Before Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves settle their battle for the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series championship on Saturday night at Auto Club Speedway, NBCSN will air a special, one-hour preview show Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET that will also feature the official unveiling of the 2014 IndyCar schedule.
Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles will join NBCSN’s Robin Miller to discuss the schedule, while Miller will also join NBCSN colleagues Leigh Diffey and Kevin Lee in setting the stage for the season-ending MAV TV 500 at ACS.
Going into the 250-lap event, Dixon holds a 25-point edge on Castroneves after picking up a win and a runner-up in the Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston doubleheader weekend on Oct. 5-6.
In regards to the race weekend, NBCSN will air MAV TV 500 qualifying on Friday night at 7 p.m. ET. Then on Saturday, coverage will begin at 7 p.m. ET with the Firestone Indy Lights’ season finale at ACS, which will lead into the IndyCar main event at 8 p.m. ET.
The MAV TV 500 will also be streamed online and on your mobile devices through NBC Sports Live Extra. Customers with participating cable, satellite and telco TV providers can access the free service through NBCSports.com/LiveExtra and the NBC Sports Live Extra app for iOS and select Android devices (available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play).
“A huge blessing for us there,” Tomac told host Mike Tirico during a “Lunch Talk Live” interview (click on the video above) in which he also joked about becoming a pro at busting off diaper changes. “That was one good blessing for us as we had our daughter on a Sunday, that would have been on a travel day coming back from the race in Las Vegas.
“That was probably the only positive out of all this mess was being able to be there for the birth.”
The elevation could favor Tomac, who was born and lives in Colorado and is accustomed to riding and training at altitude, which is a departure for many Supercross riders (many of whom hail from California and Florida).
“That’s going to be the test for us,” said the Kawasaki rider, who five of the first 10 races this season. “We’re at elevation in Salt Lake, so when you’re on a motorcycle, you have a little bit of a loss of power. That’s just what happens when you come up in elevation. And a lot of guys train at sea level, and we’re at 4,000 to 5,000 feet, so cardio-wise, we’ll be pushed to the limit.
“Most of our races are Saturday nights and back to back weeks, but this go around it’s Sunday and Wednesday, so recovery is going to be key.”
“Most of us we can rely on our past riding pretty well,” Tomac said. “The question is if you can go the distance. That’s what a lot of guys have to train on is going the distance. We go 20 minutes plus a lap. That’s what you’ve got to keep sharp is your general muscles. Within two to three days, your brain starts warming up more if you take a few weeks off the motorcycle.”
Here is the schedule and TV information for the rest of the season:
Sunday, May 31 (3-4 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4-6 p.m. ET, NBC);
Wednesday, June 3 ( 10:00 pm – 1:00 am ET, NBCSN);
Sunday, June 7 (5-8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
Wednesday, June 10 (7–10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
Sunday, June 14 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
Wednesday, June 17 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
Sunday, June 21 (3-4:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. ET, NBC).