BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Verizon IndyCar Series’ Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is this weekend, the fourth round of the 2016 season, and will feature LIVE practice and qualifying to go along with the live race on Sunday (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN).
The full release, times and breakdown are below:
NBCSN’s coverage of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series rolls on this weekend with comprehensive live coverage of the Grand Prix of Alabama, as the green flag drops at Barber Motorsports Park this Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET. Coverage from Alabama begins tomorrow on NBCSN at noon ET with practice, followed by live qualifying on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. ET.
NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs – will provide streaming coverage of practice, qualifying and the Grand Prix of Alabama via “TV Everywhere.”
Simon Pagenaud (Penske) enters this weekend’s race as the hottest driver on the circuit, following his first-ever Grand Prix of Long Beach victory last weekend. Pagenaud began his season with a pair of second-place finishes at St. Petersburg and Phoenix before winning at Long Beach last week.
Last year’s IndyCar champion Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi) finished second at Long Beach, following his win at Phoenix on April 2. Josef Newgarden (Ed Carpenter Racing) earned his first-ever IndyCar win at Barber last year, and has two Top 10s in three races this season.
This weekend’s coverage on NBCSN will include a feature on Pagenaud and his strong start to 2016 after a difficult first season with Penske last year, as well as a feature with pit reporter Katie Hargitt and drivers Conor Daly and Alexander Rossi as they attend Space Camp in nearby Huntsville, Ala.
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 Grand Prix of Long Beach, filling in for lead IndyCar and F1 announcer Leigh Diffey.
Allen will be joined by 2003 CART champion and analyst Paul Tracy, as well as driver and analyst Townsend Bell, who recently announced he will be driving in this year’s 100th Indianapolis 500 with Andretti Autosport. Marty Snider, Robin Miller, Kevin Lee, and Katie Hargitt will handle coverage in the pits in Long Beach.
In addition, NBCSN will showcase the Indy Lights developmental series with a presentation of the Legacy Indy Lights 100 race from Alabama on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, leading into race coverage. Kevin Lee, Anders Krohn, and Katie Hargitt will have the call.
LAST SUNDAY’S GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH ON NBCSN IS MOST-WATCHED SINCE 2012
Last Sunday’s Grand Prix of Long Beach on NBCSN (4:41–6:38 p.m. ET) averaged 402,000 viewers to rank as the most-watched IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach since 2012. Viewership of this year’s race was up 17% vs. 2015 (344,000). Through two races on NBCSN to-date (Phoenix and Long Beach), IndyCar has averaged 382,000 viewers, up 11% vs. 2015 (343,000).
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.
Following is this week’s motorsports coverage schedule on NBCSN:
|Fri., April 22||IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama – Practice||NBCSN||12 p.m.|
|Sat., April 23||IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama – Qualifying||NBCSN||4 p.m.|
|Sun., April 24||Legacy Indy Lights 100||NBCSN||2 p.m.|
|IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama – Pre-Race||NBCSN||3 p.m.|
|IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama||NBCSN||3:30 p.m.|
|IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama – Post-Race||NBCSN||5:30 p.m.|
|IndyCar Chronicles – Tony Kanaan||NBCSN||6 p.m.|