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IndyCar releases 2017 TV times, networks, with 12 races on NBCSN

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The Verizon IndyCar Series will continue with the same channels and networks as it did in 2016, with NBCSN carrying 12 of the 17 races, including the last nine races in a row from Texas through the season finale at Sonoma.

ABC will again carry five races, the 101st Indianapolis 500 along with the IndyCar Grand Prix in Indianapolis, the St. Petersburg season opener and the Detroit doubleheader along with both days of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500.

In addition to NBCSN’s 12 races, NBCSN will present coverage of Carb Day from the Indy 500 on Friday, May 26 starting at 11 a.m. ET.

INDYCAR has hailed a 55 percent growth in its combined increase in viewership across both networks since 2013.

Once the second half of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule shifts to NBC and NBCSN from July, there will be several weekends where all three of NBC’s flagship motorsports series – NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula 1 – will be on on the same weekend.

Those Sundays are:

  • July 9: F1-Austria, IndyCar-Iowa, NASCAR-Kentucky (Saturday night)
  • July 16: F1-Britain, IndyCar-Toronto, NASCAR-New Hampshire
  • July 30: F1-Hungary, IndyCar-Mid-Ohio, NASCAR-Pocono
  • Sept. 3: F1-Italy, IndyCar-Watkins Glen, NASCAR-Darlington
  • Sept. 17-F1, Singapore, IndyCar-Sonoma, NASCAR-Chicagoland

“As the U.S. television home of motorsports, we’re proud to showcase the thrilling speed and exciting racing that the Verizon IndyCar Series delivers each year,” Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports & NBCSN said in a release. “Our INDYCAR coverage in 2016 reached more fans than ever before, and we look forward to building off of that success as we crown yet another INDYCAR champion on NBCSN in 2017.”

NBC Sports Group is coming off a record-setting year of IndyCar coverage in 2016, which reached more than 6.5 million total viewers, the highest season-total since acquiring IndyCar rights in 2009. Last season also delivered NBC Sports Group’s most-watched IndyCar race ever, when NBCSN and CNBC’s simulcast of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio averaged 929,000 viewers on July 31. Click here for more information on NBC Sports Group’s record-setting IndyCar viewership in 2016.

Additional programming – practice and qualifying sessions – will be announced at a later date.

Owing to the head-to-head air times between NASCAR and IndyCar on July 16 and 30, the Toronto and Mid-Ohio races will air LIVE on CNBC, with same day encore presentations on NBCSN. Those CNBC windows are both at 3 p.m. ET.

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Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.