Hunter-Reay special to kick off NBCSN Indy coverage


NBC Sports Network’s 2013 coverage of the IZOD IndyCar Series kicks off with Ryan Hunter Reay: An American Champion, airing Thursday night at 7 p.m. ET.

Hunter-Reay overcame more than a 30-point deficit in the final two races of the 2012 season to become the first American champion in open-wheel racing since Sam Hornish Jr. in 2006, and the first in a unified open-wheel series since Al Unser Jr. in 1994.

NBC Sports Network’s new-look IndyCar booth makes its debut with Leigh Diffey as lead voice in his first year covering the IndyCar Series. He will be joined by returning race analyst and former NASCAR driver Wally Dallenbach, Jr., and newcomer to the booth, IndyCar driver Townsend Bell.

Jon Beekhuis, an analyst who has also served at the network since 2009, will now report from pit road. Veterans Kevin Lee and Brian Till will manage the pit, and will be joined by Robin Miller, the network’s IndyCar reporter.

The rest of NBC Sports Network’s IZOD IndyCar coverage from St. Petersburg is below. All are subject to change, and all times ET:

Thurs., March 21 Ryan Hunter-Reay: An American Champion 7 p.m.
Sat., March 23 IndyCar Qualifying 2:30 p.m.
Sun., March 24 Indy Lights: Streets St. Petersburg 11 a.m.
Sun., March 24 Honda Indy Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Noon
Tues., March 26 Honda Indy Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Re-Air Midnight


Newgarden fastest as Castroneves returns in weather-shortened Barber test

Photo: IndyCar
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The Verizon IndyCar Series took to Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday for an open test, with 24 entries tackling the 2.38-mile road course.

Weather intervened in the afternoon, preventing nearly the entire field from going out, but the weather held off during the morning enough for one session to be run in its entirety.

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden led the way, with a quick lap of 1:07.979, ahead of Team Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves. For Castroneves, this marked his first IndyCar outing of 2018.

Helio Castroneves was back in an IndyCar on Tuesday at Barber Motorsports Park. Photo: IndyCar

Sporting the Pennzoil “yellow submarine” paint scheme, Castroneves turned 41 laps around Barber in the morning session, with a quick lap of 1:08.315. He was also the only driver to venture out on track in the afternoon, completing eight laps.

The Dale Coyne Racing duo of Sebastien Bourdais and Zachary Claman De Melo completed the top five.

Results are below.