NBC Sports to televise four ARCA races

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NBC Sports Network will air four ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards races in August, giving the national stock car racing series an even greater television presence.

Officials from the Automobile Racing Club of America made the announcement today during the Scott 160 race event weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake.

“We couldn’t be more excited than to have the opportunity to secure additional exposure of the ARCA Racing Series on NBC Sports Network,” said Mark Gundrum, ARCA Vice President for Business Development and Corporate Partnerships. “This opportunity is great for the teams, sponsors and fans of the series.”

Three of the four NBC Sports Network events are scheduled to air on Thursday nights, with one event slated for Friday night. NBC Sports Network’s ARCA racing coverage premieres Thursday, August 1, at 11 p.m. ET with the Winchester Speedway race. The race from Berlin Raceway will air on Thursday, August 15, at 11 p.m. ET, and the Madison International Speedway event will air on Thursday night, August 29, at 11 p.m. ET. The event from the one-mile dirt oval at the Illinois State Fairgrounds will air on Friday, August 23 at 11 p.m. ET.

“We look forward to presenting the excitement of the ARCA Racing Series to motorsports fans on NBC Sports Network for the first time,” said Mike Perman, Vice President, Programming, NBC Sports Group.

ARCA races from Winchester Speedway (Herr’s Chase the Taste 200) on June 30; Berlin Raceway (Berlin ARCA 200) on August 10; The Illinois State Fairgrounds (Allen Crowe 100) on August 18, and Madison International Speedway (Herr’s Live Life With Flavor 200) on August 25, comprise the televised event package.

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).