NASCAR all alone on motorsports biggest day of racing

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Charlotte Motor Speedway is shown in Concord, N.C., Wednesday, May 20, 2020. Some fans have been coming to the Coca-Cola 600 for decades, but they wont be allowed into Charlotte Motor Speedwa on Sunday due to Covid-19, leaving the grandstands empty and many disappointed. (AP Photo/Steve Reed)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Monaco Grand Prix has been canceled.

The Indianapolis 500 is postponed until August.

Only the Coca-Cola 600 is still scheduled as planned.

The most celebrated day in motorsports has been whittled down to the third course, 600 miles around Charlotte Motor Speedway in NASCAR's longest race of the year. What began as the World 600 in 1959 became the nightcap to a spectacular day of automobile racing treasured annually by fans.

The Sunday before Memorial Day begins in the French Riviera as Formula One races the streets of Monaco. The race began in 1929 and has been held every year since 1959 until the coronavirus pandemic wiped out a portion of F1's season.

Then it is on to Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street for the Indy 500. It started as the International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race in 1911, grew into “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" and has run on Memorial Day weekend every year since 1946. Roger Penske, in his first year as owner, has postponed the race two months because of the pandemic.

It means NASCAR is alone in the spotlight Sunday night, just as NASCAR has been for the last week. The stock car series, using a tight health screening plan and aided by its close proximity to states with relaxed restrictions. has already completed three races in the last week.

The next one is a crown jewel event that doubles as an elaborate salute to the United States military. The dusk-to-dark race is an actual Memorial Day party as fallen heroes are honored on each car and Speedway Motorsports prides itself on productions that conclude with a post-race fireworks spectacular.