Honda Indy 200 At Mid-Ohio - Day 3

NBCSN racing tripleheader this weekend: 2 IndyCar plus Korean GP

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NBCSN will present 21.5 hours of motorsports coverage this weekend, highlighted by IndyCar’s Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston doubleheader plus Formula One’s Korean Grand Prix. NBC Sports Live Extra — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets — will present live streaming coverage of the tripleheader, as well as live coverage of practice and qualifying for the Korean Grand Prix.

Coverage of the Grand Prix of Houston begins Friday at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN with qualifying. Race 1 of the Grand Prix of Houston will air live Saturday at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, followed by Race 2 of the doubleheader on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Coverage of Firestone Indy Lights Houston, IndyCar’s developmental series, will air at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday following Race 2 of the Grand Prix of Houston.

Helio Castroneves (Penske) leads Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi) by 49 points in the IZOD IndyCar Series points standings with just three races remaining on the schedule. IndyCar returns to Houston this week for the first time since 2007, when Sebastien Bourdais (Dragon) took the checkered flag.

NBCSN’s live comprehensive coverage of Formula One’s Korean Grand Prix begins Friday at 1 a.m. ET with practice, followed by qualifying on Saturday at 1 a.m. ET. Live race coverage of the Korean Grand Prix begins on Sunday at 1:30 a.m. ET. F1 Extra, NBC Sports Group’s half-hour post-race show, will air immediately following the conclusion of the Korean Grand Prix on Sunday. NBCSN will also air an encore presentation of the Korean Grand Prix on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET.

Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) has taken control of the Formula One points standings, increasing his lead to 60 points over Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) following his third consecutive victory in the Singapore Grand Prix two weekends ago. Vettel aims for his third straight Korean Grand Prix victory, having won the race the previous two years.

NBCSN will also air episodes of TRANSLOGIC this week as part of its motorsports coverage.

A full release of the weekend’s coverage can be found here, on the NBC Sports Group Press Box website.

Date Coverage Network Time (ET)
Fri., October 4 TRANSLOGIC NBCSN 12 a.m.
F1 Korean Grand Prix – Practice NBCSN 1 a.m.
TRANSLOGIC (Encore) NBCSN 2:30 am.
IndyCar Grand Prix of Houston – Qualifying NBCSN 7 p.m.
F1 Korean Grand Prix – Practice (Encore) NBCSN 11:30 p.m.
Sat., October 5 F1 Korean Grand Prix – Qualifying NBCSN 1 a.m.
IndyCar Grand Prix of Houston – Race 1 NBCSN 3 p.m.
F1 Korean Grand Prix – Qualifying (Encore) NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Sun. October 6 F1 Korean Grand Prix NBCSN 1:30 a.m.
F1 Extra NBCSN 4 a.m.
IndyCar Grand Prix of Houston – Race 2 NBCSN 1 p.m.
Indy Lights Houston NBCSN 4 p.m.
F1 Korean Grand Prix (Encore) NBCSN 5 p.m.
F1 Extra (Encore) NBCSN 7:30 p.m.

IndyCar 2015 Driver Review: Gabby Chaves

Gabby Chaves
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MotorSportsTalk continues its run through the driver-by-driver field in the Verizon IndyCar Series. In 15th and the rookie-of-the-year for 2015, was Gabby Chaves.

Gabby Chaves, No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport Honda

  • 2014: Indy Lights champion
  • 2015: 15th Place, Best Finish 9th, Best Start 12th, 0 Top-5, 2 Top-10, 31 Laps Led, 19.3 Avg. Start, 14.4 Avg. Finish

Some drivers finish better than their performances show. Some drivers have performances better than their results show. The latter statement applied to Gabby Chaves in his rookie year, in what was an impressive first season after making the step up from Indy Lights, which deservedly earned him rookie-of-the-year honors.

The best comparison I’d make for Gabby is of Josef Newgarden in 2012 with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, a first-year driver on a single-car, newish team to the series.

Chaves rarely dazzled in qualifying but that wasn’t his fault; he and engineer John Dick worked well together and Chaves recounted multiple times this year that a tweak here or tweak there, the wrong way, on the aero kit would send them down the wrong setup path.

Results in races didn’t measure up either but again that was through almost no fault of his own. The only time Chaves looked truly like a rookie was at St. Pete, when he had several collisions. Otherwise he was ahead of eventual winner James Hinchcliffe at NOLA before getting punted off, reliable through the month of May in Indianapolis, finally able to break through for a ninth place in Detroit race two, overachieving in Texas, 11th at Milwaukee after some great wheel-to-wheel racing with series winners and champions, and then phenomenal at Pocono as he was on course for a first career win or podium before late-race engine issues – his first DNF of the season.

For both Chaves and Herta, you’d love to see them together for another season, and the results and confidence for both parties will grow as a result. Those who’ve seen Newgarden’s rise over four years with Fisher and now CFH will note the long-term stability, and that’s what Chaves could do if he gets the time.

He planted the seed of being a great IndyCar driver, and he became pretty versatile during the year too with additional appearances in the DeltaWing prototype, a short-track midget and one of Herta’s Red Bull Global Rallycross cars. To boot, he’s a smart, great kid who is mature beyond his years, and someone you should be buying stock in now. Anyone who saw Chaves in the Mazda Road to Indy should not have been surprised by his rookie season in the big cars.

Off The Grid: Monza preview (premieres Saturday 10/10 on NBCSN)

F1 Grand Prix of Italy
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Having already taken you behind the scenes in Barcelona, Budapest, Singapore, Melbourne and Silverstone, Will Buxton and Jason Swales now head to one of Formula 1’s most iconic venues for the latest episode of Off The Grid.

Monza has appeared in all but one F1 season since the formation of the world championship in 1950, and is a firm favorite among drivers, teams and fans alike.

However, there is far more to the Italian Grand Prix than meets the eye, as we find out in Saturday’s premiere of Off The Grid: Monza at 9:30am ET (follows Russian GP qualifying).

Having honed his talents in go-karts as a kid, Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo is now trying to pass on his knowledge to the next generation of racers. But can he teach Will or Jason a thing or two?

We also catch up with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and get a feel for life on the road as he takes us for a tour of his lavish bus in which he travels in for the European F1 races.

Have you ever wondered just how the suits F1 drivers wear are made? We go behind the scenes at Alpine Stars’ factory in Italy and find out.

Off The Grid: Monza premieres on Saturday at 9:30am ET on NBCSN following Russian GP qualifying.