Sunday brings a cornucopia of racing

For motorsports fans, Sunday is Christmas Day, Fourth of July and Thanksgiving Day all rolled up into one 1,100-mile long ball.

The Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 allows race fans to gorge themselves on drama, intrigue, danger, bitter loss and glorious, glorious triumph. And that's not to mention gorging themselves on barbecue and cold beverages.

The Indy 500 -- the Greatest Spectacle in Sport -- goes first. Nothing is as dramatic as the buildup to the green flag. Taps, in honor of our war dead on Memorial Day Weekend. Jim Nabors touching "Back Home Again In Indiana." The Purdue Marching Band. The colorful balloon release. Mari Hulman George saying, "Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!" The parade laps. The flying start of 11 rows of three across the yard of bricks.

I'm tearing up.

There are lots of stories in Indy:

  • Pole-sitter Helio Castroneves tries to join the gods of Indy -- A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears -- when he goes for a fourth Indy 500 win.

  • Will the Andretti curse finally end with Marco Andretti in Victory Lane? It's been 41 years since his grandfather, Mario Andretti, won the Indy 500. Mario never won again and his son, Michael, never visited Victory Lane in his storied career.

  • Can Danica Patrick overcome her worst Indy 500 qualifying position ever, 26th, to become the first woman to win at the Brickyard?

  • What about Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan, Will Power, Ryan Briscoe, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Dan Wheldon as pre-race favorites?

  • Will the racing gods anoint an underdog and reward them with racing immortality?

    And then there is the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR's longest race. It has a huge pre-race buildup, as well. Honoring the troops. Taps, again. Red, white and blue. It starts in the daylight and ends under the lights. And it, too, has plenty of stories:

  • Can Jimmie Johnson continue to be the man to beat at Charlotte?

  • What about Kasey Kahne's success at Charlotte, his best track.

  • Can teammates Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin avoid wrecking each other after last week's emotional run-in at the NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star race?

  • Jeff Gordon has had his share of success at Charlotte. He's been in position to win in 2010 but hasn't been able to close the deal. He's been winless in more than a season. Does this end Sunday?

  • Will there be a surprise winner, like last year's winner, David Reutimann?

    There are lots to learn Sunday. Memories to be made. Summer officially arrives.

    Let the gorging begin.