NBC Sports

NBC Sports announces 2020 Supercross coverage schedule

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NBC Sports and Feld Motor Sports announced today that over 120 hours of Monster Energy Supercross coverage will air on the NBC family of networks in 2020.

Highlights of the 2020 partnership include live coverage of all Supercross Heats, Last Chance Qualifiers and Main Events across NBC, NBCSN, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, and NBC Sports Gold.

In addition, NBC Sports Gold will offer subscribers “Supercross Pass” – a comprehensive one-stop-shop package of events that will include all Supercross qualifiers and races live and on-demand replays without commercial interruption, as well as present exclusive expert analysis and interviews. “Supercross Pass” is available now for $74.99. Click here to purchase.

NBC Sports looks ahead to 2020 with the Supercross preview show, a one-hour made-for-television special that will air this Saturday night, Dec. 28, at 12 a.m. ET on NBCSN.

The season preview features an all-star cast of superstars – Ken Roczen, Eli Tomac, Adam Cianciarulo, Malcolm Stewart and reigning Supercross Champion Cooper Webb as they prepare for the gate to drop in Anaheim, plus an interview with long-time fan favorite Chad Reed as he plans to line up for the final season in his illustrious career. Encore presentations will air on NBCSN on Sunday, Dec. 29, at 7 p.m. ET and on Saturday, Jan. 4, at 9 p.m. ET.

NBC Sports’ 2020 Supercross programming begins Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, at 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN with live coverage from Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, Calif., kicking off the first of 14 consecutive weeks of Supercross on NBC, NBCSN, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and NBC Sports Gold, before returning for the final three rounds after the Easter break.

Ralph Sheheen and Leigh Diffey will handle play-by-play duties for this season’s Supercross coverage. They’ll be joined by five-time Supercross champion and seven-time Motocross champion Ricky Carmichael, host and former racer Daniel Blair, and reporter Will Christien.

The 2020 schedule includes a pair of events airing on NBC: Sunday, Jan. 12, from The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis, Mo., and Sunday, April 19 from Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The 2020 season will culminate with the Monster Energy Cup on Saturday, Oct. 10 on NBCSN.

Below is the complete 2020 Monster Energy Supercross schedule on NBC and NBCSN. 

Date Event Coverage Time (ET)
Sat., January 4

 

Anaheim

 

NBCSN

 

10 p.m.

 

Sat., January 11

 

St. Louis

 

NBCSN

 

8 p.m.

 

Sun., January 12

 

St. Louis

 

NBC*

 

4:30 p.m.

 

Sat., January 18

 

Anaheim

 

NBCSN

 

10 p.m.

 

Sun., January 26

 

Glendale

 

NBCSN*

 

2 p.m.

 

Sat., February 1

 

Oakland

 

NBCSN

 

8:30 p.m.

 

Sat., February 8

 

San Diego

 

NBCSN

 

10 p.m.

 

Sat., February 15

 

Tampa

 

NBCSN

 

7 p.m.

 

Sat., February 22

 

Arlington

 

NBCSN

 

8:30 p.m.

 

Sat., February 29

 

Atlanta

 

NBCSN

 

5 p.m.

 

Sat., March 7

 

Daytona

 

NBCSN

 

7:30 p.m.

 

Sat., March 14

 

Indianapolis

 

NBCSN

 

7 p.m.

 

Sat., March 21

 

Detroit

 

NBCSN

 

6 p.m.

 

Sat., March 28

 

Seattle

 

NBCSN

 

9 p.m.

 

Sat., April 4

 

Denver

 

NBCSN*

 

11 p.m.

 

Sat., April 18

 

Foxborough

 

NBCSN*

 

8 p.m.

 

Sun,. April 19

 

Foxborough

 

NBC*

 

11 p.m.

 

Sat., April 25

 

Las Vegas

 

NBCSN

 

10 p.m.

 

Sat., May 2

 

Salt Lake City

 

NBCSN

 

9 p.m.

 

*Delayed coverage

All televised coverage will stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app

Graham Rahal tries to get up to speed in IndyCar iRacing Challenge

Graham Rahal Photo
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Although he’s just 31 years old, Graham Rahal has been driving an Indy car since the 2007 Champ Car Series season when he still a teenager.

When it comes to the virtual world, however, Rahal is an admitted “newbie.”

The Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver hopes to get up to speed in time to be competitive in Saturday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama virtual race. It’s part of the INDYCAR iRacing Challenge and will be televised live by NBCSN at 2:30 p.m.

