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.

Sage Karam, Tony Kanaan fastest in Monday’s practice for Indy 500

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In the second-to-last practice session of the week, Sage Karam paced the 33 drivers qualified for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 on Monday.

Karam had a field-best speed of 226.461 mph, followed by Tony Kanan (225.123 mph), Ryan Hunter-Reay (224.820), Charlie Kimball (224.582) and Alexander Rossi (224.507).

Sixth through 10th fastest were Will Power (224.445), Helio Castroneves (224.368), Marco Andretti (224.148) and rookie Zachary Claman Demelo (224.91) and Scott Dixon (223.966).

Power and Castroneves ran the most laps of all drivers at 120 and 118, respectively.

Two other Team Penske drivers struggled to get speed out of their cars. Defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden was 28th-fastest (221.982 mph) and Simon Pagenaud, who was the slowest (220.902 mph) of the 33 cars on-track.

Pole sitter Ed Carpenter was 14th-fastest with a best speed of 223.573 mph in a 100-lap effort.

Most drivers were in race trim or were testing things for Sunday’s Greatest Spectacle In Racing such as fuel mileage, chassis setup and more.

Rookie Matheus Leist missed most of the session with an apparent electrical problem that kept him to just 19 laps.

There was one incident of note during the 3 ½ hour session: IndyCar rookie Robert Wickens crashed coming out of Turn 2 during the first hour of practice.

Wickens appeared to skim the outside SAFER Barrier, went left and then violently turned hard back into the outside retaining wall.

MORE: Wickens wrecks during Indy 500 practice

The Honda-powered machine for the Canadian driver suffered heavy damage to the right side, particularly the right front tire and the right side of the front end.

There will be no further on-track activity for the Indy cars until Friday’s final practice to fine tune things for Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

We’ll have the full practice speed chart, as well as What Drivers Said, shortly. Please check back soon.

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