Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama highlights motorsports coverage on NBCSN this week

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Live Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Coverage Begins Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

NBCSN Presents Mecum Auctions from Kansas City This Week; Coverage BeginsThursday at 4:30 p.m. ET

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series continues this week with the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET, highlighting more than 15 hours of motorsports coverage this week, which includes Mecum Auctions coverage from Kansas City.

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

NBCSN’s presentation of the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama begins Sunday at 1 a.m. ET with qualifying. Live race coverage begins Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET, followed by Race 2 of the Legacy Indy Lights 100 at 5 p.m. ET.

Two weeks ago, Mike Conway (Ed Carpenter Racing) held off Will Power (Team Penske) in the final few laps to take the checkered flag at Long Beach. Power is a two-time winner of the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (2011, 2012), and currently leads the points standings through two races.

NBC Sports Group’s lead IndyCar and Formula One play-by-play voice Leigh Diffey will call the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on-site at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., alongside former drivers Townsend Bell and Wally Dallenbach.

Reporters Jon BeekhuisKelli StavastKevin Lee and Robin Miller will report from the pits. Lee will be joined by Anders Krohn andJake Query to call the Legacy Indy Lights 100.

MECUM AUCTIONS

In addition, NBCSN will present live Mecum Auctions coverage from Kansas City this week. Cars up for auction this week in Kansas City include a 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 428 Fastback, a 1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Dual Cowl Sport Phaeton, and a 1968 Shelby GT500KR Fastback. NBCSN’s live presentation of Mecum Auctions from Kansas City airs tomorrow and Friday at 4:30 p.m. ET, and continues on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.

Scott Hoke will host NBC Sports Group’s Mecum Auctions coverage on-site at Reliant Center in Houston, Texas, alongside analysts John KramanStephen 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 air coverage of the TORC Series from the Duel in the Desert race in Primm, Nev., on Saturday at 1:30 a.m. ETRobbie FloydGrant LangstonTony Bokhoven and Cristy Lee will have the call.

Motorsports Coverage This Week on NBCSN (subject to change):

Date Program Time (ET) Network
Thu., April 24 Mecum Auctions – Kansas City 4:30 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., April 25 Pirelli World Challenge – Long Beach 1:30 a.m. NBCSN
Mecum Auctions – Kansas City 4:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., April 26 TORC – Las Vegas 1:30 a.m. NBCSN
Mecum Auctions – Kansas City 5 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., April 27 Indy Grand Prix of Alabama – Qualifying 1 a.m. NBCSN
Indy Grand Prix of Alabama 2:30 p.m. NBCSN
Legacy Indy Lights 100 – Race 2 5:30 p.m. NBCSN

 

INDYCAR ON NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA: NBC Sports Live Extra — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets — will provide live streaming coverage of this week’s Indy Grand Prix of Alabama and Mecum Auctions airing on NBCSN via “TV Everywhere,” the media industry’s effort to make quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of home and on multiple platforms.

For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices and tablets is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play.

Coverage will live stream to PCs, mobile devices and tablets through NBC Sports Live Extra, and to the digital platforms of participating cable, satellite, and telco services, via “TV Everywhere,” which is available on an authenticated basis to subscribers of participating MVPDs.

SOCIAL: Follow @MotorsportsTalk@F1onNBCSports and @NBCSN on Twitter and “like” Facebook.com/NBC Sports for the most up-to-date news, videos and commentary about Formula One on NBC Sports and NBCSN.

Heather Lyne, Dennis Erb Jr. make history in the World of Outlaws Late Model Series

Lyne Erb Outlaws Late
Jacy Norgaard / World of Outlaws
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More than two decades in the making, the pairing of Heather Lyne and Dennis Erb Jr. produced a historical milestone in Dirt Late Model.

Last month, Erb and his long-time crew chief Lyne won their first World of Outlaws Late Model Championship and with this achievement, Lyne became the first female crew chief to win in a national late model series. Their journey together goes back 21 years and tells the story of hard work, persistence and belief in oneself.

After a career-best season with the World of Outlaws, Erb and Lyne secured the points championship at US 36 Raceway in Osborn, Mo. with three races remaining in the season. The consistency and success of their season came down to pinpoint focus. Lyne and Erb are a team of two living out a David vs. Goliath tale. In order to be as successful as possible this year the duo knew they had to do as much as possible with the resources they had.

