More Details on Texas Race Move to NBC

From Indycar:

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NTT IndyCar Series News Release
For Immediate Release
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Set for NBC Network Primetime Debut June 6 at Texas

NTT INDYCAR SERIES Set for NBC Network Primetime Debut June 6 at Texas

INDIANAPOLIS (May 24, 2020) – The NTT INDYCAR SERIES will be broadcast in primetime on NBC for the first time when the season-opening Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway is televised starting at 8 p.m. (ET) Saturday, June 6.

The race is moving to NBC from its originally scheduled window on NBCSN. It’s the first INDYCAR race on broadcast television in primetime since 2013.

“We’re pleased the daring nature and bold skills of INDYCAR’s athletes will be displayed to a network primetime audience in just a few weeks’ time,” Penske Entertainment Corp President & CEO Mark Miles said. “INDYCAR’s first season on NBC in 2019 was marked by significant audience growth, and this marquee broadcast slot reflects both our continued momentum and strong partnership with NBC Sports Group.”

NBC Sports’ lead INDYCAR broadcast team of Leigh Diffey (play-by-play), Townsend Bell (analyst) and Paul Tracy (analyst) will call the Genesys 300 on NBC.

“America has a thirst for live sports, so we’re thrilled to showcase the spectacular racing of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in primetime on the broadcast network,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBCSN.

Live comprehensive coverage of practice and qualifying June 6 from Texas Motor Speedway will stream on NBC Sports Gold’s INDYCAR Pass. Race coverage on NBC streams on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

The Genesys 300 will be the first race of the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES campaign as the series gets #BackOnTrack. This kicks off NBC Sports’ second season as the exclusive home of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, including the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, which will now take place Sunday, Aug. 23 on NBC.

The second race of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, the GMR Grand Prix on Saturday, July 4 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, also will be broadcast to a network audience on NBC. A full-season broadcast schedule will be released at a later date.

Today’s news also will be announced on network television, during NBC’s four hour “Indy 500 Special: Back Home Again.” NBC Sports Group also has provided significant TV exposure to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES during the break in competition caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, airing five races of the INDYCAR iRacing Challenge on NBCSN.

Indycar Officially Announces Richmond, Toronto Cancellations; Revised Schedule

From Indycar as I reported this morning:

2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES Schedule

INDYCAR announces updated 2020 series schedule

INDIANAPOLIS (May 21, 2020) – An updated 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule was released today, displaying calendar adjustments implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway remains the season opener with a night race on the 1.5-mile oval Saturday, June 6. The next race on the INDYCAR calendar will be the GMR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course Saturday, July 4.

“Our teams and athletes are ready to get back on track and will deliver world-class action at Texas Motor Speedway and the Racing Capital of the World,” Penske Entertainment Corp. President & CEO Mark Miles said. “We appreciate the opportunity to begin our season during these unprecedented times, and I’m confident we’ll put on a great show.”

The REV Group Grand Prix at Road America has been rescheduled from June 21 to July 11-12, becoming a double-header with championship points races Saturday and Sunday on the iconic, 4-mile road course.

Two events have been canceled for 2020 due to local restrictions surrounding the pandemic: the Indy Richmond 300 on Saturday, June 27 at Richmond Raceway and the Honda Indy Toronto on Sunday, July 12 on the streets of Toronto.

The season finale will be the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, Oct. 25, a new date recently announced after the originally scheduled season opener March 15 in St. Pete was postponed due to the global health crisis.

2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES Schedule

Richmond Cancelled as Schedule Shuffle Continues

Indycar’sset in sand 2020 schedule changed again Wednesday. First,  the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America moved to July 10-12 and is now a double header. Then the return to Richmond was cancelled.

The NTT Indycar Series is still expecting to open June 6 at Texas motor Speedway June 6. No fans will attend the first race of the season.

Road America is the third double header weekend on the revised schedule, joining Iowa and Laguna Seca in presenting two races on the same weekend. The Wisconsin switch was made in an effort to make fan attendance a greater possibility.

