Kanaan, Tilke, Ryan Blaney celebrating December 31 birthdays

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December 31: last day of the 2013 calendar year and home to a couple birthdays of note.

First, a happy 39th to Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan, who earned an early birthday present in October when he signed with Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2014 IndyCar season. That became the No. 10 Target seat earlier this month, when CGR confirmed Ryan Briscoe as the team’s fourth driver to replace the retired Dario Franchitti.

Next up, we’ll wish a happy 59th to Hermann Tilke, the architect of most new Formula One circuits. Tilke’s tracks ignite opinion either way but they do have some dramatic points.

Lastly, happy 20th to NASCAR up-and-comer Ryan Blaney, who won his first Nationwide Series race earlier this year at Kentucky. A Penske Racing prodigy, Blaney should be in Cup within a couple years at the latest.

Make sure to follow all of Friday’s Indy 500 ‘Carb Day’ action on NBCSN from Indianapolis

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It’s known as “Carburetor Day” – or in its simplest term, just “Carb Day.”

But the final day of on-track action Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway before Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 is so much more.

Especially on NBCSN, which will have wall-to-wall live coverage starting Friday morning.

Here’s how Friday’s schedule breaks down:

  • 11 a.m. ET: Carb Day kicks off with the final practice for Sunday’s Indy 500. The session will last one hour in length.
  • 12 p.m. ET: We’re going racing! Strap in for coverage of the Indy Lights’ Freedom 100 on the famous Brickyard.
  • 1:30 p.m. ET: We’ll have coverage of the annual IndyCar Pit Stop Challenge. Which teams have the best – and most importantly, fastest and accurate – pit crews? Team Penske has won 10 of the last 12, including the last two years edging out Schmidt Peterson Motorsports each time. Who can potentially beat them this year?
  • 3:30 p.m. ET: We’ll have our annual Motorsports Special. Among segments included will be:

    1) 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi will discuss how it used to upset him when people suggested he “backed into” his big win and how he didn’t really feel vindicated until he qualified on the front row for last year’s race.
    2) Defending 500 winner Takuma Sato, the first Japanese driver to ever win at Indianapolis, discusses the impact of his big win personally and professionally, particularly back in his native land.
    3) An essay by Robin Miller on Stefan Wilson giving up his ride last year to allow Fernando Alonso to race for Andretti Autosport.

Check your local listings for replay times.

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