NBC Sports Group

Sonoma GP ties for 4th most-watched live IndyCar race ever on NBCSN

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STAMFORD, Conn. – September 19, 2018 – NBC Sports’ coverage of the IndyCar Grand Prix of Sonoma championship race on Sunday evening produced a Total Audience Delivery of 638,000 average viewers to tie as the fourth most-watched live IndyCar race on NBCSN in nine years, according to data provided by The Nielsen Company and Adobe Analytics.

Sunday’s viewership of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series finale on NBCSN (7:08-8:57 p.m. ET) was up 19% vs. last year’s race (536,000) to tie as NBCSN’s fourth most-watched race out of more than 100 live races on the network since acquiring IndyCar rights prior to the 2009 season (tied with Pocono; 2015).

Sunday’s Grand Prix of Sonoma is the most-watched live race on NBCSN since Mid-Ohio* in 2016 (811,000). Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing) won his fifth career championship, ranking second only behind A.J. Foyt (7) for the most IndyCar championships in history.

Including IndyCar live look-in coverage that took place during a NASCAR red flag from 6:46-6:54 p.m. ET, the Total Audience Delivery for the race swells to 764,000 average viewers on NBCSN.

NBC SPORTS’ MOST-WATCHED LIVE INDYCAR RACES

RACE

DATE

TAD

Mid-Ohio

7/31/2016

934,000*

Sonoma

8/30/2015

846,000

Edmonton

7/24/2011

642,000

Sonoma

9/16/2018

638,000

Pocono

8/23/2015

638,000

Pocono

8/20/2017

624,000

* The July 31, 2016 Mid-Ohio race was simulcast on NBCSN and CNBC

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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
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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.”