NBC Sports Group to televise Monster Energy Supercross and Monster Jam starting in 2019

Feld Motor Sports

Things will be revving up even more this upcoming racing season, as NBC Sports Group and Feld Motor Sports announced Friday a multi-year agreement to televise the Monster Energy Supercross and Monster Jam series.

The agreement will feature nearly 100 hours of Supercross and Monster Jam coverage in 2019 across several platforms including NBC, NBCSN, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports App and NBC Sports Gold.

“We’re proud to welcome Feld Motor Sports properties, Monster Energy Supercross and Monster Jam, to the NBC Sports family,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBCSN. “Fans know that NBC Sports is The Home of Motorsports in the U.S., and the addition of Supercross and Monster Jam to our portfolio further enhances our robust offering on NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports’ digital platforms, including our direct-to-consumer product, NBC Sports Gold.”

NBC Sports Group will present comprehensive coverage of all Supercross Heats, Last Chance Qualifiers and Main Events across NBC, NBCSN, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and NBC Sports Gold.

All 26 Monster Jam events will air on NBCSN, as well as will be streamed on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

NBC Sports Gold’s subscription package, “Supercross Pass,” will air all Supercross qualifiers and races live and without commercial interruption, as well as full on-demand replays. “Supercross Pass” is available now for $74.99. Click here to purchase.

The first installment of “Supercross Pass” on NBC Sports Gold kicks off today.

Then at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 22, NBC Sports will air Supercross and Monster Jam season previews. Those season preview programs will encore on Saturday, Dec. 29 on NBCSN at 7 p.m. ET and 8 p.m. ET.

Monster Jam will join Monster Energy Supercross in a new multi-year TV partnership with NBC Sports Group. (Photo: Feld Motor Sports)

“With the rise in attendance and viewership of our Supercross and Monster Jam properties, moving to The Home of Motorsports with NBC Sports Group for our media coverage is a natural fit,” said Vicki Silver, Chief Marketing Officer for Feld Entertainment. “More than 70 percent of our fan base is from the millennial age group, and with NBC Sports Gold and our new partnership, we will offer viewing flexibility and exclusive content to Supercross fans. Monster Jam programming and content will also be enhanced with by NBC Sports’ digital portfolio.”

NBC Sports’ 2019 Supercross programming begins Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019, on NBCSN with live coverage from Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, Calif., kicking off the first of 15 consecutive weeks of Supercross on NBC, NBCSN, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and NBC Sports Gold.

The 2019 schedule includes a pair of events airing on NBC: Sunday, Jan. 13 from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., and Sunday, May 5 from Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.

The 2019 coverage will culminate with the Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas on Saturday, Oct. 19 on NBCSN.

Here’s the full 2019 Monster Energy Supercross schedule on NBC and NBCSN.

Date Event Coverage Time (ET)
Sat., January 5 Anaheim NBCSN 10 p.m.
Sat., January 12 Glendale NBCSN 9 p.m.
Sun., January 13 Glendale NBC* 4:30 p.m.
Sat., January 19 Anaheim NBCSN* 11 p.m.
Sun., January 27 Oakland NBCSN* 3 p.m.
Sat., February 2 San Diego NBCSN 10 p.m.
Sat., February 9 Minneapolis NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sat., February 16 Arlington NBCSN 8:30 p.m.
Sat., February 23 Detroit NBCSN* 8 p.m.
Sat., March 2 Atlanta NBCSN 7 p.m.
Sat., March 9 Daytona NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Sat., March 16 Indianapolis NBCSN* 11 p.m.
Sat., March 23 Seattle NBCSN 10 p.m.
Sat., March 30 Houston NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sat., April 6 Nashville NBCSN* 11 p.m.
Sat., April 13 Denver NBCSN 8:30 p.m.
Sat., April 27 East Rutherford NBCSN* 5 p.m.
Sat., May 4 Las Vegas NBCSN 10 p.m.
Sun., May 5 Las Vegas NBC* 12:30 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 19 Las Vegas NBCSN* 10 p.m.

*delayed coverage

#All televised coverage streams on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app

Following is the full qualifying and main race schedule for the 2019 Supercross schedule on NBC Sports Gold:

