IndyCar at Long Beach preview: How to watch, start times, TV, schedules, streaming

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IndyCar Long Beach start times: It’s been barely six months since the last Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, but IndyCar drivers hardly can wait to return to the Southern California street race this weekend.

After crowning Alex Palou as champion in the 2021 finale last September, Long Beach’s marquee event will return to its traditional springtime date for the first time in three years — reclaiming its mantle as a premier early season stop on the schedule.

“Long Beach is a huge race weekend for us,” said Graham Rahal, whose wife, Courtney, is from nearby Orange County. “Outside of the Indy 500, it’s likely the second largest race of the entire season. Lot of history, always a beautiful place to race, and IndyCar racing and the Long Beach Grand Prix is a huge part of the fabric of Southern California and particularly that city to get it back on track.

“We’re excited to go. It’s become a second home race for me with my wife being from 20 minutes down the road. Lot of family, lot of friends (will attend).”

It’s special as well for Jimmie Johnson, who attended the race often as a kid and had key meetings that helped launch his racing career.

“I’m so excited to get back,” said the El Cajon, California, native, who had an entourage of 80 on hand to watch his 17th in last year’s race. “I had a great experience in the fall, a great run and one of my more competitive races. Hopeful that my progression allows me to qualify higher and run higher in the the race.”

Colton Herta, another Southern California native (from Valencia), is the defending winner at Long Beach, will play host to its 38th IndyCar race.

“It’s always the race that I look forward to the most outside of running the Indy 500,” Herta said. “Long Beach is the race I grew up coming to; it sparked my love for IndyCar racing. Last year I was lucky enough to win, which was just a dream come true. We want to replicate that performance. I think our street course cars were on point at St. Pete and hopefully, that continues this weekend.”

Andretti Autosport teammate Alexander Rossi, who hails from northern California in Nevada City, won at Long Beach in 2018-19.

“I’m super stoked to get to Long Beach this weekend,” said Rossi, who will be making his 100th start in the NTT IndyCar Series. “It is, without a doubt, one of my favorite races as it is always nice to be able to race in front of a home crowd. The support that we have there each year is crazy, and it will certainly be pushing us forward to have a great weekend.”

Here are the details and IndyCar start times for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach race weekend (all times are ET):


ACURA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH INDYCAR START TIMES

TV: Sunday, 3 p.m. ET on NBC and streaming on Peacock, the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com. Leigh Diffey is the announcer with analysts Townsend Bell and James Hinchcliffe. Dave Burns, Marty Snider and Kevin Lee are the pit reporters. Click here for the full NBC Sports schedule for IndyCar in 2022.

Peacock also will be the streaming broadcast for both practices and qualifying.

COMMAND TO START ENGINES: 3:38 p.m. ET

GREEN FLAG: 3:45 p.m. ET

POSTRACE SHOW ON PEACOCK: After the race’s conclusion, an exclusive postrace show will air on Peacock with driver interviews, postrace analysis and the podium presentation. To watch the extended postrace show, click over to the special stream on Peacock after Sunday’s race ends.

Peacock also will be the streaming broadcast for both practices and qualifying Saturday. The race also will be streamed on Peacock (in addition to the NBC Sports App/NBCSports.com streams and the NBC broadcast).

PRACTICE: Friday, 6:15 p.m. (Peacock Premium); Saturday, 11:45 a.m. (Peacock Premium); Sunday, noon (Peacock Premium)

PRACTICE SPEEDS: Session I l Session II l Race-day warmup l Combined

QUALIFYING: Saturday, 3:05 p.m. (Peacock Premium)

RACE DISTANCE: The race is 85 laps (167.28 miles) on a 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street course in Long Beach, California.

TIRE ALLOTMENT: Six sets primary, four sets alternate. Rookie drivers are allowed one extra primary set for the first practice.

PUSH TO PASS: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation. The push-to-pass is not available on the initial start or any restart unless it occurs in the final two laps or three minutes of a timed race. The feature increases the power of the engine by approximately 60 horsepower.

FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 68 degrees with a 1% chance of rain at the green flag.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here to see how the field will lineup for the green flag

ENTRY LIST: Click here to view the 26 drivers racing Sunday at Long Beach


ACURA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH WEEKEND START TIMES

(All times are Eastern)

Friday, April 8

10:45-11:25 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup practice

12:15-1:15 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

1:30-1:50 p.m.: Historic IMSA GTP Challenge (GTP) practice

2:05-2:35 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup practice

3:40-4 p.m.: Stadium Super Trucks practice

4:15-6 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

6:15-7:15 p.m.: NTT IndyCar Series practice (Peacock Premium)

7:30-8 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup qualifying

8:10-8:55 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying

9:30-9:50 p.m.: Super Drift Challenge practice

10-11:30 p.m.: Formula D Super Drift Challenge, Race 1

Saturday, April 9

11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.: NTT IndyCar Series practice (Peacock Premium)

12:55-1:15 p.m.: Historic IMSA GTP Challenge qualifying

1:45-2:25 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup, Race 1

3:05-4:20 p.m.: NTT IndyCar Series qualifying (Peacock Premium)

5-7 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race (USA, Peacock)

7:30-8 p.m.: Stadium Super Trucks, Race 1

8:15-8:35 p.m.: Historic IMSA GTP Challenge, Race 1

9-9:20 p.m.: Super Drift Challenge practice

9:30-11 p.m.: Formula D Super Drift Challenge, Race 2

Sunday, April 10

Noon: IndyCar warmup (Peacock Premium)

3 p.m.: Driver introductions

3:38 p.m. – Command to start engines

3:45 p.m. – Green flag for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach (85 laps/167.28 miles), NBC and Peacock Premium (live)


COVERAGE ON NBCSPORTS.COM

ROUND 1: Scott McLaughlin opens season with breakthrough victory at St. Petersburg

ROUND 2: Josef Newgarden nips McLaughlin in last corner for 1-2 Penske finish at Texas

Can Jimmie Johnson win the Indy 500? “Why not? Let’s dream big.”