Richmond had hosted Indycar races from 2001-2009 and was looking forward to the series’ return.

Are we done with changes to the race lineup? I don’t think so. here is the schedule as of this morning, May 21.

June 6 Texas Motor Speedway

July 4-  Indianapolis  Motor Speedway road course

July 11 Road America

July 12  Road America

July  17  Iowa

July 18  Iowa

August 9  Mid Ohio

August 15-16 Indianapolis 500 Qualifying

August 23  Indianapolis 500

August 30  Gateway

September  13 Portland

September 19  Laguna Seca

September 20 Laguna Seca

October 3   Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course

October 25  St. Petersburg

Portland may move since fans would not be allowed to attend on the September 13 date. There is a gap in October, but I think one of the October weekends is being held in reserve in case the Indianapolis 500 needs to move again.

July has five races in 15 days.  August has four consecutive weekends. If this schedule holds, it will be a busy time for teams and fans. I just want to get the season started. Back tomorrow to talk about the 1970 500.

July Road America Double Header ?

The ever changing NTT Indycar Series calendar may be about to take another twist. there is heavy speculation that the REV Group Grand prix, originally scheduled for the weekend of June 20-22, will now take place July 10-12, the original date of the now postponed Toronto event.

The switch will mean two consecutive double headers, one on a road course and one on an oval. Iowa is the week following the new Road America date.

If Richmond takes place as scheduled, Indycar will run six races on four successive weekends. After a two week break, the series has four straight weekenddates in August.

I have a feeling this will not be the last schedule change.  I will have more, including the revised schedule, when the new Road America date is confirmed.

Three 500s, Two Monaco GPs on ESPN2 Sunday

ESPN2 will help keep the traditional biggest day in motorsports alive Sunday with five encore presentations. Two previous Grand Prix of Monaco will begin the day. later in the afternoon the network will re-air three past Indianapolis 500s.

The schedule:

6 am  2018 Monaco Grand Prix

8:30 am  2019 Grand Prix of Monaco

These races are two of the better Monaco races of late. In 2018 Daniel Riccardo held off Sebastian Vettel. Riccardo battled engine and gearbox issues throughout.

In 2019 Lewis Hamilton beat Vettel by 2.6 seconds, close by f1 standards.

Plus you get to see Monaco for 4 hours. i love the setting for the race, although the racing isn’t always great. It’s one of the most iconic, classic venues for a race.

3 pm  2006 Indianapolis 500  Great duel at the end between Marco Andretti and Sam Hornish, Jr. The winner wasn’t decide until the cars reached the finish line.

5 pm  2011 Indianapolis 500  The 100th anniversary 500 featured probably the wildest finish ever. The J. R. Hildebrand seemed to have the race wrapped up crashed out of turn 4.  Winner Dan Wheldon led less than a mile in what turned out to be a bittersweet victory.

7 pm 2014 Indianapolis 500  Ryan Hunter-Reay and Helio Castroneves stage a tremendous battle for the victory. Hunter-Reay’s pass in the grass was an incredible move.

NBC Replays 2019 Indianapolis 500

Overlapping ESPN’s replays will be NBC’s replay of the 2019 Indianapolis 500 from 2pm-6pm. The race features commentary from winner Simon Pagenaud and runner-up Alexander Rossi.  A pre -race segment hosted by Mike Tirico features interviews with the two drivers.

These shows aren’t the same as being at the track on Sunday, but they are the best we have until now. Race day is hopefully just a little more than three months away. DVRs will be pretty busy this weekend.

Qualifying Weekend- Bumped Day; Indycar News Roundup

Photo: Alberto Ascari at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1952. It was Ferrari’s only appearance in the 500 mile Race. Ascari crashed on lap 40 and finished 31st.

Today was supposed to be the first day of Qualifying for the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500. We are, however, three months away from that. It’s been a surprisingly busy news week. Here are some thoughts.

 Toronto

Yesterday afternoon’s cancellation announcement was not a shock. I was just wondering when it would come. The government has banned gatherings of 25,000 or more until August 31. Will Indycar add another doubleheader or just have one less race? It’s getting late to add another venue. Green Savoree is looking for a date later in the year to reschedule.

