Long Beach kicks off NBCSN’s portion of 2017 IndyCar schedule

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The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is a crown jewel on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule and also serves as the kickoff to NBCSN’s coverage of the 2017 season.

Set in Long Beach, Calif., North America’s longest-running street race hosts its 43rd annual event, a race IndyCar has been at since 1984.

In recent years, parity has reined with five different winners  – Will Power, Takuma Sato, Mike Conway, Scott Dixon and Simon Pagenaud – winning at Long Beach the last five years. Dixon and Pagenaud have subsequently gone on to capture the season-long Verizon IndyCar Series championship in the same year.

Sebastien Bourdais and Dale Coyne Racing enter Long Beach as the surprise winners at St. Petersburg, having come from last-to-first, aided by strategy and a couple good passes, to win the first round of 2017. Bourdais is a three-time Long Beach winner, having won three races here in a row from 2005 through 2007.

Helio Castroneves has won the last two pole positions at Long Beach but hasn’t won a race since Detroit race two, 2014.

We’ll have practice, qualifying and race coverage from the streets of Long Beach. Rick Allen will be lead commentator with analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy; Marty Snider, Kevin Lee, Katie Hargitt and Robin Miller are in the pits.

Here’s the schedule with where to watch on TV on digital platforms. Live streaming can be found here for the FP2 and Race shows; Qualifying airs one hour after live.

Beyond NBCSN, fans can catch all the action via NBC Sports online at NBCSports.com/Live, or through the NBC Sports app which is available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.

  • Practice 2: Friday, April 7, 5 p.m. ET (NBCSN; live event replay)
  • Qualifying: Saturday, April 8, 7:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Race: Sunday, April 9, 4 p.m. ET (NBCSN; live event replay)

The next race is the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, on April 23.

Racing world reacts to Danica Patrick’s Daytona, Indy double news

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Here’s a sampling of quotes and social media reaction to Danica Patrick’s news announced earlier Friday that this would be her last full-time season as a driver, and that she’ll race in the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 only in 2018.

This ends a full-time stretch in the top flights of NASCAR and IndyCar. She was in NASCAR from 2012 through 2017, and IndyCar from 2005 through 2011.

Her’s her own post on Twitter and Instagram.

Well…. 2018 Daytona 500 and Indy 500 here I come. 🙌🏼

A post shared by Danica Patrick (@danicapatrick) on

IMS President J. Douglas Boles

“We’re glad Danica plans to return to the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil next May,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “Her final career start will make what’s already shaping up to be a terrific Month of May even more interesting for our fans.

“It’s also fitting that Danica is wrapping up her career at the place and in the race where she became a household name and captured the world’s attention in 2005 – the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500. We’re looking forward to seeing her back in an Indy car next May alongside all of the tremendous drivers of the Verizon IndyCar Series.”

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