A.J. Allmendinger

Here are your NBCSN TV times, weekend coverage plan for IndyCar’s Sonoma season finale

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The weekend coverage plans for the Verizon IndyCar Series on NBCSN from Sonoma Raceway are below. Here is the press release, distributed via the NBC Sports Group Press Box website. A full weekend preview is linked here.

The 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series will crown its champion this weekend on NBCSN, as Juan Pablo Montoya looks for his first IndyCar season championship at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET. NBCSN’s coverage will also include IndyCar’s tributes to driver Justin Wilson, who passed away Monday after succumbing to injuries suffered in Sunday’s race at Pocono Raceway.

This weekend’s race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., is worth double points, meaning a potential 100-point swing in the standings. Montoya (Team Penske) currently holds a 34-point lead over Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan). Four other drivers still have a mathematical chance to win the title, including former series champions Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi) and Will Power (Team Penske), Helio Castroneves (Team Penske) and Josef Newgarden (CFH Racing).

Montoya will win the title if he finishes third or higher and Rahal does not win the race. Click here for full championship possible outcomes.

VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES POINTS STANDINGS
Rank Driver (Team) Points Behind Wins Top 10
1 Juan Pablo Montoya (Penske) 500 2 12
2 Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan) 466 34 2 10
3 Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi) 453 47 2 11
4 Will Power (Penske) 439 61 1 9
5 Helio Castroneves (Penske) 423 77 0 9
6 Josef Newgarden (CFH Racing) 413 87 2 9

Live IndyCar coverage on NBCSN begins Saturday at 1:30 p.m. ET with practice, followed by qualifying at 6 p.m. ET. Race coverage from Sonoma begins Sunday at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Lead IndyCar play-by-play voice Leigh Diffey will call the Grand Prix of Sonoma, alongside analyst and current driver Townsend Bell, and analyst and former IndyCar driver Paul Tracy. Robin Miller, Marty Snider, Jon Beekhuis, Kevin Lee and Katie Hargitt will patrol the pits.

RACING COMMUNITY MOURNS LOSS OF INDYCAR DRIVER JUSTIN WILSON

The IndyCar community and racing fans from around the world are mourning the loss of Andretti Autosport driver Justin Wilson, who passed away on Monday after succumbing to injuries suffered in Sunday’s race at Pocono Raceway. Tributes to Wilson will be part of NBCSN’s coverage on Sunday.

This week’s episodes of NASCAR America included a tribute narrated by Leigh Diffey, as well interviews with IndyCar drivers Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves, NASCAR driver A.J. Allmendinger, and NBC Sports Group motorsports analyst Jon Beekhuis. Click here to watch those full interviews.

Following are excerpts from NASCAR America interviews on Wilson:

Allmendinger: “He was one of the most kind, most gentle, nicest people I had the pleasure to be around…to call a teammate, more importantly to call a friend…I always put him as one of the best race car drivers I’d ever seen or been around.”

Castroneves: “He was such a polite and nice guy that we chose him to be a spokesperson for the Drivers’ Association. We knew if anyone tried to attack the drivers, he’d be the best person to defend us in the nicest way…you talk to anybody in the paddock…you don’t hear anything negative.”

Kanaan: “It’s always been time to talk about safety. I want people to be aware that we are not talking about closing cockpits now – we’ve been talking about this for years. This has been an issue with the FIA and open-wheel racing forever…safety was Justin’s priority. His biggest concern was stuff flying into the stands to protect the fans.”

Diffey: “He was always one of the easiest guys to talk to, and you knew you were going to get a very genuine answer. One of the most beautiful things about Justin is that he had time for everybody…whether it was for media people or fans.”

Beekhuis: “Justin and I had a chance to travel a lot together. We were both based in Colorado… we would end up on a lot of the same flights…he was incredibly talented behind the wheel.”

In addition, click here to read a feature penned by MotorsportsTalk’s Tony DiZinno highlighting Wilson’s career on and off the track.

Date Program Time (ET) Network
Sat., August 29 IndyCar Grand Prix of Sonoma – Practice 1:30 p.m. NBCSN
  IndyCar Grand Prix of Sonoma – Qualifying 6 p.m. NBCSN
  IndyCar Chronicles 7:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., August 30 IndyCar Chronicles 3 p.m. NBCSN
  IndyCar Chronicles 3:30 p.m. NBCSN
IndyCar Grand Prix of Sonoma 4 p.m. NBCSN