The Verizon IndyCar Series returns to Phoenix International Raceway this weekend for the first time since 2005. It also marks our kickoff to NBCSN’s coverage for the 2016 season, as the first of 11 races between now and the season finale at Sonoma on September 18.
A breakdown of this week’s talent, coverage plans and TV times is linked below – NBCSN will air live coverage of first practice and qualifying on Friday with the race coverage on Saturday, beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET with the pre-race show. All sessions also air via NBC Sports Group’s live streaming platform, NBC Sports Live Extra, for participating cable providers.
INDYCAR PHOENIX GRAND PRIX – SATURDAY AT 8:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN
NBCSN begins its coverage of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series this Saturday in the desert southwest with primetime coverage of the Phoenix Grand Prix. Two weekends ago at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Juan Pablo Montoya (Penske) held off teammate Simon Pagenaud to win the first race of the 2016 campaign. NBCSN’s coverage begins Friday at 1 p.m. ET with live coverage of practice, followed by live coverage of qualifying on Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. ET.
This week’s race marks IndyCar’s first race at Phoenix International Raceway in more than a decade (2005). Current drivers Tony Kanaan (Chip Ganassi Racing) and Helio Castroneves (Penske) have won previously at Phoenix International Raceway. NBCSN IndyCar analyst Paul Tracy was a two-time winner at Phoenix (1988 and 1990) in the American Racing Series, the precursor to the current Indy Lights series.
Rick Allen, who serves as NBC Sports Group’s lead NASCAR play-by-play announcer, will handle the play-by-play duties for this week’s Phoenix Grand Prix, filling in for lead IndyCar and F1 announcer Leigh Diffey, who will call the F1 Bahrain Grand Prix. Paul Tracy, who won 31 career open-wheel races spanning IndyCar, Champ Car, and CART, and was the 2003 CART Champion, returns for his third season as race analyst. Townsend Bell, who has raced nine times at the Indianapolis 500 and won the GT Class at last year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, is back for his fourth season in the booth.
Marty Snider, Robin Miller, Kevin Lee, and Katie Hargitt, will handle coverage in the pits in Phoenix. Click here for NBCSN’s full IndyCar schedule.
NBCSN is coming off its most-watched IndyCar season ever, averaging more than 500,000 viewers across 11 races in 2015, up 34% vs. 2014 viewership. The season finale at Sonoma averaged 841,000 viewers to become the most-watched IndyCar race on NBCSN since rights were acquired in 2009, and the most-watched IndyCar race on cable in seven years.
Click here for more information on NBCSN’s record IndyCar viewership in 2015.
INDYCAR AT PHOENIX TV TIMES
|Fri., April 1||IndyCar Phoenix Grand Prix – Practice||NBCSN||1 p.m.|
|IndyCar Chronicles – Scott Dixon||NBCSN||2:30 p.m.|
|IndyCar Phoenix Grand Prix – Qualifying||NBCSN||5 p.m.|
|Sat., April 2||IndyCar Phoenix Grand Prix – Pre-Race||NBCSN||8:30 p.m.|
|IndyCar Phoenix Grand Prix||NBCSN||9 p.m.|
|IndyCar Phoenix Grand Prix – Post-Race||NBCSN||11 p.m.|
|Mon., April 4||IndyCar Phoenix Grand Prix (Encore)||NBCSN||3 p.m.|