The 105th Indy 500 is more than 50 days away, but the NTT IndyCar Series will offer a major preview of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing on Peacock when 32 drivers test Thursday and Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The test will be broadcast live on the Peacock streaming service from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET Friday.
The two-day session will feature a nearly full complement of teams for the 33-car field, which will have a healthy mix of veterans and youth. There are nine Indianapolis 500 winners at the test representing 13 victories: Defending winner Takuma Sato (who also won in 2017); Helio Castroneves (2001, ’02, ’09), Juan Pablo Montoya (’00, ’15), Simon Pagenaud (’19), Will Power (’18), Alexander Rossi (’16), Ryan Hunter-Reay (’14), Tony Kanaan (’13) and Scott Dixon (’08).
INDYCAR BROADCAST SCHEDULE: NBC Sports channels, times during the 2021 season
After a three-year absence from Indy, Montoya will return in the No. 86 Dallara-Chevrolet for Arrow McLaren SP as the Colombian attempts to win for the third time at Indy with three teams. After a 20-year run with Team Penske, Castroneves also moves to a new team and manufacturer in driving a Honda in a partial schedule for Meyer Shank Racing.
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After three seasons with A.J. Foyt Racing, Kanaan also will be driving for a new team in returning to Chip Ganassi Racing to drive the No. 48 Dallara-Honda that Jimmie Johnson will drive this year on road and street courses (but not ovals).
While the seven-time NASCAR Cup champion won’t be on track, Scott McLaughlin, another heralded 2021 rookie, will be turning laps in a Dallara-Chevrolet for Team Penske as the three-time Supercars champion makes a transition to the IndyCar Series.
Simona De Silvestro, driving for new team Paretta Autosport, also will return to test after making five Indy 500 starts from 2010-15.
Other rookie drivers include NASCAR driver Cody Ware, who also tested at Texas Motor Speedway last week, and Pietro Fittipaldi, the veteran of Formula One and sports cars who will attempt to join his two-time Indy 500 winning grandfather, Emerson, as a starter at the Brickyard.
Here are the details for the Indy 500 test (all times are ET):
SCHEDULE: Thursday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (veterans 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Rookie Orientation Program and Refresher 1-3 p.m.; open test 4-6 p.m.). Friday 10-4 p.m.
TV: All 13 hours of on-track action will be covered by NBC Sports on Peacock, which will become the new streaming home for IndyCar this season. The test will mark the start of more than 120 total hours on Peacock Premium, including live coverage of practice and qualifying sessions, Indy Lights races, race-day warmups and full-event replays. (For more information about IndyCar on Peacock, click here.)
Thursday’s NBC Sports broadcast will include play-by-play announcer Leigh Diffey and analyst Townsend Bell with Marty Snider and Kevin Lee reporting from the pits. Lee will move to play by play Friday.
ENTRY LIST: Here are the driver-team combinations entered in the test:
A.J. Foyt Racing: Sebastien Bourdais*, Dalton Kellett*
Andretti Autosport: Colton Herta, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi
Andretti Herta-Haupert Autosport w/ Marco Andretti & Curb-Agajanian: Marco Andretti
Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport: James Hinchcliffe*
Arrow McLaren SP: Juan Pablo Montoya*, Pato O’Ward, Felix Rosenqvist
Carlin: Max Chilton*
Chip Ganassi Racing: Scott Dixon, Marcus Ericsson, Tony Kanaan, Alex Palou
Dale Coyne Racing: Cody Ware^
Dale Coyne Racing with RWR: Pietro Fittipaldi^
Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan: Ed Jones*
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: Sage Karam*
Ed Carpenter Racing: Ed Carpenter, Conor Daly, Rinus VeeKay
Meyer Shank Racing: Helio Castroneves*, Jack Harvey
Paretta Autosport: Simona De Silvestro*
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: Santino Ferrucci, Graham Rahal, Takuma Sato
Team Penske: Josef Newgarden, Scott McLaughlin, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power
* — Required to complete Refresher Test
^ — Required to complete Rookie Orientation Program
INDY 500 INFORMATION: Practice will begin May 18 for the 105th Indy 500, and qualifying will be held May 22-23 with more than 33
The Indy 500 will be televised on NBC at 11 a.m. on May 30.