Ferrari

As with all things of this sort, I’m taking a wait and see attitude. Ferrari principal Mattia Binotto has confirmed that ferrari is looking at Indycar for 2022 if F1 lowers their budget cap. The Scuderia wants to keep its employees, and Indycar is way to do that. I have questions.

With Indycar still planning to go to a hybrid system, will Ferrari become the third OEM? Will Ferrari be happy using a Dallara chassis or are they willing to become a second chassis? If they do become the third engine supplier, they won’t be able to form a technical alliance with an established team. Will that put them at a big disadvantage?

A decision is still a long way off. It would be exciting to have a team with such international prestige join the series. We will just have to wait.

Car 47

One thing that caught my attention in the Conor Daly car unveiling yesterday was the car number. I didn’t recall seeing number 47 often. Some research confirmed my suspicions. The number 47 has appeared in just 12 500 mile races.

Its first appearance was 1929 when Ernie Triplett drove a Dusenberg powered by a Miller engine. The car started 20th and finished 26th. It completed 48 laps and retired with a broken rod. The number wasn’t on a starting car again until 1933 when 1924 co-winner L. L. Corum drove the number 47 Rigling Studebaker to a 12th place finish. That would be the number’s highest finish.

The most recent start to date for the 47 was 1984 when future two time winner Emerson Fittipaldi drove the March Cosworth machine. It was Fittipaldi’s rookie year. He started 23rd and finished 32nd, retiring after 37 laps with oil pressure issues.

Overall, cars carrying this number have not had a lot of success. This year could be the 47’s best finish.

Another Tradition Broken

Tomorrow I will  watch the NASCAR race. It will be the first one I have watched in more than 10 years. I’m watching to see how their COVID-19 protocols work. Will the empty stands give it the feel of the iRaces? What other things might Indycar learn that can be applied to the opener at Texas.

It will be nice just to have some live racing to watch, no matter what it is.

 

ECR Unveils Daly’s Car for Indianapolis 500

It’s nice to have some good news to talk about on what was supposed to be Fast Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Ed Carpenter Racing unveiled Conor Daly’s car for the 104th running of Greatest Spectacle in Racing, now scheduled for August 23.

The livery is a tribute to the Bell X-1 aircraft in which Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier on October 14, 1947. The car’s number, 47, pays tribute to that date. 1947 is also the year the U. S. Air Force was founded by the National Security Act of 1947.

“It’s incredible to once again drive an iconic livery at the Indy 500. The U.S. Air Force does an unbelievable job paying respect to the history of the fighter jet and honoring the accomplishments of those who have served and are currently serving,” stated Daly. “This is such an exciting car, there’s so much that went into both the design and the number 47 that we’ll be representing. I can’t wait to drive the Indy car version of Glamorous Glennis and hopefully make Chuck Yeager himself proud!”

Daly drives for Ed Carpenter Racing in the number 20 car for road and street course races. The 20 car carries a different Air Force livery in those races. Daly began a partnership with the U. S. Air Force three years ago. In the 2019 500 he drove an Air Force sponsored car for Andretti Autosport, finishing a career best 10th.

The full press release from ECR:

