Indy 500 legends explain what ‘The Brickyard’ means to them

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With the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 now almost here, NBC Sports recently reached out to several Indy 500 winning drivers and owners, to hear their thoughts on what makes the race such a special event.  Click the links below to see what each Indy 500 legend had to say:

THE 103RD INDIANAPOLIS 500: Click here for how to watch, full daily schedules

Mario Andretti

For Mario Andretti, winning the Indianapolis 500 was the realization of a 13-year-old boy’s dream. He lauded the tradition of the race that other major sports events just can’t match.

Click here for Mario’s thoughts on what makes the Indy 500 so special to him

Michael Andretti

Five-time Indy 500 winning owner Michael Andretti shared with NBC Sports his first memories of the race from 1969 when his father won and described IMS as “sacred ground” where finishing first is what everyone dreams about.

Click here so see why the Indy 500 means so much to Michael

Roger Penske

Roger Penske remembered his first Indy 500 victory as a “game-changer” for his racing team, and the 17-time winning owner calls Indianapolis Motor Speedway the “foundation of all racing.”

Click here for to hear from the most successful owner in Indy 500 history

Bobby Unser

“If these bricks could talk, you wouldn’t believe what they’d say,” Bobby Unser, three-time Indianapolis 500 champion and the second-oldest man ever to win the Indy 500, said.

Click here for “Uncle Bobby’s” thoughts on “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing”

Dario Franchitti

Three-time Indy 500 champion Dario Franchitti explained to NBC Sports why The Brickyard means so much and touched on the family ties that bind Indianapolis Motor Speedway year after year.

Click here for three-time champ’s thoughts.

Rick Mears

Four-time Indianapolis 500 champion Rick Mears said that his success at IMS surpassed his wildest dreams, and that he didn’t understand what it meant initially to win the “Super Bowl” of IndyCar.

Click here to for the thoughts of a four-time Indy 500 champion. 

Johnny Rutherford

Three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Johnny Rutherford explained to NBC Sports why Indianapolis Motor Speedway is “just the place to be” every Memorial Day weekend.

Click here for “Lone Star JR’s” thought’s

Parnelli Jones

Indianapolis 500 winner Parnelli Jones explained why that fateful day in 1963 was “the greatest thing [he] could do” and that he’ll “never have a better day than the day [he] pulled into victory lane.”

Click here to see what the 1963 winner had to say 

Coverage of the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 begins Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. ET on NBCSN, then moves over to NBC at 11:00 a.m. ET.

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IndyCar releases schedule for 2023 season

IndyCar schedule 2023
Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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The NTT IndyCar Series’ 2023 schedule will feature the same number of races and tracks as this season with some minor reshuffling of dates.

IndyCar will open the 2023 season March 5 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, and will conclude Sept. 10 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The 107th Indy 500 will take place May 28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 17-race schedule will conclude with a stretch of eight races in the final nine weeks.

“The NTT IndyCar Series is on an impactful upward trajectory, making progress at a pace that befits our thrilling style of competition,” Penske Entertainment Corp. president and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “The 2023 season provides an opportunity to further build on this trend, bringing our sport and its stars to more markets and households and reaching new consumers across the globe.”

There will be 15 events on NBC: 13 races (including six of the final seven) plus Indy 500 qualifying May 20-21. There also are three races on USA Network and the Toronto race exclusively on Peacock. All races on NBC and USA also will have live simulstreams on Peacock.

In partnership with NBC Sports, the 2022 IndyCar season was the most-watched in six years and the most-watched across NBC Sports on record. The 2022 season also was the most streamed season on record.

“We’re very excited for our 2023 NTT IndyCar Series schedule and to build on this past season’s viewership milestones,” NBC Sports vice president of programming Mike Perman said in a release. “In providing comprehensive coverage across NBC, Peacock and USA Network, NBC Sports is once again looking forward to telling the stories of these world-class drivers and this compelling series.”

Notable elements on the 2023 schedule:

–There will be the same balance of seven road course races, five street courses and five ovals.

–St. Pete will be the season opener for the 13th time.

–The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will move from Belle Isle to the streets of downtown.

–The NASCAR doubleheader weekend at the IMS road course will shift to mid-August.

–The World Wide Technology Raceway event will move from Saturday to Sunday.

Start times for the 2023 events will be announced at a later date.

Here’s the 2023 IndyCar schedule:


Date Race/Track Network/Platform
Sun., March 5 Streets of St. Petersburg NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 2 Texas Motor Speedway NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 16 Streets of Long Beach NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 30 Barber Motorsports Park NBC, Peacock
Sat., May 13 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) NBC, Peacock
Sun., May 28 The 107th Indianapolis 500 NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 4 Streets of Detroit NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 18 Road America USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 2 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 16 Streets of Toronto Peacock
Sat., July 22 Iowa Speedway – Race 1 NBC, Peacock
Sun., July 23 Iowa Speedway – Race 2 NBC, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 6 Streets of Nashville NBC, Peacock
Sat., Aug. 12 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) USA Network, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 27 World Wide Technology Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 3 Portland International Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 10 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca NBC, Peacock

*dates and networks/platforms are subject to change