AUTO RACING: As Larson goes for rare racing double, Team Penske is the team to beat at Indy

All Times Eastern


Coca-Cola 600

Site: Concord, North Carolina.

Schedule: Saturday, practice, 5:05 p.m., and qualifying, 5:50 p.m.; Sunday, race, 6 p.m. (FOX).

Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Race distance: 400 laps, 600 miles.

Last year: Ryan Blaney won after starting eighth.

Last race: Joey Logano started on the pole at North Wilkesboro, led 199 of the 200 laps and won the non-points All-Star race for the second time, earning $1 million.

Fast facts: The second half of the regular season begins with Kyle Larson leading Martin Truex Jr. by 30 points and Denny Hamlin by 39. … Larson has finished in the top five in a series-best six races. Hamlin, Chase Elliott (fourth in points) and Brad Keselowski (11th) have each done it five times. … Larson arrived about an hour before the race began after qualifying fifth for the Indianapolis 500 and finished fourth. … Ricky Stenhouse Jr., bumped out of the race on Lap 2 after contact from behind by Kyle Busch, was fined $75,000 for starting a post-race melee by punching Busch. Stenhouse’s father also joined in and was suspended indefinitely. Two Stenhouse crew members were also suspended. Busch was not penalized.

Next race: June 2, Madison, Illinois.



BetMGM 300

Site: Concord, North Carolina.

Schedule: Friday, practice, 3:35 p.m., and qualifying, 4:05 p.m.; Saturday, race, 1 p.m. (FOX).

Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Race distance: 200 laps, 300 miles.

Last year: Justin Allgaier won from the pole position.

Last race: Allgaier beat Austin Hill to the checkered flag by nearly 3.5 seconds at Darlington for his first victory of the season and his third at the Lady in Black.

Fast facts: The victory also was the 24th of Allgaier’s career, tying him with his car owner, Dale Earnhardt Jr., for 10th in Xfinity Series history. … Hill leads a tight battle for the top spot in the standings. He’s three points ahead of defending series champion Cole Custer and five ahead of Chandler Smith. … All three leaders have six top-five finishes through 11 races. … Four of the races run so far have been won by drivers not competing for the championship.

Next race: June 1, Portland, Oregon.



North Carolina Education Lottery 200

Site: Concord, North Carolina.

Schedule: Friday, practice, 1:30 p.m., qualifying, 2:05 p.m., and race, 8:30 p.m. (FS1).

Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Race distance: 134 laps, 201 miles.

Last year: Kyle Larson won after starting eighth.

Last race: Corey Heim took the lead after a restart on Lap 186 of 250 and held it the rest of the way to win for the third time this season and the first time at North Wilkesboro.

Fast facts: Heim’s victory was the eighth of his career and gave him three victories two years in a row. … Heim’s teammate, Brenden “Butterbean” Queen, finished fourth in his truck series debut. … Heim trimmed the series lead of Christian Eckes to four points in a race that was halted on Saturday by extreme weather after 81 laps and resumed Sunday after a red-flag period of 21 hours, 6 minutes, 14 seconds. … Grant Enfinger was second, his first top-five finish in 10 races this season.

Next race: June 1, Madison, Illinois.



Monaco Grand Prix

Site: Monaco.

Schedule: Friday, practice, 7:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.; Saturday, practice, 6:30 a.m., and qualifying, 10 a.m.; Sunday, race, 9 a.m. (ESPN).

Track: Circuit de Monaco.

Race distance: 78 laps, 161.772 miles.

Last year: Max Verstappen won after starting in the pole position.

Last race: Verstappen held off a challenge from Lando Norris to win in Italy, his fifth victory in seven races this season.

Fast facts: Verstappen has won the pole position in all seven races this season. He’s also won 24 of the last 29 races dating to the start of the 2023 season. … Second-place Charles Leclerc, Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate, Sergio Perez and Norris all have four podium finishes and Carlos Sainz Jr. has three. No one else in the series has finished in the top three this season.

Next race: June 9, Montreal, Canada.



Indianapolis 500

Site: Indianapolis, Indiana.

Schedule: Friday, final practice, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Sunday, race, 12:30 p.m. (NBC).

Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Race distance: 200 laps, 500 miles.

Last year: Josef Newgarden won after starting 17th, the deepest starting spot in the field for any race-winner in the 2023 season.

Last race: Alex Palou won the race off pit row on Lap 62 and beat Will Power into the first turn on the only restart and easily defended last year’s title on Indianapolis’ road course.

Fast facts: Scott McLaughlin of Team Penske will be on the pole after breaking the four-lap qualifying record at 234.220 mph, with teammate Will Power and Newgarden joining him on the front row. It’s the first front-row sweep for Penske since 1988 when Rick Mears, Danny Sullivan and Al Unser Sr. started up front. … NASCAR star Kyle Larson, who is attempting to race the 500 and then fly to Charlotte to race in the Coca-Cola 600, qualified fifth. The only driver to attempt the double and complete all 1,100 miles was Tony Stewart in 2021. … Helio Castroneves will start 20th in his bid for a record fifth win in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Next race: June 2, Detroit.



Last event: Antron Brown won in Top Fuel and Matt Hagan won in Funny Car in Illinois.

Next event: June 2, Epping, New Hampshire.



Next events: May 24 & 25, Chillicothe, Ohio; May 27, Fremont, Ohio.



AP auto racing:

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