“It’s always a challenge when you only have two people, both at the racetrack and at the shop,” Lyne told NBC Sports. “I also work full time, so during the day, Dennis has to do a significant amount of work so that when I get down there I can start working and maintaining. It’s planning ahead. It’s having that system in place and making sure that you’re prepared ahead of time.

“When you have a problem at the track, making sure you have all that stuff ready so it’s a quick change and not a lengthy process to make a repair. We had zero DNFs in the World of Outlaws, we had only one DNF out of 96 races [combined among all series].”

Dennis Erb clinched his 2022 championship before the World of Outlaws World Finals. Jacy Norgaard – World of Outlaws Late Model Series.

Taming Time

This was not an easy feat. Between a full travel schedule and Lyne’s full-time job as an engineer, time comes at a premium. What they lack in time and resources they made up for in patience and planning.

“We buckled down, and we got all the equipment that we needed back, motors freshened, and things of that nature,” Lyne said about the mid-point of last season. “We were able to keep up with that. We just had a higher focus. I tried to reduce my hours at my day job as much as I possibly could while still maintaining what I need to get done at work. I got rid of a lot of the other distractions and got a more refined system in place at the shop.

“We did certain tasks on certain days so we had time to recover. We were on the road a little bit more, as opposed to coming home to the shop. So we had to be more prepared to stay out on those longer runs. It was just really staying on top of things a little more. It was a heightened sense.”

This was Lyne and Erb’s fourth full season with the Outlaws, but they’ve been on the road together for the last 21 seasons starting in 2001. Their partnership began with Lyne’s bravery. When one door closed, she was quick to open another. In 2001, Lyne’s dad was ready to stop racing. Her mother wanted to regain her weekends, but Lyne knew this was her life path and wasn’t prepared to lose it.

“I’ve always been a tomboy at heart,” Lyne said. “I watched racing with my dad. Growing up he watched NASCAR. In high school, I got tired of playing at the lake house, so I went to the local dirt track and fell in love with it. I just couldn’t get enough. It took a year for me to convince my dad to come to the track with me. He finally did and we sponsored a car that year, the following year he started to race limited cars. He ran hobby stocks and limited late models.”

At some point, Lyne and her father’s level of commitment drifted apart.

“He did it for about five years,” Lyne said. “And then my mom said: ‘I’m done racing. I want my weekends back. It’s just not fun anymore.’ I wasn’t ready to hang up my wenches and Dennis raced out of the same hometown so I, on a dare, went down and introduced myself; told him if you ever need any help, I’ll drill out rivets, I’ll help wash, whatever you need. Twenty-one years later here I am.”

Heather Lyne became the first female crew chief to secure a national touring late model championship in 2022. Paul Arch / World of Outlaws Late Model Series.

Breaking Through

Lyne entered a male-dominated job in a field that is also male-dominated – and where there were few examples of women creating these places for themselves. In this way, Lyne became a blueprint for other women as they strive to find a place for themselves in racing and in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) overall. She has her mother to thank for providing a strong role model, her father for sharing her passion, Erb for taking a chance on an unknow entity and most importantly herself.

“I was raised to believe that I can do anything, I want to do, as long as I put my heart and soul into it.” Lyne replied when asked about role models in the sport growing up. “My parents did not raise me to have that limitation. But from a racing role model perspective, I went in there completely green and just introduced myself to Dennis, the fact that he was brave enough to take that risk and bring a girl to the racetrack. Someone he didn’t know at all speaks volumes for him.”

Lyne and Erb have learned how to survive and succeed with each other on the road. They do this by leveraging decades of combined experience and an ability to adapt to the everchanging landscape of dirt late models. Next year the World of Outlaws visits nearly a dozen new tracks and Lyne sees it as an opportunity for continued success.

“I just want to do it again,” Lyne says going into next season, “I’m looking forward to the competition, I always do. I wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t competitively driven.

“There are some new tracks on the schedule that I’m looking forward to trying for the first time that I haven’t been to myself,” Lyne said of the 2023 season, “Dennis seems to do well on those first timers. We won out at Marion center, we finished second at Bloomsburg. We have a good solid notebook of information to tackle them over the last three years with these rocket race cars that we’re running. It’s good to have that information and leverage it to try some new things.”