SONOMA, Calif. – On a weekend with heavy hearts but still with a desire to race, the Verizon IndyCar Series concludes its 2015 season with today’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma from Sonoma Raceway.
You can watch it all unfold live starting at 1:00 p.m. PT and local time, 4:00 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra. The one-hour pre-race show comes before the race itself, when the green flag is scheduled for 2:07 p.m. PT.
Leigh Diffey will be alongside Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy in the booth, with Marty Snider, Kevin Lee, Jon Beekhuis, Katie Hargitt and Robin Miller in pit lane.
This has been a tough week for the IndyCar community with the loss of Justin Wilson, who died Monday at age 37 from a severe head injury sustained last Sunday at Pocono Raceway.
The community has rallied though, with plenty of beautiful tributes penned, stickers and T-Shirts created to raise funds for the Wilson family. There is undoubtedly more to come as the racing world pays tribute to the gentle giant.
But today, the focus shifts back where Wilson would likely want it to shift: the race track, and the championship battle.
After leading the points all season, Juan Pablo Montoya enters today with a 34-point lead over Graham Rahal. If he finishes first or second, or third provided Rahal doesn’t score maximum points, he’ll win his second IndyCar championship – his first since doing so as a rookie in CART in 1999.
It’s Rahal who’s the underdog and looks to pull the upset for both he and the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team what’s been an incredible season.
Third-placed Scott Dixon also has a semi-decent shot, while longshots Will Power, Helio Castroneves and Josef Newgarden all have mathematical but highly unrealistic chances.
Power has the pole, while the remainder of the six-pack of championship contenders roll off second (Newgarden), fifth (Montoya) sixth (Rahal), ninth (Dixon) and 15th (Castroneves). Here are points scenarios.
There have been four different champions in the last four years – Power, Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Dario Franchitti.
Past Sonoma race winners in recent years include Dixon, Power and Ryan Briscoe.
Immediately the race concludes, the championship presentation will follow, as IndyCar looks for joy and comfort to conclude its season.
Again, you can see all of the championship finale from starting at 1:00 p.m. PT and local time, 4:00 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.