Honda Indy 200 set for “Christmas in July” camping theme

Photo: Honda

Part of the allure and attraction of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is that camping is not only embraced, but a fabric of the Honda Indy 200 race weekend (Sunday, July 31, 2 p.m. ET, CNBC).

Much of that has to do with Mid-Ohio’s literally “middle of Ohio” location in Lexington, far from Columbus, Cleveland or Cincinnati that doesn’t leave a ton of hotels very close to the facility.

But the camping presence is omnipotent around the grounds of the historic 2.258-mile permanent road course, so much so that there’s even a competition for best designed campground.

Honda and Verizon – the race and Verizon IndyCar Series series sponsors, respectively – are combining to then create a “Christmas in July” camping theme this year, because with the race the last day of July rather than one of the first days of August, it creates this fun Christmas-at-a-race weekend mentality.

The hashtag for the weekend is #CampingWithHonda and follows off a successful camping weekend at the track last year.

Guests wishing to reserve camping of RV spots may do so by calling 419-884-4000 or by visiting A Weekend General Admission ticket is required in order to purchase a Tent Camping or Motor Home Camping pass.

Here’s the tentative schedule of events:

HondyIndy200ChristmasInJuly19Friday, right after the driver meeting – 9:05am. To kick off Christmas in July, a photo opp by the “reindeer car kit” outfitted Honda Racing pace car with all Honda drivers in Honda Indy 200 santa hats.

Honda Racing will host activities for all race fans during the event weekend.


11:50 am  “Ugly Hawaiian Shirt” contest judged by Santa and James Hinchcliffe at the stage in the Honda Fan Zone.

2:00 pmChristmas in July” campsite/camper decorating finalists are chosen with Santa judging. All participants receive a Honda Indy 200 gift. Also the Verizon “best-connected” finalists will also be chosen. This is for the best wireless enabled campsites using technology to show off their holiday spirit.

Post-qualifying (exact time TBD) Campsite/camper decorating and “best-connected winners chosen by Graham Rahal and Conor Daly. (winners for the decorating competition receive a pace car ride, runners up receive Honda-branded camping gear; Verizon finalists receive Verizon gear)

8:00-10 pm A community bonfire and s’mores in the camper area, with live music provided by Columbus’ premier party band “MidLife Crisis”.


Race fans can find Santa in the Fan Zone where Honda and Firestone will be celebrating Christmas in July. There will be photo opps with Santa, candy canes, and for a donation to James Cancer Care facility of Columbus, fans will receive a commemorative Honda Indy 200 Christmas in July ornament.

And here’s Verizon’s presence for the weekend, alongside Honda:

As the series sponsor, Verizon provides fans and customers the ultimate access to the Verizon IndyCar Series. Verizon is joining Honda to celebrate the Christmas in July spirit by selecting and awarding the five most connected campsites that use wireless-enabled technology to bring their holiday spirit to life. Winning campsites will be selected on their ability to showcase how they stay connected on Verizon, America’s best network, even when at the track.

Further participation is possible not just from the Honda contingent of drivers, but also Rising Star Racing, Chevrolet teams and drivers, and perhaps some Mazda Road to Indy participants.

The Mid-Ohio on-track schedule is pretty jam packed from start to finish next weekend, but this ensures those at the track will be entertained at all hours – not just those when cars are running.

Indy 500 on NBC: How to watch, start times, live stream, schedule for race’s 107th running


Capping off one of the fastest months in memory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, here are the start times and information for the 107th Indy 500 on Sunday, May 28.

The world’s biggest race will be broadcast live on NBC and Peacock starting at 11 a.m. ET (green flag is 12:45 p.m. ET). A prerace show will be shown exclusively on Peacock starting at 9 a.m. ET.

Track owner Roger Penske and staff are expecting more than 300,00 on race day. The 233,000-seat grandstands will be near capacity with the largest crowd since the race’s 100th running sold out in 2016.

INDY 500 PRIMERImportant details and facts for watching on NBC Sports

STARTING LINEUPWhere the 33 drivers will take the green flag

After the starting lineup is set Sunday, May 21, cars will be on track twice more — a two-hour practice on Monday, May 22 and the Carb Day final practice from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Friday, May 26.

Carb Day final practice is Friday, May 27 at 11 a.m.-1 p.m. ET on Peacock Premium. The annual Pit Stop Competition will follow at 2:30-4 p.m. and also on Peacock Premium.

Peacock also will carry the AES Indiana 500 Festival Parade from noon-2 p.m. ET Saturday and the Monday night victory celebration from 8-11 p.m. ET.

Here are the details and start times for the 107th Indy 500 (all times are ET):

TV info, Indy 500 start times, schedule

5 a.m.: Garage opens

6 a.m.: Gates open

6:30 a.m.: Tech inspection

8:15 a.m.: Cars pushed to pit lane

10:30 a.m.: Cars on the starting grid

11:47 a.m.: Driver introductions

12:38 p.m.: Command to start engines

12:45 p.m.: Green flag for the 105th Indy 500

How can I watch the Indy 500 on TV?

