It’s my favorite weekend of the racing season with two big races back to back on Sunday starting with the 95th running of the Indy 500 followed by NASCAR’s longest race of the year – the Coca Cola 600 in Charlotte.

The first Indy 500 winner averaged just over 74 miles an hour and the race took more than 6 hours and 42 minutes to complete. The winner collected $14,250. This year’s winner is in line to take home $2.5-million.

Former Indy 500 winners in this year's starting field include Helio Castroneves, Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, Dan Wheldon and Buddy Rice.
Castroneves is a three-time winner of this race and if he wins again on Sunday he’ll join A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser as the only four-time winners. But his 16th starting position this year is his worst ever at the track. He had the pole the last two years.

Danica Patrick will start 25th and it might be her last race at Indy. She may move to NASCAR full-time next year.

Carl Edwards will be looking to join an exclusive club on Sunday. If Edwards wins the Coca-Cola 600, he’ll join Darrell Waltrip (1985), Davey Allison (1991), Dale Earnhardt (1993), Jeff Gordon (1997), Jimmie Johnson (2003) and Kasey Kahne (2008) as winners of both the all-star race and the 600-mile event at Charlotte in the same season.

Edwards says the 600 is the race he’s trains and works out for all year. He calls it “a long, grueling marathon of a race." But he has yet to win a Sprint Cup points-paying race at Charlotte. His best finish in 13 starts is third, which he did twice, most recently in 2006. Edwards currently holds a 24-point lead over five-time defending Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson.

Charlotte has been one of Johnson's best tracks. He is tied with Waltrip and Bobby Allison for most wins at Charlotte with six. And Johnson is the only driver to win three consecutive 600-mile races at this track (2003-05).

The Nationwide Series is also running this weekend at Charlotte.