field of 33 cars for the race, meaning all teams that participated in the race will actually participate in the event. That means ‘Bump Day’ will be redundant.
While there may not be any bumps this year, the four fast laps around the 2.5-mile oval to determine their starting place in the race will, as usual, be the most daring laps any IndyCar driver will complete all year.
Finally, we saved the best race 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 try to run 200 laps for 500 miles to reach the next placed face to the prestigious Borg-Warner Trophy.
This year provided added excitement as defending 500 winner Helio Castroneves looks set to become the first driver in history to win five Indy wins.
We have writers on site at Indy to give you all the coverage, and we at ARD are all very excited to kick off what will be a phenomenal month of racing action.
There is only one thing left to say: welcome to May!