The six-time NTT IndyCar Series race winner got his virtual racing rig before last week’s American Red Cross Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International but was still learning the nuances of the iRacing platform. He started 12th and finished 14th out of 25 cars in the contest. The first 12 finishers were on the lead lap. Rahal was one lap down.

“I had never done it before,” Rahal said Friday. “At least it probably had been 10 years since I had driven any sort of sim. It’s addicting…rather addicting. Second of all, it’s bad for your marriage, but it’s a great way to kill a day of quarantine.

“But I think it’s been a big challenge just to get used to the way that you feel a car, the way that you drive a car in the sim, it’s all completely different than real life. To get used to that sensation, to get everything set up right is a huge part of it.”

Inside the cockpit of his No. 15 Honda at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Rahal feels at comfortable in his own element. It has taken him time to find that comfort level in the virtual world.

“For me it has been a challenge to just figure out the right settings, what to do from afar, too,” Rahal said. “Obviously you don’t have anybody here (at his home) that plays iRacing or anything to help you firsthand. It’s been a bit of a challenge; but I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Next up is Barber Motorsports Park, which in the real world is a very challenging course but it puts on some of the best road course racing on the real IndyCar schedule. Rahal believes it will also be quite a challenge on iRacing.

“I think Barber is going to be actually more difficult than Watkins Glen,” Rahal said. “The track has a little bit less grip than Watkins Glen did last week. Although everybody was still crashing at Watkins Glen, I think you can get away with more than what you can at Barber. In real life it’s that way, too.

“I’m looking forward to it. I think it will be fun.”

Rahal is married to former drag racing star Courtney Force. Both are playing it safe by staying home by statewide order from Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb. But Rahal still has to find the balance between husband and virtual race driver.

By contrast, some of the other IndyCar drivers are spending 10-12 hours a day practicing on iRacing.

“That’s the challenge,” Rahal said, responding to a question posed by NBCSports.com. “I could definitely spend way more time on it. My line to Courtney is, ‘Just give me two laps.’ Then, one hour and 45 minutes later I’m still sitting there. It’s frustrating.

“As Robbie Wickens said, the frustrating part is you go out, you put in a good lap, then it’s, ‘I need to go beat that.’ You spin and you spin, and you spin. Then you get mad. The competitiveness in you, two more laps, two more laps. You try to go and go and go.

“You sit there for hours and hours and hours.”

Rahal admits he can’t stay away from iRacing for long. He is genuinely curious and interested in seeing what the competition is doing.

“I go on pretty frequently to see what’s going on,” Rahal said. “A lot of guys are on all the time. Scott Dixon, Sebastien Bourdais has been on a load, Tony Kanaan, Willie P (Will Power). I think everyone is enjoying it. But it’s a huge challenge.

“There are a couple of guys that are clearly quicker than everybody else, Will being one of those. I’m trying to figure out where and how to find the lap time. I’m telling you, it’s so different than reality in that way.

“But it’s been fun, man. I’ve enjoyed the challenge. It’s good for the exposure, good because people are paying attention. You can see it on our Instagram. If you look at the clicks or page views in the last seven days, they’ve been doubled since we started to do this stuff. While it’s great for that, it also does help kill a ton of time.”

These are unique times as the world has essential shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As more and more humans are testing positive of the potentially deadly virus, the threat becomes more real.

It has also created a tremendous void as people try to find something to do to pass the long times of isolation.

By giving race fans a few hours of entertainment, even if it is virtual instead of real, then Rahal believes it’s worth it.

“I think a lot of people are just dying for something to do, something to watch,” Rahal said. “The competitiveness in all of us wants to see some sort of sport.

“I know there are other buddies like hockey players that are watching it because they just want to watch something. They need something to do. So, I think that’s a big part of it.

“I think it’s great that NBC Sports is covering it this weekend other than just being online. I think it will be tremendous to see how that turns out.

“This is very realistic. When you see the cars on track, you watch a replay, see the photos, it’s eerily real looking. I did a race at St. Louis last weekend. It was extremely entertaining I think for the drivers that were participating. Other than 400 yellow flags, which happened early in the race, it was really, really entertaining to be a part of. People who watched that race would have loved the show that they had been seeing. I think there’s a lot of realism to it.

“I think it’s also people just want something right now. The desire and the demand is there to log in or tune in and see something competitive on TV.”

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500