Getty Images

What NBCSN IndyCar announcers said about Dixon crown, last race at Sonoma

Leave a comment

Here’s what NBCSN’s IndyCar announcers had to say about Scott Dixon’s championship and how the season-ending Grand Prix of Sonoma played out on Sunday:

STAMFORD, Conn. – September 16, 2018 Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing) won his fifth career Verizon IndyCar Series championship today on NBCSN, earning a second-place finish at the IndyCar Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway to clinch the title. Dixon’s five series wins now rank second only behind A.J. Foyt (7) for the most IndyCar championships in history.

Dixon won the championship by 57 points over Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport), who battled back to finish seventh in Sunday’s race after suffering damage to his front wing and tire on the first lap. Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport) took the checkered flag at Sonoma to win his second race of the 2018 campaign.

NBC Sports’ lead IndyCar play-by-play commentator Leigh Diffey called the Grand Prix of Sonoma from Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., on NBCSN, alongside analysts and former drivers Paul Tracy and Townsend Bell. Robin Miller, Jon Beekhuis, Kevin Lee, and Katie Hargitt reported from the pits.

NBC Sports is now the exclusive home of IndyCar, and will present all IndyCar races, qualifying, practices, and Indy Lights races across its platforms beginning in 2019, including the Indianapolis 500 and an additional seven races on NBC.

Following are notes and quotes from NBC Sports’ IndyCar Grand Prix of Sonoma coverage on NBCSN:

Diffey on Dixon: “We witness something that hasn’t been done in more than half a century – Scott Dixon is a five-time IndyCar champion!”

Dixon during his post-race interview with Beekhuis after winning the title: “We had a lot of things that could have gone wrong today…this is so awesome. I can’t believe that it’s actually happened. You always doubt these situations so much, that it’s never going to happen. I can’t thank everyone enough.”

Rossi during his post-race interview with Lee, discussing contact on the first lap: “I got a good start. I don’t know if he lifted, or if I misjudged…it is what it is. It was going to be a tough day to beat Scott anyway…it’s unfortunate for it to go out like that. I wish I could replay that a million more times…at the end of the day, we have to look at 2018 and be pretty happy.”

Tracy on Dixon: “We call him the ‘Ice Man’ – you will not meet a driver on or off the track who is as cool as Scott Dixon.”

Bell on Dixon: “He’s still at the top of his game in every measurable category with no signs of slowing down any time soon.”

Diffey on Rossi: “He borders on fearless…when he’s chasing and in attack mode, it’s pretty special to watch. The way he has not given up today – this kid just doesn’t give up.”

Bell on Rossi’s aggressive driving style: “It’s worked out remarkably well everywhere – except today. We kept saying it all season long, that Rossi makes these moves and he comes out looking like a champ every time. Unfortunately…it was a little too much and a little ill-timed. He’s done a brilliant job to come back, but I know in a long offseason, he’ll definitely be analyzing that opening lap move.”

Tracy on Rossi on lap 20: “He’s had a very messy weekend. He’s had a lot of offs. He’s been in the dirt a lot. He made a mistake at the start. I think the nervous anticipation was super high. He made a small mistake and now he’s got to fight to come back.”

Tracy on Hunter-Reay: “He’s been so unlucky all year. He’s been at the front all year and in position to do really well at a lot of races and had mechanical problems…there’s no one that’s had worse luck than Hunter-Reay this year.”

Bell on Hunter-Reay: “He always bounces back. He can come off a horrendous weekend, show up at Sonoma – and he’s been dominant in practice, qualifying, and now the race. It’s ironic that he’s having a totally uneventful, quiet day at the front, and reminding everyone why he’s an IndyCar champion.”

***********

NBC SPORTS BECOMES EXCLUSIVE HOME OF VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES BEGINNING IN 2019

On March 21, NBC Sports and INDYCAR announced a new, multi-year media rights agreement in which NBC Sports acquired the rights to present all INDYCAR races, qualifying, practices, and Indy Lights races across its platforms beginning in 2019.

The Indianapolis 500 and seven additional Verizon IndyCar Series races will be broadcast annually on NBC, with all remaining races televised on NBCSN. All races will be live streamed to authenticated subscribers on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. Details of NBC Sports’ 2019 INDYCAR schedule will be announced at a later date.

NBC Sports Gold – NBC Sports Group’s direct-to-consumer product – will offer a package to INDYCAR fans that features all qualifying and practices not televised live, all Indy Lights races, and full-event replays. Additional details, including the cost of the Gold offering, will be announced at a later date. Click here for more information.

Hunter McElrea wins Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 Scholarship

IndyCar.com
Leave a comment

Hunter McElrea bested 18 competitors to win the third annual Road to Indy USF2000 $200,000 Scholarship Shootout on Sunday at Bondurant Racing School in Chandler, Ariz.

The two-day contest featured on-track competition in Formula Mazda cars as well as interview sessions and assessment from a panel of judges.

“I can’t believe it,” McElrea said at IndyCar.com. “This is definitely the most exciting opportunity that I have had in my racing career. I cannot thank Mazda and everyone enough for making this possible for me. The fact that I am going to be on the grid next year thanks to them is a dream come true.

“They have given me the opportunity to prove myself in such a high level that I never even thought I would be able to reach. I have to thank Andersen Promotions, Cooper tires, all of the judges, everyone from Mazda, the Bondurant Racing School and the other competitors, who literally pushed me to the limit.

“I am just so happy. It is still sinking in, but I just can’t wait to get next year started, and I’ll be representing Mazda in that nice Soul Red USF2000 car.”

MORE: Michael Carter wins Mazda Road to 24 shootout

The 19-year-old McElrea was born in California, but reared in Australia.

As a result of winning the award, McElrea will compete in the 2019 season of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, the first rung of the Mazda Road to Indy development ladder.

McElrea won the Australian Formula Ford Championship this year on the strength of 13 victories in 21 races.

Early competition resulted in a final field of six drivers that included Jake Craig, Michael Eastwell, Braden Eves, Flinn Lazier and Ross Martin. They competed in a qualification session and 30-minute simulated race. McElrea won that race.

“Today was an incredible day,” said Tom Long, Mazda Motorsports factory driver and one of the judges. “There was so much talent here for the shootout. Hunter McElrea just rose to the top when it was time to shine, but our decision was very, very difficult.

“In the end, given all of the circumstances, we were able to make a pretty good decision and we are really, really proud of not only Hunter but our whole team here with Mazda to be able to grant this $200,000 scholarship for his opportunity in USF2000 next year.”