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Fox News Weather Center

Rain may dampen Monaco Grand Prix, historic 100th running of Indy 500 this weekend

This weekend will be the biggest racing weekend of the year with three major races drawing in millions of viewers from around the globe.

The biggest race of the day will take place at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon with the 100th running of the Indy 500.

A sold out crowd of 350,000 will be in attendance for the historic race as Indy car drivers from around the world compete for the $2.5 million payout, a swig of milk from victory lane and their name forever cemented in history.

Sunday's Indy 500 will be preceded by the formula One Monaco Grand Prix in Europe and followed up by NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Unfortunately for race fans, rainy weather could affect all three races over the Memorial Day weekend.

Monaco Grand Prix

The Formula One race in Monaco will be the first race of the day with drivers taking to the streets of the city for the 74th running of the Monaco Grand Prix.

"The Monaco race is one of the biggest races of the year, and most watched Formula One races of the year," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert said.

Unfortunately for the fans attending the Monaco Grand Prix, heavy rain and thunderstorms may move over the city when the race is set to take place.

While Formula One cars are usually capable of racing in light rain, heavier rain and thunderstorms may force the race to be delayed.

Even if the rain stays on the lighter side, it will cause the race to play out much differently than if the race was held under dry conditions.

"Any rain could make for a crash-filled race that has a whole lot of lead changes and major stories," Reppert said.

Fans attending the race should pay attention to the weather and move to a sheltered area if a thunderstorm moves in during the race.

The Monaco Grand Prix is set to start at 8 a.m. EDT (1 p.m. BST).

100th running of the Indy 500

The most anticipated race of the weekend will likely be the 100th running of the Indy 500, taking place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend the historic race, but those attending may want to take a raincoat or poncho with them into the tack.

The forecast for Sunday calls for a shower or thunderstorm in the afternoon which could soak drivers, crews and fans out in the open.

Indy cars are usually able to race in light rain, but this is not the case for Indy car races in Indianapolis.

"Rain tires are made for Indy cars, but those are only for road courses, as the speeds at the Indy 500 are too high," Reppert said.

Even if dry weather manages to hold over the 100th, weather can still have an affect on the way that the cars handle.

According to Reppert, if it rains in the days leading up to the race, it can wash away the rubber that was put down on the track.

Rubber usually accumulates on the track leading up to the race during qualifying and practices. This rubber helps to give drivers grip as the speed around the track at speeds exceeding 200 mph.

Sunday's Indy 500 is set to start around 12:20 p.m. EDT.

NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600

Sunday's final race will be the longest of the weekend as NASCAR drivers compete in a 600-mile race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Much of the weekend should be dry in Charlotte; however, there is a small chance that a shower could move through during the race.

Even if it does rain at the track, the rain should not last long and NASCAR should be able to use their Air Titans to dry the track quickly so the race can continue.

The green flag is scheduled to drop at 6:15 p.m. EDT.