American Flat Track

NBC announces 2019 American Flat Track schedule

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On Tuesday, NBC Sports announced the 2019 schedule for coverage of the American Flat Track series.

NBCSN will cover all 18 rounds of the most historic form of American motorcycle racing with shows falling in a highly-desirable weekend time slot and re-airs in the middle of the week. The schedule showcases four distinct track formats: one-mile ovals, half-mile ovals, short tracks and TTs (which incorporate a right-hand turn and a jump).

This is the third consecutive season that NBC will cover the series and it adds to a smorgasbord of events that include AMA Supercross and Motocross, NASCAR, IndyCar and IMSA.

“American Flat Track has become a staple of our racing lineup on NBCSN,” said Jeff Macaluso, Senior Director, Programming, NBC Sports Group in a press release, “and we are excited to continue our partnership.”

Reaching speeds of almost 140 mph on dirt tracks around the country, American Flat Track is among the most exciting forms of racing.

“NBC Sports has provided the platform for American Flat Track to reach millions of new fans across the U.S.,” said Michael Lock, CEO of American Flat Track. “With strong weekend programming slots and exciting storylines both on and off the track, we are forging the path to another record-breaking year for AFT on NBCSN in 2019.”

American Flat Track’s telecasts will be produced by NASCAR Productions, who are uniquely qualified to provide a window into the drama surrounding the weekly events.

Exclusive features and editorial content highlight the triumphs and tribulations of the world’s elite dirt track motorcycle racers as they battle for the win. Cutting-edge technology including aerial drone footage and onboard cameras will once again put viewers on the edge of their seats as the riders blaze around the tight confines of some of America’s greatest dirt tracks.

American Flat Track will kick off its highly-anticipated 2019 season with the Bigger, Better, and Faster Daytona TT presented under the lights of the Daytona International Speedway on Thursday, March 14, 2019. The race will be telecast Sunday, March 24 at 4 p.m. ET.

The schedule for American Flat Track’s premiere telecasts on NBCSN follows, subject to change:

Date Track, Location Track Type Time (ET)
Sun., March 24 Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL TT 4 p.m.
Sun., March 31 Dixie Speedway, Woodstock, GA Short Track 4:30 p.m.
Sun., April 28 Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, TX Half-Mile 5 p.m.
Sun., May 5 Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, Chandler, AZ TT 4:30 p.m.
Sun., May 19 Southern California Fair, Perris, CA Half-Mile 12 p.m.
Sun., May 26 Cal Expo, Sacramento, CA Mile 6 p.m.
Sat., June 1 Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL Mile 2:30 p.m.
Sat., June 8 Red Mile, Lexington, KY Mile 2 p.m.
Sun., June 23 New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, NH Short Track 2:30 p.m.
Sat, July 6 Allen County Fairgrounds, Lima, OH Half-Mile 1 p.m.
Sat., July 27 Weedsport Speedway, Weedsport, NY Short Track 12:30 p.m.
Sat., August 10 Buffalo Chip Campgrounds, Sturgis, SD TT 12:30 p.m.
Sat., August 10 Black Hills Speedway, Rapid City, SD Half-Mile 1:30 p.m.
Sun., August 25 Peoria Motorcycle Club, Peoria, IL TT 7 p.m.
Sun., September 8 Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL Mile 1:30 p.m.
Sat., September 21 Williams Grove Speedway, Mechanicsburg, PA Half-Mile 3:30 p.m.
Sun., September 29 Canterbury Park, Shakopee, MN Mile 5 p.m.
Sat., October 12 Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, NJ Mile 10:30 p.m.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”