It was the year’s greatest race day, with three major events taking place. The Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500, and the World 600 could have meant a lot of couch time, never mind the latest episode of Game of Thrones, but I try to exercise while gazing at the tube. I mean, those sandwiches were not going to make themselves.
The Formula One action in Monte Carlo, visually, was the best of the lot. Sure, as far as action goes, it featured the world’s worst pit stop when Daniel Ricciardo was ordered to pit for tires. Sadly, despite all the high-tech gadgetry, the engineering brainiacs upstairs failed to inform those poor wretches at track level, so no rubber was ready. The time wasted allowed Lewis Hamilton to take over the lead and that was about it. While it might have been another case of fast cars playing follow the leader, it was done at a track no one should be following anyone at such speeds, never mind attempting to pass. The narrow streets, the overlooking apartments, the tunnel under the Fairmont Monte Carlo hotel, and those Leonardo DiCaprio seducing yachts in the harbor, all combined to make this quite the spectacle.
Then it happened. Down at track level were just a few special people. There were the teams, the top finishing drivers, Prince Albert II of Monaco…and Justin Bieber. Biebs. The man to whom Hamilton approached in celebration for high fives and back slaps. The man with whom Hamilton shared a drink from his huge bottle of champagne. Bloody Justin Bieber. My friends, the end of times are upon us.
Next up was Indianapolis for the 100th edition of their annual classic. They had enough accidents to make one wonder if NASCAR did not institute an open wheel division. When contender Juan Pablo Montoya wrecked early, to be followed by Helio Castroneves, Townsend Bell and Ryan Hunter-Reay making contact on pit road to punt themselves out of the running, we were left wondering who might be there in the end. That proved to be the fuel saving 24-year old Alexander Rossi of California in his maiden voyage for Michael Andretti and partners. Last year he ran a handful of events in F-1, but probably bolted due to the threat of a Bieber appearance.
Then it was time for the longest of the trio in Charlotte, North Carolina. 400 laps, 392 of them led by Martin Truex Jr. It was a lot like Monaco, with a widened track, fewer buildings and turns and no tunnel, along with some added fenders. Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, and Brad Keselowski aided the bride in walking down the aisle. It might not have had the bang of the other two events, but it also did not have Justin Bieber. Anywhere.
That was a good thing.