Iowa Corn Indy 300 highlights 25 hours of motorsports coverage on NBCSN, NBC Sports Live Extra this weekend

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* Qualifying Airs Friday at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, Followed by Live Race Coverage Saturday at 8 p.m. ET

*  NBCSN & NBC Sports Live Extra Present Six Hours of Live Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Budds Creek National Coverage on Saturday

 

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series continues this weekend from Iowa Speedway with the Iowa Corn Indy 300 on Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET. NBCSN’s motorsports slate also features live Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Budds Creek National coverage on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET.

NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will stream both the Iowa Corn Indy 300 and Budds Creek National.

 

IOWA CORN INDY 300 – SATURDAY AT 8 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

NBCSN’s coverage of the Iowa Corn Indy 300 begins Friday at 4 p.m. ET with qualifying, followed by IndyCar Countdown at 5 p.m. ET, hosted by Leigh Diffey. NBCSN’s live presentation of the Iowa Corn Indy 300 begins Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET.

Last week, Juan Pablo Montoya (Team Penske) earned his first IndyCar victory since 2000 with a win at the Pocono IndyCar 500, followed by teammate Helio Castroneves, who now sits even with teammate Will Power atop the IndyCar points standings (446 points). Last year, James Hinchcliffe (Andretti Autosport) led 226 of 250 laps to take the victory at Iowa Speedway.

Diffey will call the Iowa Corn Indy 300 alongside veteran motorsports analyst David Hobbs and former driver and analyst Paul Tracy. Reporters Jon BeekhuisKelli StavastKevin Lee and Robin Miller will report from the pits.

 

LUCAS OIL PRO MOTOCROSS BUDDS CREEK NATIONAL – SATURDAY

NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra will combine to present live coverage of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Budds Creek National from Mechanicsville, Md. Coverage starts on Live Extra at 10:30 a.m. ET with practice, followed by the pre-race show at 12:15 p.m. ET. Race coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on Live Extra with 1st Motos, followed by NBCSN’s live presentation of Motos 2 at 3 p.m. ET.

Last weekend, Ken Roczen continued his dominant start to the 2014 season with a sweep in the 450 class at the RedBud National, his fourth win in six starts, while Jeremy Martin won in the 250 Class for his third victory of the season.

Veteran play-by-play voice Jason Weigandt, analyst and two-time AMA Pro Motocross Champion Grant Langston, and pit reporter Georgia Lindsay will call the action from Budds Creek National in Mechanicsville, Md.

 

Motorsports Coverage This Week on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra:

Date Program Time (ET) Network
Thu., July 10 NASCAR America 5 p.m. NBCSN
KURT BUSCH: 36 5:30 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR: The List 6 p.m. NBCSN
Motocross Highlight Series 11 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., July 11 Mecum Auctions (Encore) 2:30 p.m. NBCSN
Iowa Corn Indy 300 – Qualifying 4 p.m. NBCSN
IndyCar Countdown 5 p.m. NBCSN
Lucas Oil Motorsports Hour 6 p.m. NBCSN
/DRIVE on NBC Sports (Encore) 7 p.m. NBCSN
Off The Grid: Barcelona (Encore) 7:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., July 12 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Budds Creek – Practice 10:30 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Budds Creek – Pre-Show 12:15 p.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Budds Creek – 1stMotos 1 p.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Budds Creek –  2nd Motos 3 p.m. NBCSN
TORC: Bark River 5 p.m. NBCSN
Iowa Corn Indy 300 8 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., July 13 RACER TV 5 p.m. NBCSN
TORC: Crandon Cup 6:30 p.m. NBCSN

 

MOTORSPORTS ON NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA: NBC Sports Live Extra — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets — will provide live streaming coverage of this week’s Iowa Corn Indy 300 and Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Budds Creek National. The majority of coverage will be provided via “TV Everywhere,” the media industry’s effort to make quality content available to authenticated customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.

For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices and tablets is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play.

Coverage airing on NBCSN will live stream to PCs, mobile devices and tablets through NBC Sports Live Extra, and to the digital platforms of participating cable, satellite, and telco services, via “TV Everywhere,” which is available on an authenticated basis to subscribers of participating MVPDs.

 

MOTORSPORTSTALK: MotorSportsTalk (@MotorSportsTalk) on NBCSports.com brings racing fans up-to-the-minute news, video and information on the Formula One, Verizon IndyCar Series, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and all other motorsports racing from around the world. The site also serves as the destination for all news, analysis and video from NBC and NBCSN productions of IndyCar and F1, including contributions from on-air commentators.

MotorSportsTalk’s content is provided by top racing journalists and expert analysts, including:

  • Luke Smith is creator and editor at Richland F1, which begins its second season this year. He’s on Twitter at @LukeSmithF1, primarily handling the F1 scene from Europe in great detail.
  • Tony DiZinno has most recently served as web editor for RACER Magazine and has more than seven years of experience in the industry. Follow him on Twitter at @TonyDiZinno.
  • Chris Estrada has written for NBCSports.com’s MotorsportsTalk since its inception in 2013, and has been a contributor for various outlets, including the Boston Globe, IndyCar Nation and FoxSports.com. Follow him at @estradawriting.
  • Jerry Bonkowski is a veteran NASCAR reporter with more than 30 years of experience. He has contributed to USA Today, Yahoo! Sports and other websites over the course of his career. Follow him on Twitter @JerryBonkowski.