Viewer’s guide to the 2022 season

Romain Grosjean’s shift to Andretti highlights driver moves in 2022

Meet the diverse 2022 rookie class

Ovals should come naturally for Jimmie Johnson

“Big Three” will face stiffer competition for championship

Alexander Rossi says fast start is key for contract year

HOW TO WATCH INDYCAR IN 2022Full NBC Sports schedule

Lessons learned in three rounds of Extreme E pay huge dividends in the Copper X Prix for Tanner Foust

Foust Copper X Prix
McLaren Racing
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To paraphrase the Grateful Dead, what a long, unique trip it’s been for Tanner Foust in his first season with the Extreme E series as he took his early season lessons to Chile to compete in the Copper X Prix. And he’s learned his lessons well.

In February, McLaren announced they would expand their motorsports program with an Extreme E entry. They signed two talented rally drivers in Foust and Emma Gilmour – and paired them for the opening round in Neom, Saudi Arabia with just a few days of testing under their belts. Baked by the Arabian desert sun, it was trial by fire.

The duo performed well in their debut, advancing into the final round and finishing fifth. As Extreme E headed to another desert halfway across the globe for Round 4, it was a good time to catch up with Foust and ask about McLaren’s progress. The Copper X Prix was held this past weekend in one of the most extreme regions in the world: the Atacama Desert.

MORE: McLaren considering Kyle Busch for Indy 500

“The shock going into the first race was the speed,” Foust told NBC Sports. “It was much higher than we had tested. We spent a lot of time around 100 miles per hour [in race trim] and our testing speeds were more in the 60 to 70-mile range. Then, once we sort of got around that, the car got updated so you can drive it even faster.”

In rally racing, some incidents are out of a driver’s control. Even peeking around another car can be dangerous because of potholes that have recently been gouged in the ground or large bushes that seem to sprout up between laps. A couple of rollovers brought Foust back to earth – but the pace was there and that was important.

“We had some challenges this season,” Foust said prior to the Copper X Prix. “We had a good start; made the final, which is a difficult thing to do in this series. I had two rolls in the first three events, but I have improved each time. Now we come into Round 4 in Chile in a pretty strong position. We have competitive times as a team. We are communicating really well and have our heads around this Odyssey vehicle.”

Foust’s words proved to be prophetic.

He won the Crazy Race – Extreme E’s version of a Last Chance Qualifier – and did so after passing the field. It was the same manner in which he qualified for Saudi Arabia’s finale, but this time things would be better. There were those hard-earned lessons on which to lean – and Foust had reps under his belt. He was not going to be caught off guard by any random obstacles.

Tanner Foust passed Sebastien Loeb heading to the Switch Zone in the Copper X Prix. (Photo by Sam Bagnall / LAT Images)

In the Copper X Prix finale, he pressured one of the best rally drivers in the history of the sport.

Pitching sideways through a tight left-hander late in his stint, Foust put his McLaren Extreme E Odyssey at the head of the pack in front of Sebastien Loeb as they headed to the Switch Zone. There, he would turn the car over to his co-driver Gilmour.

The Extreme E series pairs male and female drivers with both taking a turn behind the wheel.

After the driver change, Gilmour lost the lead momentarily to Loeb’s teammate Cristina Gutierrez, but as they charged toward the finish line, she surged ahead and crossed under the checkers first.

“What an improvement for the team over this year,” Foust said after the race. “We have struggled through some of the events, being in our first year in competition. We showed true pace this weekend; overtaking Sebastien Loeb was a highlight.

“Emma put in a great run in the Final. I was fortunate to go from last to first in the Crazy Race and then first in the Final but with some flag penalties, we had 20 seconds added to our time, which put us into fifth. It was a great feeling crossing the line first, I love this wide style track and the NEOM McLaren Odyssey was fantastic here.

“Hopefully we can continue that momentum into Uruguay.”

Loeb and Gutierrez were elevated to the top of the podium, but no one can take away the feeling of crossing under the checkers first.


Racing Responsibly

Since cars were first invented, racing has played a socially responsible role by improving safety. As Earth reaches a tipping point with climate change, racing needs to adapt to these new needs and requirements, which is where Extreme E’s unique strategy becomes increasingly important.

The Extreme E experience is more than simple racing. Each race is accompanied by a legacy program designed to offset damage done by climate change and to erase the footprint caused by the events.

Foust, a biology major from the University of Colorado, was given the chance to rekindle his interest and give back to the environment ahead of the Copper X Prix.

The Atacama is the oldest desert in the world at 150 million years. It is the driest place on earth and has the highest degree of ultraviolet light. And yet somehow life perseveres through underground rivers with oases dating back to Incan times. Foust participated in preparing a local habitat for the reintroduction of a critically endangered water frog to Chile’s longest river, the Loa, which snakes its way through the desert.

“I’m loving the experience,” Foust said. “I’m putting on a lot of Chapstick, a lot of sunscreen. What a fascinating part of the world. I never would have come here otherwise.

“I honestly am very honored to be a part of this sport. I am a huge believer in the fact that motorsports has done us good in the last 100 years. I think we benefit every single time we put our seatbelts on and drive down the road to the lessons learned in racing since the turn of the century. And I really hope motorsports continues that tradition.

“I think that motorsports like [Extreme E] does it in a responsible way, a gender-neutral way and a carbon-neutral way.”