NBC Sports Presents Live Primetime Covereage of Verizon IndyCar Series This Weekend
This weekend's motorsports action on NBCSN is highlighted by live primetime coverage of the Verizon INDYCAR Series' return to the St. Louis area with the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 on Saturday at 9:30 p.m. ET, and the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET.This week's coverage also includes NBCSN Overdrive, the network's Thursday night primetime motorsports block, highlighted by American Flat Track racing from Oklahoma City, Okla., tonight at 10 p.m. ET, as well as the Lucas Oil Pro MOTOCROSS Ironman National from Crawfordsville, Ind., on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET. In addition, NBC Sports Group will provide comprehensive coverage of this weekend's NASCAR XFINITY Series race from Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Through nine races, the 2017 Verizon INDYCAR SERIES is NBC Sports Group's most-watched INDYCAR season on record (since 2009), averaging 505,000 viewers on NBCSN/CNBC, up 15% from the eight comparable races in 2016. Last week's ABC Supply 500 at Pocono on Sunday on NBCSN (2:47-5:33 p.m. ET) averaged 618,000 viewers, to rank as NBC Sports Group's most-watched INDYCAR race since the 2016 race at Mid-Ohio, which was simulcast on NBCSN and CNBC. The Verizon INDYCAR SERIES returns to Gateway Motorsports Park this weekend for the first time since 2003, with five drivers separated by just 42 points for the championship lead with three races remaining in the season. Josef Newgarden (Penske; 494 points) won at Toronto and Mid-Ohio, and finished second last weekend at Pocono, to move into the lead, ahead of four-time series champion Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing; 476 points). Helio Castroneves (Penske; 472), who won the most recent race at Gateway Motorsports Park in 2003, is currently third, followed by last year's series champion Simon Pagenaud (Penske; 468 points), and Will Power (Penske; 452 points), who won last week at Pocono. NBCSN will televise live qualifying on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET, followed by pre-race coverage on Saturday at 9 p.m. ET and race coverage at 9:30 p.m. ET. Kevin Lee (play-by-play) will call the action alongside analysts Paul Tracy, who won the first-ever race at Gateway Motorsports Park in 1997, and Townsend Bell. Reporters Jon Beekhuis, Katie Hargitt, Robin Miller and Anders Krohn will report from the pits. The 2017 F1 season continues this weekend with the Belgian Grand Prix, as Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) renew their battle atop the driver standings. Vettel (202 points) holds a slight edge over Hamilton (188 points) with nine races remaining in the season, but Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas have combined to put Mercedes (357 points) ahead of Ferrari (318 points) in the constructor standings. Hamilton (2015 & 2010) and Vettel (2013 & 2011) have each won twice at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Coverage begins Friday on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app at 4 a.m. ET with Practice 1, followed by Practice 2 at 8 a.m. ET on NBCSN. NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app will stream Practice 3 on Saturday at 5 a.m. ET, prior to CNBC's live coverage of qualifying at 8 a.m. ET, which will air on NBCSN at 12:30 p.m. ET. F1 Countdown pre-race coverage on NBCSN starts Sunday at 7 a.m. ET, leading into live race coverage at 7:30 a.m. ET, and post-race analysis on F1 EXTRA at 10 a.m. ET. NBC Sports Group's lead F1 broadcast team of Leigh Diffey (play-by-play), veteran analyst and former racecar driver David Hobbs, and analyst and former race mechanic for the Benetton F1 team Steve Matchett will call the action. F1 insider Will Buxton will report on-site from Belgium. Through 11 races, NBC Sports Group's Formula One coverage has averaged 561,000 viewers, to rank as its most-watched season since 2013.
NBCSN Overdrive, the network's Thursday night primetime motorsports block, continues this week, highlighted this week by American Flat Track racing from Oklahoma City at 10 p.m. ET. The weekly primetime block will include six unique series and more than 40 hours of premiere programming, featuring new seasons of GRUDGE RACE and Journey to the Hammers. American Flat Track, widely regarded as the most prestigious and competitive form of dirt track motorcycle racing in the world, will be featured most Thursdays on Overdrive at 10 p.m. ET. Click here for more information. The LUCAS OIL PRO MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP continues with the Ironman National from Crawfordsville, Ind., this Saturday at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Justin Bogle got his first career win in the 450 Class at last weekend's event at Budds Creek, while Zach Osborne won the second moto in the 250 Class to clinch the 250 Class championship. Veteran play-by-play voice Jason Weigandt, analyst and two-time AMA Pro MOTOCROSS Champion Grant Langston, and pit reporter Georgia Lindsay will call this weekend's action.