IndyCar: Another Lone Star turn Saturday night for Colton Herta?

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NTT IndyCar Series driver and California native Colton Herta has been right at home in Texas.

Two of the most impressive performances from his 2019 rookie season came in the Lone Star State. In March, he became the youngest race winner in Indy-car history at Circuit of the Americas in Austin.

Then, a few months later at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, he made jaws drop with exceptional passes before a late battle with Scott Dixon ended with both in the wall.

That earned him a lecture from the five-time series champion. But you can argue it was the point where Herta became the fearless face of IndyCar’s thriving youth movement.

As the 2020 season begins Saturday night at TMS, he’s now a full-fledged member of the Andretti Autosport family. He’ll have all the resources he needs to improve in his second year.

But like everybody else, he’ll be knocking the rust off after an extended shutdown because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Doing so at TMS isn’t exactly easing into it.

“I think [Texas] is a very tough place to start,” Herta said during an IndyCar ZOOM teleconference on Wednesday. “Obviously, going from 0 miles an hour for a very long time to 220 [miles per hour] is very difficult.

“But with that being said, I think it’s going to be more about getting all the unknowns out. They covered kind of the COP [center of pressure], the aerodynamics of the car, the weight distribution that the Aeroscreen changes.

“I think it’s actually going to be a very interesting race. I think with these 35-lap stints, it can open for more rubber going down on the track and can open up a second lane possibly and make the track grippier, so we can follow closer and hopefully get more passing in.”

Herta’s shown he’s got the guts to make those passes. Now, he needs to see the checkered flag more often. The run-in with Dixon last June at Texas led to one of his seven DNFs in 2019.

It’s also worth noting that four of those seven DNFs came on ovals, where he admits he’s still “learning a little bit.”

But under the Andretti banner, he’s confident he can shore things up.

“We have good data there,” Herta said. “I think we’ve improved the cars over the off-season in places like Gateway and Iowa, where I think we struggled last year compared to Ganassi and Penske.

“Just taking everything that we learned last year – not from the car but from the driving itself and really just the race prep for me – I think I’ll be very well prepared going into this year on all the ovals.”

In this shortened season where results will have more impact, it could be the difference in Herta fulfilling his stated goal for Year 2 after winning last year’s finale at Laguna Seca: A championship run.

SATURDAY INDYCAR START TIMES AND TV SCHEDULE:

IndyCar practice: 1 p.m., NBC Sports Gold

IndyCar qualifying5 p.m., NBCSN, NBC Sports Gold

Countdown to Green: 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

IndyCar Genesys 3008 p.m., NBC

IndyCar postrace coverage: 10 p.m., NBCSN

Saturday’s Supercross Round 5 in Houston: How to watch, start times, streaming info

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The championship race has tightened up as the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series heads to NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, for Round 5 of the 2023 season.

With his 450 victory in the Anaheim Triple Crown, Chase Sexton has moved within four points of two-time and defending series champion Eli Tomac.

Jason Anderson is coming off a second place in Anaheim after crashing out of the first two rounds while racing in the top five. Ken Roczen earned his first podium last week since the 2022 season opener and the first for Suzuki since Chad Reed at Detroit in 2019.

Here are the pertinent details for watching Round 5 of the 2023 Supercross schedule at NRG Stadium in Houston on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023:


(All times are ET)

BROADCAST/STREAMING SCHEDULE: TV coverage of Round 5 will begin Saturday at 8 p.m. ET streaming on Peacock and will re-air Monday, Feb. 6 at 1 a.m. on CNBC. The Race Day Live show (including qualifying) will begin on Peacock at 2:30 p.m. ET.

NBC Sports will have exclusive live coverage of races, qualifiers and heats for the record 31 events in SuperMotocross. The main events will be presented on Peacock, NBC, USA Network, CNBC, and NBC Sports digital platforms.

Peacock will become the home of the SuperMotocross World Championship series in 2023 with live coverage of all races, qualifying, and heats from January to October. There will be 23 races livestreamed exclusively on Peacock, including a SuperMotocross World Championship Playoff event. The platform also will provide on-demand replays of every race.

ENTRY LISTS: 450 division l 250 division

EVENT SCHEDULE (all times ET):

Here are the start times for Saturday, according to the Monster Energy Supercross schedule from the AMA:

2:05-2:15 p.m.: 250SX Group C Qualifying 1
2:20-2:30 p.m.: 250SX Group B Qualifying 1
2:35-2:45 p.m.: 250SX Group A Qualifying 1
2:50-3 p.m.: 450SX Group A Qualifying 1
3:05-3:15 p.m.: 450SX Group B Qualifying 1
3:20-3:30 p.m.: 450SX Group C Qualifying 1
4:20-4:30 p.m.: 250SX Group C Qualifying 2
4:35-4:45 p.m.: 250SX Group B Qualifying 2
4:50-5 p.m.: 250SX Group A Qualifying 2
5:05-5:15 p.m.: 450SX Group A Qualifying 2
5:20-5:30 p.m.: 450SX Group B Qualifying 2
5:35-5:45 p.m.: 450SX Group C Qualifying 2
8:06 p.m.: 250SX Heat 1
8:20 p.m.: 250SX Heat 2
8:34 p.m.: 450SX Heat 1
8:48 p.m.: 450SX Heat 2
9:22 p.m.: 250SX Last Chance Qualifier
9:33 p.m.: 450SX Last Chance Qualifier
9:53 p.m.: 250SX Main Event
10:27 p.m.: 450SX Main Event

TRACK LAYOUT:

Click here to view the track map

HOW TO WATCH SUPERMOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON IN 2023Full NBC Sports, Peacock schedule

FINAL 2022 STANDINGS: 450 points standings | 250 East points standings250 West points standings


2023 SEASON RECAPS

ROUND 1: Eli Tomac opens title defense with victory

ROUND 2: Oakland postponed by storms

ROUND 3: Tomac holds off Cooper Webb again

ROUND 4: Chase Sexton wins Anaheim Triple Crown


NBC SPORTS’ COVERAGE OF SUPERMOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

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