Date Event Time (ET)
Sat., January 5 Anaheim – Qualifying 4 p.m.
Anaheim – Main Race 10 p.m.
Sat., January 12 Glendale – Qualifying 3 p.m.
Glendale – Main Race 9 p.m.
Sat., January 19 Anaheim – Qualifying 4 p.m.
Anaheim – Main Race 10 p.m.
Sat., January 26 Oakland – Qualifying 4 p.m.
Oakland – Main Race 10 p.m.
Sat., February 2 San Diego – Qualifying 4 p.m.
San Diego – Main Race 10 p.m.
Sat., February 9 Minneapolis – Qualifying 2 p.m.
Minneapolis – Main Race 8 p.m.
Sat., February 16 Arlington – Qualifying 2 p.m.
Arlington – Main Race 8:30 p.m.
Sat., February 23 Detroit – Qualifying 1 p.m.
Detroit – Main Race 7 p.m.
Sat., March 2 Atlanta – Qualifying 1 p.m.
Atlanta – Main Race 7 p.m.
Sat., March 9 Daytona – Qualifying 1 p.m.
Daytona – Main Race 7:30 p.m.
Sat., March 16 Indianapolis – Qualifying 1 p.m.
Indianapolis – Main Race 7 p.m.
Sat., March 23 Seattle – Qualifying 4 p.m.
Seattle – Main Race 10 p.m.
Sat., March 30 Houston – Qualifying 2 p.m.
Houston – Main Race 8 p.m.
Sat., April 6 Nashville – Qualifying 2 p.m..
Nashville – Main Race 8 p.m.
Sat., April 13 Denver – Qualifying 2:30 p.m.
Denver – Main Race 8:30 p.m.
Sat., April 27 East Rutherford – Qualifying 11 a.m.
East Rutherford – Main Race 5 p.m.
Sat., May 4 Las Vegas – Qualifying 4 p.m.
Las Vegas – Main Race 10 p.m.


‘It’s gnarly, bro’: IndyCar drivers face new challenge on streets of downtown Detroit

IndyCar Detroit downtown
James Black/Penske Entertainment
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DETROIT – It was the 1968 motion picture, “Winning” when actress Joanne Woodward asked Paul Newman if he were going to Milwaukee in the days after he won the Indianapolis 500 as driver Frank Capua.

“Everybody goes to Milwaukee after Indianapolis,” Newman responded near the end of the film.

Milwaukee was a mainstay as the race on the weekend after the Indianapolis 500 for decades, but since 2012, the first race after the Indy 500 has been Detroit at Belle Isle Park.

This year, there is a twist.

Instead of IndyCar racing at the Belle Isle State Park, it’s the streets of downtown Detroit on a race course that is quite reminiscent of the old Formula One and CART race course that was used from 1982 to 1991.

Formula One competed in the United States Grand Prix from 1982 to 1988. Beginning in 1989, CART took over the famed street race through 1991. In 1992, the race was moved to Belle Isle, where it was held through last year (with a 2009-2011 hiatus after the Great Recession).

The Penske Corp. is the promoter of this race, and they did a lot of good at Belle Isle, including saving the Scott Fountain, modernizing the Belle Isle Casino, and basically cleaning up the park for Detroit citizens to enjoy.

The race, however, had outgrown the venue. Roger Penske had big ideas to create an even bigger event and moving it back to downtown Detroit benefitted race sponsor Chevrolet. The footprint of the race course goes around General Motors world headquarters in the GM Renaissance Center – the centerpiece building of Detroit’s modernized skyline.

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Motor City is about to roar with the sound of Chevrolet and Honda engines this weekend as the NTT IndyCar Series is the featured race on the nine-turn, 1.7-mile temporary street course.

It’s perhaps the most unique street course on the IndyCar schedule because of the bumps on the streets and the only split pit lane in the series.

The pit lanes has stalls on opposing sides and four lanes across an unusual rectangular pit area (but still only one entry and exit).

Combine that, with the bumps and the NTT IndyCar Series drivers look forward to a wild ride in Motor City.

“It’s gnarly, bro,” Arrow McLaren driver Pato O’Ward said before posting the fastest time in Friday’s first practice. “It will be very interesting because the closest thing that I can see it being like is Toronto-like surfaces with more of a Long Beach-esque layout.

“There’s less room for error than Long Beach. There’s no curbs. You’ve got walls. I think very unique to this place.

PRACTICE RESULTS: Speeds from the first session

“Then it’s a bit of Nashville built into it. The braking zones look really very bumpy. Certain pavements don’t look bumpy but with how the asphalt and concrete is laid out, there’s undulation with it. So, you can imagine the cars are going to be smashing on every single undulation because we’re going to go through those sections fairly fast, and obviously the cars are pretty low. I don’t know.

“It looks fun, man. It’s definitely going to be a challenge. It’s going to be learning through every single session, not just for drivers and teams but for race control. For everyone.

“Everybody has to go into it knowing not every call is going to be smooth. It’s a tall task to ask from such a demanding racetrack. I think it’ll ask a lot from the race cars as well.”

The track is bumpy, but O’Ward indicated he would be surprised if it is bumper than Nashville. By comparison to Toronto, driving at slow speed is quite smooth, but fast speed is very bumpy.

“This is a mix of Nashville high-speed characteristics and Toronto slow speed in significant areas,” O’Ward said. “I think it’ll be a mix of a lot of street courses we go to, and the layout looks like more space than Nashville, which is really tight from Turn 4 to 8. It looks to be a bit more spacious as a whole track, but it’ll get tight in multiple areas.”