To explore the site, please visit MotorSportsTalk.com.nbcsports.com or www.NBCSports.com.

SOCIAL: Follow @MotorsportsTalk@F1onNBCSports and @NBCSN on Twitter and “like” Facebook.com/NBC Sports for the most up-to-date news, videos and commentary about Formula One on NBC Sports and NBCSN.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Spencer Pigot ready for full-season IndyCar effort with ECR

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After spending the last two years in a part-time role with Ed Carpenter Racing, contesting the road and street course races in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet, Spencer Pigot now gets a long-awaited chance at a full-season effort in 2018.

Moving over to the No. 21 entry, which has featured ECR’s full-season driver since 2016, Pigot has seen slight differences in his off-season prep ahead of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

“We were one of the teams that got to a handful of days testing the aero kit, so I obviously did all the running on the road courses, but I was able to do a few laps on the ovals when Ed was testing. So, that wouldn’t have happened (if I was part-time still),” he told NBC Sports.

However, outside of that increase in testing and a little learning some new tracks – he has not raced at ISM Raceway, Gateway Motorsports Park, Pocono Raceway, or Iowa Speedway in an IndyCar – the changes to Pigot’s off-season program have not been dramatic.

“There’s definitely some things I’ll need to learn, but as far as off-season prep: nothing too dramatic, nothing too different.”

Pigot’s first full-season campaign saw its first official outing of the 2018 season last weekend during the open test at ISM Raceway. While he and the ECR team struggled to find speed much of the weekend – they languished outside of the top ten in the results of the first three sessions – things took a turn for the better during the final session of the weekend on Saturday night, when Pigot ended up ninth on the speed charts.

He ended up 14th in the combined results for the weekend, noting that he and the team still want to find more outright speed.

“I thought throughout the test that our average long run pace was okay, but we were still missing the outright pace to be where we need to be come qualifying time,” he revealed. “I think that we definitely made a step forward Saturday night and definitely have a much better idea of a direction we can head and go with when we go back.”

In terms of long-run practice, Pigot noted that tire degradation became much more prevalent, which made running with others cars around you somewhat of a challenge. Though, he emphasized that tire degradation could be beneficial for racing.

“Talking to some of the other guys, it seems a little bit harder to run behind people as the tires go off because the tires are degrading pretty quick with the lack of downforce as well,” he explained. “So, it’s going to be tricky, it’s going to be sliding around a little bit more than what guys have experienced in the past. But, I think everyone’s under the same kind of idea that it’s going to be better racing, and especially at (ISM Raceway) it should be exciting.”

Pigot did get some practice at overtaking at ISM and got a feel for what he may be able to expect when IndyCar returns in April for the Phoenix Grand Prix, and while he acknowledged it was difficult to judge during testing, he did feel like he could run around other cars without much of an issue.

“It’s not like a race when everyone comes in the pits at the same time and you’re all on similar tires, so it’s kind of hard to know exactly. But, I thought we were pretty good,” he detailed. “I thought I was able to run pretty close to guys in front of me and was able to make a few passes when other guys made mistakes or might have gone a little high.”

The test also served as Pigot’s first IndyCar venture on a short oval – he last ran on a short oval in 2015 during his Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship season.

“The corners definitely come up quick. There’s not much time to really relax or think about too much,” Pigot quipped when describing his first time on a short oval.

He continued, “You’ve got to concentrate pretty hard on being precise because the line there is very narrow so you have to make sure that you’re where the grip is at all points throughout the corner. And then, when everyone’s out there and you run in traffic, it’s just like you’re constantly in a corner, so it’s a little more difficult to get big runs and drafts off people. But I think it’ll definitely play into the hands of guys that have their cars set up well and can be easier on the tires.”

And in becoming the team’s full-time driver, Pigot is seeing a slight increase in his leadership role within the team, especially as it relates to testing and development, with Pigot doing the lion’s share of testing during the winter on road courses.

But, he also emphasized the oval prowess of teammate, and team owner, Ed Carpenter as something he will lean on when he ventures out on other ovals for the first time this year.

“Especially as we’re trying to learn this new aero kit, I was the one that pretty much did all the testing on the road and street courses. It was kind of me and the engineers trying to develop the car and work towards the setup that’s going to work for us. So, there’s definitely a little more responsibility in that. But, then on the ovals, obviously Ed’s there and he’s a great teammate to have and to learn from and bounce ideas off of. But, yeah, it’s definitely a more involved role within the team,” Pigot explained.

Pigot and ECR will test two more times, at Barber Motorsports Park and Sebring International Raceway, in the month of February prior to the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 11.

Follow@KyleMLavigne