If there’s one weekend in motorsport that truly matters every year, it has to be Memorial Day weekend. Sunday is the most exciting day of action, as fans can wake up early to watch Formula 1’s Monaco Grand Prix, carry into the Indianapolis 500, and close out the night with NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600, the longest stock car race of the season.
Winning any of those races is a defining moment in any career, enabling a driver to join the ranks of some of the sport’s legends and illustrating a race team’s prominence within the sport. (If one Indy 500 win makes a group special, just imagine what that says about Team Penske and its 17 Borg-Warner Trophies!) With that in mind, here are the competitors who had the most impressive weekends:
Verizon IndyCar Series: Will Power
Now Team Penske’s longest-tenured full-time IndyCar driver, Power accomplished two firsts with his victory in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500: he became the first Australian driver to win the race, and the first driver to sweep both that race and the IndyCar Grand Prix since the latter debuted in 2014. Power led 59 of the race’s 200 laps, second only to runner-up Ed Carpenter, and put himself in position to take over the lead when Oriol Servia, Stefan Wilson, and Jack Harvey had to pit in the race’s final laps.
Formula 1: Daniel Ricciardo
Two years after a pit stop debacle ruined Ricciardo’s chances at a win from the pole at the fabled Monaco Grand Prix, the awesome Australian finally got his victory at F1’s most important race. After dominating free practice and setting the pole time, the Red Bull Racing driver did everything he needed to do to claim the win, including conserving his Pirelli tires in order to avoid making a second pit stop after lap 17. The victory propelled him to third in the championship, a two-spot climb from Barcelona.
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross: Aaron Plessinger
After Zach Osborne swept the 250 season opener at Hangtown, it was Plessinger’s turn to post a 1-1 finish at the third race of the season at Glen Helen. After passing local privateer Gage Schehr on the first lap of the first moto, Plessinger never looked back in that race to establish an advantage. In the second moto, he climbed into podium contention by five minutes into the race, passed Austin Forkner, and reeled in Alex Martin’s three-plus second gap to complete the sweep and tie Osborne for the points lead.