Edwards: Schmidt Peterson Indy Lights program set to continue

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INDIANAPOLIS – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team manager Rob Edwards has revealed its Indy Lights program plans to continue for 2015, with the introduction of the new Dallara IL15 chassis.

The expectation, Edwards said, is that the new Indy Lights car will produce a car count much higher than the current 8-10 car level of the last two years, closer to 15-16 in 2015, to where the SPM portion isn’t a high percentage of the field.

“We want to continue; Sam’s history is built on Lights, and success in Lights,” Edwards told MotorSportsTalk at James Hinchcliffe’s signing at Flat 12 Bierworks in Indianapolis.

“From our point of view, it doesn’t make sense to invest in new equipment if we’re 50 percent of the field again. Our requirement, or threshold, is like 16 cars or so running around. If Dan can get to that sort of number we will be part of it.”

Edwards expects to have a final decision taken within the next two to three weeks. But the team is planning to hire additional engineering strength for the Indy Lights program.

“We need some other engineering for the Lights program as well (besides Hinchcliffe’s), so we’re taking a company-wide approach,” he said.

Edwards said Indy Lights is important to make bigger as the final rung on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder. Schmidt has seen many of its Lights drivers go onto IndyCar careers, although Josef Newgarden (2011 champ) has had the longest staying power in IndyCar among its last four champions (JK Vernay, Newgarden, Tristan Vautier and Sage Karam from 2010 through 2013).

“We believe the stepping stones to get to IndyCar need to be there,” he said. “It’s too big a jump from (Pro) Mazda straight to IndyCar.

“But when you win the championship, you want to have had your driver race against a deep enough field where it means something.”

As for drivers, one of SPM’s 2014 drivers, Jack Harvey, was in attendance Tuesday night. The Englishman, who stormed through the field in the second half of the season with four wins in the last five races, is hopeful of a second season. Harvey only lost the Indy Lights title to Gabby Chaves, a former SPM driver, on a tiebreaker.

Peacock to stream all Supercross and Motocross races in 2023, plus inaugural SuperMotocross Championship

Peacock Supercross Motocross 2023
Feld Entertainment, Inc.
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NBC Sports and Feld Motor Sports announced that Peacock and the NBC family of networks will stream all 31 races of the combined Monster Energy Supercross, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and the newly created SuperMotocross World Championship beginning January 7, 2023 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and ending October 14 in the place where Supercross was born: the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The combined series will create a 10-month calendar of events, making it one of the longest professional sports’ seasons in the United States.

The agreement is for multiple years. The season finale will air live on Peacock and the USA Network.

Peacock will present live coverage of all races, qualifying and heats across both series. The 31 total races will mark a record for the combined number of Supercross and Pro Motocross events that NBC Sports will present in a single season.

NBC, USA Network and CNBC will provide coverage of all races, including the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoffs and Final, through 2023 and beyond. For more information about the Peacock streaming service, click here.

“With our wide array of live and original motorsports offerings, Peacock is a natural home for Supercross and Pro Motocross races,” said Rick Cordella, Chief Commercial Officer, Peacock. “We’re looking forward to providing fans with an easily-accessible destination to find every race all season long, including the exciting finish with the newly formed SuperMotocross World Championship.”

MORE: A conversation about media rights created the new SuperMotocross World Championship Series

The NBC family of networks has been home to Supercross for the past several seasons and this is a continuation of that relationship. The media rights for both series expired at the end of 2022, which allowed Supercross and Motocross to combine their efforts.

In fact, it was that conversation that led to the formation of the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX).

The SMX series will begin on September 9, 2023 after the conclusion of the Pro Motocross season. Points will accumulate from both series to seed the SMX championship, which creates a record number of unified races.

“The SuperMotocross World Championship adds a new dimension to the annual Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons that will result in crowning the ultimate World Champion,” said Stephen C. Yaros, SVP Global Media and Supercross for Feld Motor Sports. “We are thrilled to be extending our relationship with NBC Sports so our fans can watch all the racing action streaming live on Peacock and the option to also watch select rounds on NBC, USA Network and CNBC.”

Complete 2023 coverage schedules for Supercross, Pro Motocross and the SuperMotocross World Championship on Peacock, NBC, USA Network and CNBC will be announced in the near future.