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Motor racing's banner day from Monaco to Indy to Charlotte

May 21, 2013|By Jim Peltz
  • Sebastian Vettel is looking for his fourth Formula One title in a row as the circuit heads to the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday.
Sebastian Vettel is looking for his fourth Formula One title in a row as the… (Lluis Gene / Getty Images )

Motor-racing fans mark this Sunday on their calendars because it's filled with three of the sport's most celebrated races.

It starts with Formula One's glamorous Monaco Grand Prix. Then comes the iconic Indianapolis 500 followed by NASCAR's longest race, the Coca-Coca 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Sebastian Vettel heads to Monaco in search of his fourth consecutive Formula One championship. The German driver for Red Bull Racing holds a four-point lead over Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen in this year's title standings.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, a two-time champion who like Vettel has won two races already this season, is 17 points behind Vettel in third.

In the Indy 500, pole-sitter Ed Carpenter will lead the 33-car field in front of 200,000-plus spectators at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti, last year's winner, both are attempting to become only the fourth driver in history to win the Indy 500 four times. The others are A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.

And in Charlotte, the question is whether anyone can slow down Jimmie Johnson.

Johnson, seeking his sixth Sprint Cup Series championship, leads the Cup standings by 44 points over Carl Edwards. Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are 59 and 64 points behind Johnson, respectively.

Johnson also is attempting to become the first driver to win seven points-paying Cup races at the 1.5-mile Charlotte track (he's currently tied with Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip with six).

And Johnson appears poised to do so, having won last weekend's NASCAR All-Star race, a non-points event, at the Charlotte speedway.

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