IndyCar TV Upgrades Unveiled

| , RacinToday.com Thursday, January 4 2018

Plans for 2018 IndyCar Series television coverage are out and they include some new wrinkles.


Television coverage of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule, featuring expanded use of in-car cameras for a variety of new angles, has been announced by INDYCAR and its broadcast partners.

ABC and NBC Sports Network will utilize never-before-seen views of the racing with cameras strategically placed on the universal bodywork kit new for all Chevrolet and Honda-powered cars in 2018. In addition to the traditional in-car position above and behind the driver’s head, cameras will be mounted to the nose, sidepod and rear attenuator. There also will be expanded use of the visor cam mounted on the driver’s helmet and pioneered by INDYCAR.

“This is a unique opportunity to bring the sport even closer to the television audience,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., which owns INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “INDYCAR has experienced 38 percent growth in audience over the past four years and providing a first-hand look at the exhilarating action is a way to win over even more fans.”

The 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season consists of 17 races in the United States and Canada. ABC again will air five races, beginning March 11 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Fla., (12:30 p.m., ET), which opens the season for the eighth consecutive year. The network rejoins the series on May 12 for the fifth annual INDYCAR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road-course (3:30 p.m., ET).

ABC will celebrate its 54th year of coverage of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” with qualifying May 19-20 (4 p.m., ET) and 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 27 (11 a.m., ET).

“The Indianapolis 500 is one of the world’s iconic sporting events and it’s always an honor for ESPN and ABC to bring the pageantry and excitement to our viewers as we have for the past 53 years,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN executive vice president, programming and scheduling. “And with the other big events of the Month of May at Indy as well as the season-opener at St. Petersburg and the doubleheader in Detroit on our calendar, IndyCar Series fans will have the opportunity to enjoy a robust schedule of racing events from a diverse selection of venues.”

The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, the only doubleheader weekend on the 2018 schedule, will conclude ABC’s coverage for the season (June 2-3, each broadcast starting at 3:30 p.m., ET).

Twelve 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series races will be telecast by NBCSN, which in 2017 saw a 3 percent increase in viewership over the previous year. The network will kick off its season under the lights at ISM Raceway (formerly Phoenix Raceway) on April 7 (9 p.m., ET), followed by the historic Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (April 15, 4 p.m., ET) and Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (April 22, 3 p.m., ET).

Two NBCSN races will have earlier time slots than last year. The Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway in Newton on July 8 will air at 2 p.m., ET, while the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill., will air at 8 p.m., ET, on Aug. 25.

NBCSN also will air Miller Lite Carb Day activities on May 25 (11 a.m., ET), which includes final practice for the Indianapolis 500 and the marquee race of the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires schedule, the Freedom 100.

NBCSN also will chronicle the chase for the series championship throughout its coverage of the final nine races of the season, including “America’s Original Nighttime IndyCar Race” at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (June 9, 8 p.m., ET) and the previously announced new event at Portland International Raceway on Sept. 2 (2:30 p.m., ET). The schedule will culminate with the championship finale at Sonoma Raceway in Northern California on Sept. 16 (6:30 p.m., ET).

“As the cable home of the Verizon IndyCar Series, NBCSN is proud to once again showcase the exciting racing that INDYCAR delivers at each event,” said Jon Miller, president, programming, NBC Sports Group. “Our schedule features iconic circuits like Long Beach and Road America and the final nine races of the season, including INDYCAR’s return to Portland, as we crown another champion on NBCSN in 2018.”

Additional INDYCAR programming, including select Verizon IndyCar Series practice and qualifying sessions, and green-flag times will be announced at a later date.



March 11, Streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., 12:30 p.m., ABC

April 7, ISM Raceway, Avondale, Ariz., 9 p.m., NBCSN

April 15, Streets of Long Beach, 4 p.m., NBCSN

April 22, Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Ala., 3 p.m., NBCSN

May 12, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road-Course, 3:30 p.m., ABC

May 19, Indianapolis 500 Qualifying Day 1, 4 p.m., ABC

May 20, Indianapolis 500 Qualifying Day 2, 4 p.m., ABC

May 17, Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, 11 a.m., ABC

June 2, The Raceway at Belle Isle Park, Detroit, 3:30 p.m., ABC

June 3, The Raceway at Belle Isle Park, Detroit, 3:30 p.m., ABC

June 9, Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, 8 p.m., NBCSN

June 24, Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis., 12:30 p.m., NBCSN

July 8, Iowa Speedway, Newton, 2 p.m., NBCSN

July 15, Streets of Toronto, 3 p.m., NBCSN

July 29, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio, 3 p.m., NBCSN

Aug. 19, Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, Pa., 1:30 p.m., NBCSN

Aug. 25, Gateway Motorsports Park, Madison, Ill., 8 p.m., NBCSN

Sept. 2, Portland International Raceway, 2:30 p.m., NBCSN

Sept. 16, Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, 6:30 p.m., NBCSN

EDITOR’S NOTE: All times Eastern.

| , RacinToday.com Thursday, January 4 2018
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