Here are your IndyCar TV times on NBCSN for this weekend’s MAVTV 500

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The Verizon IndyCar Series returns to action this week after a one-week hiatus, with the MAVTV 500 moving slots to a new date in June, after previous years in September, October and August, respectively.

NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra will have coverage. Further details are below:

INDYCAR MAVTV 500 – SATURDAY AT 4 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

American Josef Newgarden (CFH Racing) looks to build on his win two weeks ago at the Honda Indy Toronto, where he earned his second victory of the 2015 season and led CFH Racing to a 1-2 result, as teammate Luca Filippi earned a second-place finish.

Juan Pablo Montoya (Team Penske) continues to lead the drivers’ standings with 374 points, followed by teammate Will Power (347) points, who boasts five poles in nine races. Montoya has won four of his nine career 500-mile races in IndyCar, including this year’s Indianapolis 500. Last year, Tony Kanaan (Chip Ganassi Racing) took the checkered flag at the MAVTV 500, which served as the IndyCar season finale.

This weekend’s NBCSN IndyCar coverage begins on Friday at midnight ET with qualifying. NBCSN’s presentation continues on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET with live race coverage.

NBC Sports Group’s lead IndyCar play-by-play voice Leigh Diffey will call the MAVTV 500, alongside analyst and former race mechanic for the Benetton F1 team Steve Matchett, and analyst and former driver Paul Tracy. Robin Miller, Jon Beekhuis, Kevin Lee and Kelli Stavast will handle pit reporting duties.

Following is this week’s motorsports coverage schedule on NBCSN:

Date Program Time (ET) Network
Thurs., June 25 NASCAR AMERICA 5 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East – Langley 5:30 p.m. NBCSN
IndyCar Chronicles: Josef Newgarden 7 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., June 26 Mecum Auctions: Denver 2:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., June 27 IndyCar MAVTV 500 – Qualifying* 12 a.m. NBCSN
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Budds Creek – Practice 10:30 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Speed Energy Stadium Super Truck Series – Toronto 11 a.m. NBCSN
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Budds Creek – Pre-Show Noon NBC Sports Live Extra
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Budds Creek – Moto 1’s 1 p.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Mecum Auctions: Denver 1 p.m. NBCSN
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Budds Creek – Moto 2’s 3 p.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
IndyCar MAVTV 500 4 p.m. NBCSN
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Budds Creek – Moto 2’s (Encore)* 9 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., June 28 Mecum Auctions: Denver* 7 p.m. NBCSN

Hunter Lawrence defends Haiden Deegan after controversial block pass at Detroit

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Media and fan attention focused on a controversial run-in between Haiden Deegan and his Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing teammate Jordon Smith during Round 10 of the Monster Energy Supercross race at Detroit, after which the 250 East points’ Hunter Lawrence defends the young rider in the postrace news conference.

Deegan took the early lead in Heat 1 of the round, but the mood swiftly changed when he became embroiled in a spirited battle with teammate Smith.

On Lap 3, Smith caught Deegan with a fast pass through the whoops. Smith briefly held the lead heading into a bowl turn but Deegan had the inside line and threw a block pass. In the next few turns, the action heated up until Smith eventually ran into the back of Deegan’s Yamaha and crashed.

One of the highlights of the battle seemed to include a moment when Deegan waited on Smith in order to throw a second block pass, adding fuel to the controversy.

After his initial crash, Smith fell to seventh on the next lap. He would crash twice more during the event, ultimately finishing four laps off the pace in 20th.

The topic was inevitably part of the postrace news conference.

“It was good racing; it was fun,” Deegan said at about the 27-minute mark in the video above. “I just had some fun doing it.”

Smith had more trouble in the Last Chance Qualifier. He stalled his bike in heavy traffic, worked his way into a battle for fourth with the checkers in sight, but crashed a few yards shy of the finish line and was credited with seventh. Smith earned zero points and fell to sixth in the standings.

Lawrence defends Deegan
Jordon Smith failed to make the Detroit Supercross Main and fell to sixth in the points. – Feld Motor Sports

“I think he’s like fifth in points,” Deegan said. “He’s a little out of it. Beside that it was good, I don’t know. I wasn’t really paying attention.”

Deegan jokingly deflected an earlier question with the response that he wasn’t paying attention during the incident.

“He’s my teammate, but he’s a veteran, he’s been in this sport for a while,” Deegan said. “I was up there just battling. I want to win as much as everybody else. It doesn’t matter if it’s a heat race or a main; I just want to win. I was just trying to push that.”

As Deegan and Smith battled, Jeremy Martin took the lead. Deegan finished second in the heat and backed up his performance with a solid third-place showing in the main, which was his second podium finish in a short six-race career. Deegan’s first podium was earned at Daytona, just two rounds ago.

But as Deegan struggled to find something meaningful to say, unsurprisingly for a 17-year-old rider who was not scheduled to run the full 250 schedule this year, it was the championship leader Lawrence who came to his defense.

Lawrence defends Deegan
A block pass by Haiden Deegan led to a series of events that eventually led to Jordon Smith failing to make the Main. – Feld Motor Sports

“I just want to point something out, which kind of amazes me,” Lawrence said during the conference. “So many of the people on social media, where everyone puts their expertise in, are saying the racing back in the ’80s, the early 90s, when me were men. They’re always talking about how gnarly it was and then anytime a block pass or something happens now, everyone cries about it.

“That’s just a little bit interesting. Pick one. You want the gnarly block passes from 10 years ago and then you get it, everyone makes a big song and dance about it.”

Pressed further, Lawrence defended not only the pass but the decision-making process that gets employed lap after lap in a Supercross race.

“It’s easy to point the finger,” Lawrence said. “We’re out there making decisions in a split millisecond. People have all month to pay their phone bill and they still can’t do that on time.

“We’re making decisions at such a fast reaction [time with] adrenaline. … I’m not just saying it for me or Haiden. I speak for all the guys. No one is perfect and we’re under a microscope out there. The media is really quick to point a finger when someone makes a mistake.”

The media is required to hold athletes accountable for their actions. They are also required to tell the complete story.