Click here for the full broadcast schedule on Peacock and NBC for May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The Indy 500 will be shown on NBC. Prerace coverage will begin exclusively on Peacock at 9 a.m. and then move to Peacock and NBC at 11 a.m. and run through 4 p.m., followed by a postrace show on Peacock Premium. All broadcasts also will be available via streaming on Peacock, the NBC Sports App and

Mike Tirico will be the host for NBC’s telecast alongside Danica Patrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Leigh Diffey will be the play-by-play announcer alongside analysts Townsend Bell and James Hinchcliffe. The pit reporters are Marty Snider, Kevin Lee, Dave Burns and Dillon Welch.

Universo will provide a Spanish-language telecast with Frederik Oldenburg and Sergio Rodriguez providing commentary on Universo and streaming on and the Telemundo Deportes app. Veronica Rodriguez will provide on-site reports from IMS

The race also is streamed via the NBC Sports App and

Race information

DISTANCE: The race is 200 laps (500 miles) around Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.5-mile oval.

FORECAST: According to, it’s expected to be 76 degrees with a 2 percent chance of rain at the green flag.

DEFENDING RACE WINNER: Marcus Ericsson, who is one of nine previous Indy 500 winners in the field.

TIRE ALLOTMENT: There are 32 sets of Firestones for use throughout the event (down from 34 last year).

QUALIFYING: The 33-car field was set May 20-21. Alex Palou qualified first for Chip Ganassi Racing’s third consecutive Indy 500 pole position.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the UPDATED 33-car grid in the 107th Indy 500.

RADIO BROADCASTS: Carb Day, 11 a.m. ET Friday; Sunday, 10 a.m. ET. Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Paul Page will provide commentary. Nick Yeoman (Turn 1), Michael Young (Turn 2), Jake Query (Turn 3) and Chris Denari (Turn 4) are the turn announcers with Ryan Myrehn, Alex Wollf, Rob Blackman and Scott Sander on pit road.

PRACTICE SUMMARY: Speed charts from when cars have been on the 2.5-mile oval (the May 16 opening day was rained out).

May 17: Practice l Combined

May 18: Practice l Combined

May 19: Practice l Combined

May 20: Practice l Combined

May 21: Practice l Combined

May 22: Practice l Combined

May 26: Practice l Combined


Links to IndyCar stories this month on Motorsports Talk:

Annual photo shows women having an impact on Indy 500 results

Roger Penske feeling hale at another Indy 500 as Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner

Honda needed 45 seconds to approve Graham Rahal racing a Chevy at Indy

A.J. Foyt takes refuge at Indy 500 while weathering grief of wife’s death

Gordon Johncock: The most unassuming Indy 500 legend

Honda needed 45 seconds to approve Graham Rahal racing a Chevy

Alex Palou on his Indy 500 pole, multitasking at 224 mph and a Chip Ganassi surprise

Marcus Ericsson, engineer Brad Goldberg have ties that run very deep

Graham Rahal will replace injured Stefan Wilson in the Indy 500

Family nightmare repeated: Graham Rahal bumped from Indy 500 by teammate

Arrow McLaren, Ganassi strong; Rahal cars struggle on opening day of qualifying

What drivers are saying about Indy 500 qualifying

Remembering the era of Indy 500 qualifying engines increasing speed, danger

Parnelli Jones, A.J. Foyt share 60th anniversary of an important moment

NASCAR champion Kyle Larson visits Indy 500 practice in preparation for 2024

“Unleashing The Dragon” uncorks big emotions for Marcus Ericsson and team

Awaiting Ganassi offer, Marcus Ericsson draws interest from other teams

Kyle Larson visits Indy 500 practice ahead of attempting the 2024 race

Indy 500 qualifying: ‘Four laps, 10 miles, frickin’ fast’

Graham Rahal mulling future with the team his father founded

Romain Grosjean knocking on the door of his first IndyCar victory

After family detour, Ryan Hunter-Reay back on the road to the Indy 500

Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing enjoy best race of season

Jimmie Johnson unsure of returning to the Indy 500


Click here to read NBC Sports Edge’s guide to contenders and darkhorses, including a full breakdown of past winners, veterans and rookies in the 107th Indianapolis 500, as well as the best bets for the race.


No. 10: A.J. Foyt becomes a three-time winner in 1967 as Parnelli Jones’ dominant Granatelli turbine car breaks

No. 9: Sam Hornish Jr. beats Marco Andretti in 2006 on the race’s first last-lap pass

No. 8: Al Unser Jr. edges Scott Goodyear in 1992 for closest finish in the race’s history

No. 7: Rick Mears becomes a four-time winner of the race with a thrilling pass in 1991

No. 6: Louis Meyer becomes the first three-time winner and starts milk tradition

No. 5: Dan Wheldon wins second Indy 500 after J.R. Hildebrand crashes on last lap

No. 4: A.J. Foyt becomes the first four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500

No. 3: Helio Castroneves “reopens America” with his fourth Indy 500 victory