By: Spencer Neff and Tanner Watkins
January 11, 2019 | 8:45 AM
The IndyCar Series has seen a busy week across the board. From television schedule announcements to festivities at the Indianapolis 500 this May, the flow of news has been constant as 2019 enters its second week.
On Wednesday, the television schedule was announced for the 2019 season. NBC Sports Group has full broadcasting rights to the IndyCar Series for the first time. We detail NBC’s plans for their coverage of the series.
Although the season is still eight weeks away, promotion for the series and the Indianapolis 500 has ramped up. Most notably, NBC began airing commercials for the Indianapolis 500 during this past weekend’s NFL Wild Card playoff game.
The future growth of the series is also on the minds of Scott Dixon and Alexander Rossi. Dixon and Rossi, who finished 1-2 in points in 2018, were at the press conference on Wednesday to discuss the television deal and other topics.
Open-Wheels Owner/Editor Tanner Watkins discusses their thoughts. Watkins also appeared on the New Track Record podcast on Wednesday to discuss these topics and more.
While the future of IndyCar is exciting, the series’ past was also put in the spotlight this week.
Included in Wednesday’s press conference was IMS announcing plans to honor Mario Andretti. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of Andretti’s Indianapolis 500. The speedway has unveiled plans to honor Andretti’s win throughout the month.
Prior to Wednesday’s announcement. the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Hall of Fame and Museum had some big news of their own. On Monday afternoon, the Hall of Fame unveiled their list of n ominees for 2019.
Included in this list are IndyCar legends Wally Dallenbach and Jacques Villeneuve. Assistant Editor/Senior Contributor Spencer Neff profiles the careers of both drivers on the heels of this announcement.
Big news was also seen from another track on IndyCar’s schedule. Road America announced on Tuesday it has promoted Michael Kertscher to President and General Manager.
Lastly, the week started off with some big news on the month of May. IMS announced that country music sensation Zac Brown Band will be the concert at Firestone Legends Day, set for Saturday, May 25.
Catch up on all the latest news as the weekend starts.
In a press conference headlined by some of the IndyCar’s most recognizable figures, today the series announced the official network listings for each of 2019’s championship races. In total, eight races will be shown live on NBC with the remaining rounds appearing on NBCSN.
Hulman and Company CEO Mark Miles, INDYCAR president Jay Frye, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon and Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi were all on hand to announce the broadcast schedule in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway media center.
“This will be the most complete and robust season of INDYCAR viewing for our fans,” said Miles. “Fans can not only see everything that happens on the track, they can see races at their convenience on the same day via INDYCAR Pass, which until now had not been available.”
The eight races that have been selected to air on NBC include both the Indianapolis Grand Prix (May 11) and the 103rd Indianapolis 500 (May 26), the doubleheader on the streets of Belle Isle in Detroit (June 1 & 2), the KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America (June 23), the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (July 28), the Grand Prix of Portland (Sept. 1) and the season finale at Laguna Seca (Sept. 22). READ MORE
Header image by Jason Porter/INDYCAR.
As important as it is to generate fan excitement around IndyCar, to have an unwavering support from the series’ drivers is just as critical in modern motorsport.
As part of IndyCar’s press conference yesterday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, five-time champion Scott Dixon and 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi were asked to join series executives Mark Miles and Jay Frye at the podium for the announcements.
After television listings, title sponsor teases and international race updates were announced, Dixon and Rossi offered rave reviews about the direction of IndyCar and the notable progress earned from partnerships with NBC Sports, Circuit of the Americas and more.
To receive approval from a veteran such as Dixon, who has seen American open-wheel racing evolve incredibly since breaking into CART in 2001, is just one of the ways IndyCar’s growth can be validated. READ MORE
Header image by James Black/INDYCAR.
Good morning all! If you live in the Midwest you’re experiencing quite the temperature change compared to earlier this week, but while the IndyCar season still feels miles away, it is just two months to the day before we see race day at St. Petersburg.
Following the slew of announcements that came from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway media center yesterday – including the release of next season’s television listings as well as a planned Mario Andretti celebration – the folks at the New Track Record podcast were kind enough to have me on their latest taping to talk recent news.