U.S. AIR FORCE UNVEILS CONOR DALY’S INDIANAPOLIS 500 CAR AND NUMBER
Design of Daly’s No. 47 Pays Tribute to Chuck Yeager’s “Glamorous Glennis” Aircraft
Download Image:Web / Hi-Res
(INDIANAPOLIS) May 15, 2020 – Ed Carpenter Racing and the U.S. Air Force are proud to unveil Conor Daly’s No. 47 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet for the 2020 Indianapolis 500.  With the same attention to detail and historical accuracy used to design his road and street course car, Daly’s Indianapolis 500 entry pays homage to the beginning of today’s U.S. Air Force and one of its most iconic aircraft, the Bell X-1.
While Daly’s road and street course car carries the No. 20, team owner and oval driver Ed Carpenter will step back into that entry for the Indianapolis 500. The No. 47 was selected for Daly’s car with double significance. The U.S. Air Force was officially founded on September 18, 1947 with the passage of the National Security Act of 1947. That legislation would separate the U.S. Air Force from the U.S. Army and allow the U.S. Air Force to become a separate branch of military service. Less than a month later, on October 14, 1947, an experimental U.S. Air Force rocket plane became the first crewed aircraft to exceed the speed of sound.
Flying the Bell X-1, U.S. Air Force Capt. Charles “Chuck” Yeager became the first pilot to break the sound barrier. The aircraft was painted bright orange so it could be seen in test flights and named “Glamorous Glennis” by Yeager as a tribute to his wife. The aircraft reached Mach 1.06 (700 mph) at an altitude of 43,000 feet over the Mojave Desert in California. The Bell X-1 is now owned by National Air and Space Museum and is on display in Washington, D.C.
“It’s incredible to once again drive an iconic livery at the Indy 500. The U.S. Air Force does an unbelievable job paying respect to the history of the fighter jet and honoring the accomplishments of those who have served and are currently serving,” stated Daly. “This is such an exciting car, there’s so much that went into both the design and the number 47 that we’ll be representing. I can’t wait to drive the Indy car version of Glamorous Glennis and hopefully make Chuck Yeager himself proud!”
Maj Ross McKnight echoed Daly’s excitement. “The Bell X-1 and Brig Gen (Ret) Chuck Yeager are cornerstones of the Air Force and aviation in general. They are part of a rich history of high performance, pushing boundaries and advanced technology that are at the fabric of the U.S. Air Force and our Airmen!” said Maj McKnight, Chief, National Events Branch Air Force Recruiting Service. “We are really excited to pay tribute to the historic ‘breaking of the sound barrier’ at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing with a tribute livery that can be seen all round the track. Even if it can only go a fraction of the speed that Chuck and the Bell X-1 traveled, then Conor and No. 47 U.S. Air Force Chevy are in for a great result.”
Daly and the U.S. Air Force are continuing a partnership that originated three years ago. The Noblesville, Ind. native and Indianapolis-based Ed Carpenter Racing work alongside the U.S. Air Force to use Indy car racing to inspire young adults, communicate the service’s mission and build awareness about career opportunities. Daly will be attempting to qualify for his 7th Indianapolis 500 in 2020. Last year, he had his most successful Month of May to date by setting the fastest lap all practice sessions earning career-best “500” finish of 10th.
The 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 was originally scheduled to run on May 24, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event has been re-scheduled to August 23, 2020. ECR’s three-car lineup for the 500-mile race will feature Daly, three-time Indy 500 pole winner Carpenter and rookie Rinus VeeKay, the team’s full-time driver of the No. 21 Chevrolet. Following a three-month delay, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season is currently scheduled to begin on June 6, 2020 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Download Image:Web / Hi-Res
About Ed Carpenter Racing
Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR) first entered the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2012. The Indianapolis-based race team has proven its versatility by collecting seven wins across each type of track the series competes on – street and road courses, short ovals and speedways. ECR is led by IndyCar’s only team owner/driver, Ed Carpenter, three-time pole winner for the Indianapolis 500 (2013, 2014 and 2018). The 2020 season will see Indiana natives Carpenter and Conor Daly in the No. 20 Chevrolet as Carpenter will drive the ovals and Daly will take over for the road and street course events. Both will be entered in the Indianapolis 500 alongside Dutch teenager Rinus VeeKay, who will compete for the Rookie of the Year title as he races the No. 21 Chevrolet for the full season. More information on Ed Carpenter Racing may be found at http://www.edcarpenterracing.com/.
About the U.S. Air Force
The mission of the U.S. Air Force is to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace. For 2020, Air Force Recruiting Service is hiring over 30,500 new Airmen. An emphasis is on recruiting people with no prior military service into one of about 140 enlisted career opportunities. The Air Force recruits the brightest candidates possible, then provides them with tough, highly technical training that gives them the right skills to sustain the combat capability of America’s Air Force. For more information about Air Force benefits and opportunities, go to http://www.airforce.com.