IndyCar at Long Beach highlights this weekend’s racing coverage on NBCSN

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NBCSN’s coverage of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series begins this week with the IndyCar Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET, highlighting more than 15 hours of motorsports coverage this week.

NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will stream coverage of the Grand Prix of Long Beach via “TV Everywhere.”

NBCSN’s presentation of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series from Long Beach begins Saturday at 6 p.m. ET with qualifying. Coverage continues on Sunday afternoon on NBCSN at 2:30 p.m. ET with the Indy Lights Streets of Long Beach race, leading into live coverage of the Grand Prix of Long Beach.

NBC Sports Group’s lead IndyCar and Formula One play-by-play voice Leigh Diffey will call the Grand Prix of Long Beach on-site, alongside former drivers Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy.

Tracy joins NBC Sports Group’s IndyCar telecasts for select races this season, and is a four-time winner at Long Beach, including the first of his 31 career victories in 1993.

Reporters Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, Kevin Lee and Robin Miller will report from the pits. Lee will be joined by Anders Krohn and Jake Query to call the Indy Lights Streets of Long Beach race.

In addition, NBCSN and Esquire Network will combine to present more than 15 hours of Mecum Auctions live coverage from Houston this week. Coverage begins on Esquire Network tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. ET, and continues on NBCSN at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Esquire Network’s live presentation continues Friday at 12:30 p.m. ET, and shifts to NBCSN at 4 p.m. ET, with the final installment of Mecum Auctions from Houston airing Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

To find Esquire Network, please visit: http://esquiretv.com/channelfinder

Scott Hoke will host NBC Sports Group’s Mecum Auctions coverage on-site at Reliant Center in Houston, Texas, alongside analysts John Kraman, Stephen Cox, and Bill Stephens. Mecum Auctions is led by Dana Mecum, Founder and President of Mecum Auctions for the past 27 years.

NBCSN will also present coverage of the GP2 Series, Formula One’s developmental series, with the GP2 Bahrain race this Friday at 1:30 a.m. ET. NBC Sports Group’s F1 insider Will Buxton will have the call from Sakhir International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain.

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Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.