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

Houston Supercross by the numbers: Five riders begin to gap the field

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Chase Sexton stumbled in San Diego and Eli Tomac had a hard fall in Anaheim 2, but the Monster Energy Supercross numbers for Houston suggest they will continue to be the ones to beat in Houston. To do so, they will have to turn back challenges from another pair of riders who have swept the top five in the first three rounds and another with a worst finish of sixth.

Houston Supercross numbers
Cooper Webb’s ability to close races makes him a Houston favorite. – Feld Motor Sports

Despite an accident in his heat in San Diego that sent him to the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ), Sexton recovered to score a top-five that weekend. His podium finish in Anaheim 1 and overall win last week in Anaheim 2 makes him one of the three riders with a perfect top-five record. He is joined by Cooper Webb, who finished second in the first two rounds and fourth last week, and Ken Roczen, whose consistency in the first three races contributed to him grabbing the top spot in this week’s NBC Supercross Power Rankings.

There are reasons to believe Webb and Roczen can keep those streaks alive.

Webb is the only multiple winner at Supercross’ current Houston stadium. His pair of wins came in 2019 and 2021, the same year he won his two 450 championships.

Clinton Fowler points out this week, that Webb has carried that strength into 2023. Webb had a late surge in Anaheim 1, advancing from fifth to second in the final six laps. In San Diego, he set his ninth fastest lap with two to go and his eighth fastest on the final lap. He posted his fastest lap of Anaheim 2 on Lap 12 while the rest of the field did so on Lap 6 on average.

By comparison, Tomac set his 14th fastest lap on the final circuit in route to winning the Main at San Diego while he was trying to keep Webb at bay.

With a sixth at San Diego, Dylan Ferrandis barely missed sweeping the top five in his first three races as did Tomac with a sixth last week at Anaheim 2.

This will be the 46th year Supercross has visited Houston and with 55 races the city is tied for the second-most with Detroit.

Jim Pomeroy won the first race in the Astrodome during the inaugural season of 1974 on a 250, which was the premiere class at the time. Houston was one of three races held that year along with events at Daytona International Speedway and the Los Angeles Coliseum. All three venues return in 2023 with the first SuperMotocross championship finale returning to the famed LA Coliseum in September.

Webb won most recently in 2021 in the final race of three held there that year as the series executed a strategy of racing in residencies to limit travel during height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tomac and Justin Barcia also won in Houston in 2021.

Two privateers have started the season on a high note.

Joshua Cartwright and Joshua Varize have each made the last two Mains. Cartwright finished 18th in San Diego and 21st last week in Anaheim 2 – all while working fulltime as a Business Intelligence Analyst at the University of Texas, Dallas. Varize earned a top-15 (12th) in San Diego and was 21st in Anaheim 2 in his third season on a 450.

Michael Mosiman scored his first 250 win last year in San Diego. – Feld Motor Sports

The numbers show none of the active 250 Supercross East riders have won in Houston, so no matter who steps on top of the box, there is going to be a fresh face. That is not surprising since most of the top competitors have not raced at this venue yet.

Michael Mosiman has a pair of top-fives there, however. His best finish was a second in the second 2021 race. Garrett Marchbanks scored a top-10 in his rookie season of 2019 in Houston.

In the 250 East division, Hunter Lawrence is one of the favorites to win the title now that Christian Craig has moved to 450s. Last year he had four wins and nine podiums, but failed to set a fast lap in a race.

The other 250 riders with 2022 wins this week are Mosiman, who earned his first Supercross win last year in San Diego, and Nate Thrasher, who became the fifth new class winner at Daytona.

Jeremy Martin will attempt to extend a record this week in Houston. His division leading SuperMotocross podiums number 65. He has 26 wins in the combined sessions, which ranks fourth all time.

Last Five Houston Winners

450s
2022, no race
2021, Race 3: Cooper Webb
2021, Race 2: Eli Tomac
2021, Race 1: Justin Barcia
2020, no race
2019, Cooper Webb
2018, Jason Anderson

250s
2022, no race
2021, Race 3: Colt Nichols
2021, Race 2: Jett Lawrence
2021, Race 1: Christian Craig
2020, no race
2019, Dylan Ferrandis
2018, Aaron Plessinger

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

More SuperMotocross coverage

Supercross unveils 16th edition of a Ricky Carmichael designed Daytona track
Power Rankings after week 3
Malcom Stewart out for “extended duration” after knee surgery
Haiden Deegan makes Supercross debut in Houston, Justin Cooper to 450s
Talon Hawkins set to relieve injured Jalek Swoll in Houston
Jalek Swoll out for an indefinite period with broken arm
Ken Roczen urgently needed a change
Chris Blose joins Pro Circuit Kawasaki in 250 East opener
Seth Hammaker to miss Houston with wrist injury
Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list
Injury sidelines Austin Forkner for remainder of 2023 SX
Chase Sexton wins Anaheim 2 in 450s; Levi Kitchen takes 250s
Results and points from Anaheim 2