In the podcast we covered a variety of topics, such as the new television listings, progress on IndyCar’s new title sponsor, the prospect of international races in 2020, one-off teams for the Indianapolis 500 and more!
We even dropped a couple hints about some exciting coverage and goodies coming in 2019, so make sure to check it out and share via social media! Also, make sure to follow the New Track Record podcast on Twitter at @indycarpodcast. READ MORE
Header image by Walter Kuhn/INDYCAR.
As the year 2019 arrived on January 1, so did the 50th anniversary of Mario Andretti’s famous Indianapolis 500 victory. To mark the occasion, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IMS Museum have planned a bevy of events honoring Andretti in the build-up to May’s 103rd Indianapolis 500.
During a press conference at IMS, Andretti was joined by Speedway president J. Douglas Boles in presenting a special commemorative logo that will be prominently displayed alongside other Indianapolis 500 branding this spring. The logo is based in black and gold while featuring Andretti and his well-known picture alongside the Borg-Warner Trophy after winning the “500” in 1969.
As described by the Speedway, the logo “was illustrated with the Speedway in mind, with the zero (in the 50) representing the oval of the track and the historic Yard of Bricks start-finish line. The base of the 50 is adorned with Mario’s signature, with the badge honoring the Andretti family crest.”
In addition to his own commemorative logo, Andretti will be featured on the Indianapolis 500 special access Silver and Bronze Badges in 2019, officially licensed memorabilia will be produced for the occasion, and on May 1 the IMS Museum will unveil a special exhibit dedicated to Mario and his achievements. READ MORE
Header image by James Black/INDYCAR.
On Monday afternoon, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame announced its 2019 induction class, and alongside NASCAR legends Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Dale Jarrett, two influential names from IndyCar’s past will also leave their mark.
Former drivers Wally Dallenbach and Jacques Villeneuve join Earnhardt and Jarrett on the list of nominees.
The inductees will be announced on March 20th (110th anniversary of the founding of Indianapolis Motor Speedway-Founder’s Day). They will be honored at the annual Hall of Fame/IMS Oldtimers Club dinner on May 23.
As a panel of nearly 150 distinguished members within the racing community deliberates their qualifications, here’s a look at the IndyCar careers of Dallenbach and Villeneuve. READ MORE
Header Image by Joe Skibinski/INDCAR
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Road America today announced it has promoted Michael Kertscher to President and General Manager. Kertscher will replace current President and General Manager, George Bruggenthies, who will transition into a senior consulting position for Elkhart Lake’s Road America, Inc.
“I am honored and humbled to accept this new role and build upon the momentum this exceptional group of people have established,” Kertscher said. “Road America is a revered facility and through George’s leadership it has grown and evolved into the premiere road course in North America. Our staff has tremendous passion for enhancing the fan experience and we will continue fueling that passion while showcasing incredible events and experiences at America’s National Park of Speed.”
Kertscher, who joined Road America in 2007, began as Programs Manager overseeing the development of its group adventure programs, plus many successful motorcycle and driving school programs.
Kertscher was promoted to Director of Business Development in 2014 and Vice President of Business Development in 2017, where he took on added responsibility by overseeing track rentals and hospitality functions while driving partnership development to support Road America’s core event management initiatives. READ MORE
Release courtesy of Road America. Header image by Chris Owens/INDYCAR.
INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019 – Multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning Zac Brown Band will headline the Firestone Legends Day Concert on Saturday, May 25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, one day before the 103rd Indianapolis 500.
The concert, which also will feature additional acts to be announced in the coming weeks, starts at 3:30 p.m. on the Firestone Stage inside Turn 4 of the IMS oval.
Tickets are on sale now at IMS.com, by calling 800-822-INDY or 317-492-6700, or by visiting the IMS Ticket Office at the IMS Administration Building. General admission tickets start at just $35 until March 1. A limited number of Concert Pit tickets are available starting at $75, and a very limited supply of exclusive VIP Deck tickets are available for $250.
All concert tickets include admission to the concert and all Legends Day presented by Firestone activities that day at IMS, including autograph sessions with current and past Indianapolis 500 drivers, the 103rd Indianapolis 500 public drivers’ meeting, historic race car laps and more. IMS gates open at 8 a.m., with concert gates opening at 2 p.m. READ MORE
Feature Image By James Black/INDYCAR