Mecum Kissimmee set for nearly 30 hours on NBC, NBCSN this weekend (VIDEO)

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January isn’t just the start of the new racing season, but it’s also the traditional kickoff to a new year on the auction block.

Given that, NBC and NBCSN will be hitting it hard this weekend with nearly 30 hours of coverage set from the world’s largest collector car auction, Mecum Auctions, for the Kissimmee Car Auction in Kissimmee, Florida. Coverage begins Thursday night, January 21, at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

It’s Mecum’s biggest event of the year; last year, the auction brought in more than $70 million. This year it’s expected to see anywhere from 15 to 20 muscle cars take in more than $1 million each.

The highlighted items during this auction will include more than 1,000 GM vehicles, more than two dozen vehicles from the Wayne Schmeekle Muscle Car Collection (see below) and more than one dozen Ferraris.

Here’s three of the Ferraris of note: a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Berlinetta, a 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona and a 1967 Ferrari 330 GTC.

Here’s a teaser as well of the 1969 and 1971 Plymouth Hemi GTX Convertibles.

Additionally, the auction will feature the only 1961 Chevrolet Corphibian prototype – a car built for land and water travel.

NBC and NBCSN will combine to present 29.5 hours of coverage from Kissimmee, beginning with 7.5 hours of coverage tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. ET. Friday’s coverage features a live six-hour block at noon ET, followed by coverage at 10 p.m. ET.

Saturday’s five-hour Mecum Auctions block begins at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, and concludes with six hours of consecutive coverage on Sunday evening at 5 p.m. ET.

NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets and connected TVs – will stream this week’s Mecum Auctions coverage.

Scott Hoke will host coverage on-site in Kissimmee, alongside analysts John Kraman, Stephen Cox, and Bill Stephens.

Veteran motorsports reporter Rutledge Wood joins this weekend’s Mecum coverage with interview and unique features surrounding this weekend’s auction.

Following is NBC Sports Group’s Mecum Auctions telecast schedule from Kissimmee, Fla. A full release is available via the NBC Sports Group Press Box website.

Date Coverage Network Time (ET)
Thurs., January 21 Mecum Auctions – Kissimmee* NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Mecum Auctions – Kissimmee** NBCSN 11 p.m.
Fri., January 22 Mecum Auctions – Kissimmee NBCSN Noon
Mecum Auctions – Kissimmee** NBCSN 10 p.m.
Sat., January 23 Mecum Auctions – Kissimmee* NBCSN 4:30 p.m.
Sun., January 24 Mecum Auctions – Kissimmee** NBCSN 5 p.m.
Sun., January 31 Best of Mecum Auctions – Kissimmee** NBC 2 p.m.

*same-day delay
**taped presentation

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”