The concept of having four-wide pit stops is something that excites the 24-year-old driver from Monterey, Mexico.

“I think it’s innovation, bro,” O’Ward said. “If it works out, we’ll look like heroes.

“If it doesn’t, we tried.”

Because of the four lanes on pit road, there is a blend line the drivers will have to adhere to. Otherwise, it would be chaos leaving the pits compared to a normal two-lane pit road.

“If it wasn’t there, there’d be guys fighting for real estate where there’s one car that fits, and there’d be cars crashing in pit lane,” O’Ward said. “I get why they did that. It’s the same for everybody. I don’t think there’s a lot of room to play with. That’s the problem.

“But it looks freaking gnarly for sure. Oh my God, that’s going to be crazy.”

Alex Palou of Chip Ganassi Racing believes the best passing areas will be on the long straights because of the bumps in the turns. That is where much of the action will be in terms of gaining or losing a position in the race.

“It will also be really easy to defend in my opinion,” Palou said. “Being a 180-degree corner, you just have to go on the inside and that’s it. There’s going to be passes for sure but its’ going to be risky.

“Turn 1, if someone dives in, you end up in the wall. They’re not going to be able to pass you on the exit, so maybe with the straight being so long you can actually pass before you end up on the braking zone.”

Palou’s teammate, Marcus Ericsson, was at the Honda simulator in Brownsburg, Indiana, before coming to Detroit and said he was shocked by the amount of bumps on the simulator.

Race promoter Bud Denker, the President of Penske Corporation, and Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix President Michael Montri, sent the track crews onto the streets with grinders to smooth out the bumps on the race course several weeks ago.

“They’ve done a decent amount of work, and even doing the track walk, it looked a lot better than what we expected,” Ericsson said. “I don’t think it’ll be too bad. I hope not. That’ll be something to take into account.

“I think the track layout doesn’t look like the most fun. Maybe not the most challenging. But I love these types of tracks with rules everywhere. It’s a big challenge, and you have to build up to it. That’s the types of tracks that I love to drive. It’s a very much Marcus Ericsson type of track. I like it.”

Scott Dixon, who was second fastest in the opening session, has competed on many new street circuits throughout his legendary racing career. The six-time NTT IndyCar Series champion for Chip Ganassi Racing likes the track layout, even with the unusual pit lane.

I don’t think that’s going to be something that catches on where every track becomes a double barrel,” Dixon said. “It’s new and interesting.

“As far as pit exit, I think Toronto exit is worse with how the wall sticks out. I think in both lanes, you’ve got enough lead time to make it and most guys will make a good decision.”

It wasn’t until shortly after 3 p.m. ET on Friday that the IndyCar drivers began the extended 90-minute practice session to try out the race course for the first time in real life.

As expected, there were several sketchy moments, but no major crashes during the first session despite 19 local yellow flags for incidents and two red flags.

Rookie Agustin Canapino had to cut his practice short after some damage to his No. 78 Dallara-Chevrolet, but he was among many who emerged mostly unscathed from scrapes with the wall.

“It was honestly less carnage than I expected,” said Andretti Autosport’s Kyle Kirkwood, who was third fastest in the practice after coming off his first career IndyCar victory in the most recent street race at Long Beach in April. “I think a lot of people went off in the runoffs, but no one actually hit the wall (too hard), which actually surprised me. Hats off to them for keeping it clean, including myself.

“It was quite a bit less grip than I think everyone expected. Maybe a little bit more bumpy down into Turn 3 than everyone expected. But overall they did a good job between the two manufacturers. I’m sure everyone had pretty much the same we were able to base everything off of. We felt pretty close to maximum right away.”

Most of the preparation for this event was done either on the General Motors Simulator in Huntersville, North Carolina, or the Honda Performance Development simulator in Brownsburg, Indiana.

“Now, we have simulators that can scan the track, so we have done plenty of laps already,” Power told NBC Sports. “They have ground and resurfaced a lot of the track, so it should be smoother.

“But nothing beats real-world experience. It’s going to be a learning experience in the first session.”

As a Team Penske driver, Power and his teammates were consulted about the progress and layout of the Detroit street course. They were shown what was possible with the streets that were available.

“We gave some input back after we were on the similar what might be ground and things like that,” Power said.

Racing on the streets of Belle Isle was a fairly pleasant experience for the fans and corporate sponsor that compete in the race.

But the vibe at the new location gives this a “big event” feel.

“The atmosphere is a lot better,” Power said. “The location, the accessibility for the fans, the crowd that will be here, it’s much easier. I think it will be a much better event.

“It feels like a Long Beach, only in a much bigger city. That is what street course racing is all about.”

Because the track promoter is also the team owner, Power and teammates Scott McLaughlin and Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden will have a very busy weekend on the track, and with sponsor and personal appearances.

“That’s what pays the bills and allows us to do this,” Power said.

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500