IndyCar at Barber preview: How to watch, start times, TV info, schedules and streaming

IndyCar Barber start times
Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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IndyCar Barber start times: A memorable start to the 2022 season could carry even more meaning (and a significant amount of cash) for Josef Newgarden this Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, NBC).

After consecutive victories at Texas Motor Speedway and Long Beach (his first win in the crown jewel street course), Newgarden can clinch the PeopleReady Force For Good Challenge’s $1 million prize by winning Sunday in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

The Team Penske driver (who also became a new father last week) already is a three-time winner at Barber, and a fourth would earn him a $500,000 bonus and matching $500,000 donation to his charities (Wags and Walk Nashville and SeriousFun Children’s Network).

NEW FORMAT: Indy 500 pole qualifying overhauled

The award was posted for the first driver to win on the three types of IndyCar circuits (oval, street course, road course), and Newgarden can accomplish the feat in the fourth race of the season.

“That would be cool,” the two-time series champion said after his Long Beach win, adding that he values his versatility. “It makes me feel like a real IndyCar driver, to be honest with you. I think that’s what makes our sport great. We talk about it a lot, but it’s the truth. The thing that sets IndyCar apart is the diversity of the racing. We love having the best of the best from around the world and having to compete on all types of tracks and having to master all disciplines. If you can’t master all disciplines, then it’s so difficult to be successful in this sport.

2022 Acura Grand Prix Of Long Beach
Josef Newgarden has won the past two NTT IndyCar Series races (Greg Doherty/Getty Images).

“I just love that IndyCar drivers have to be good at all those skillsets, so when we’re able to do that, it gives me a lot of satisfaction.”

So does the 17-turn, 2.3-mile road course east of Birmingham. Barber is known as the most physically demanding track in IndyCar, which is a good fit for the No. 2 Dallara-Chevrolet driver.

 “I love the high-speed nature of Barber,” Newgarden said. “It’s a lot of high-speed commitment from a lot of the corners, which makes it a lot of fun to drive. It suits my style, for sure. It’s all about flow and carrying big speed and putting the car on the edge. That’s what I like most about it.

“It’ll be fascinating to see how we go on a permanent road course. I think we’ve proven we can have a good street-course car and a good oval car, but we need to have a good road-course car to complete the set. So I’m really looking forward to it.”

Newgarden will hope to avoid his start to last year’s race when he crashed on the opening lap (and also took out Colton Herta and Ryan Hunter-Reay).

Alex Palou scored his first career IndyCar victory on his way to the 2021 championship as the season opened at Barber because of the pandemic.

Rinus VeeKay qualified first for Sunday’s race, his second career pole position in IndyCar.

Here are the details and IndyCar start times for the 2022 Honda Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber race weekend (all times are ET):


GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA AT BARBER INDYCAR START TIMES

TV: Sunday, 1 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. Marty Snider, Kevin Lee and Dillon Welch 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: 1:08 p.m. ET

GREEN FLAG: 1:15 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, 4 p.m. (Peacock Premium); Saturday, 10 a.m. (Peacock Premium), 5:20 p.m. (Peacock Premium)

QUALIFYING: Saturday, 1 p.m. (Peacock Premium)

RACE DISTANCE: The race is 90 laps (207 miles) on a 17-turn, 2.3-mile road course in Leeds, Alabama.

TIRE ALLOTMENT: Six sets primary, four sets alternate, one additional set available for rookies to use in 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 75 degrees with a 35% chance of rain at the green flag.

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

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the results after qualifying Saturday

INDY LIGHTS RACE: Sunday, 11 a.m., 35 laps/55 minutes (Peacock Premium)

INDY LIGHTS ENTRY LIST: Click here for the 14 drivers entered


GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA AT BARBER WEEKEND START TIMES

(All times are Eastern)

Friday, April 29

9-9:30 a.m.: Radical Cup practice

9:45-10:15 a.m.: Indy Pro 2000 practice

10:30-11:15 a.m.: USF Juniors race

11:30 a.m.-noon: Radical Cup qualifying

12:15-12:45 p.m.: Indy Pro 2000 qualifying

1-1:30 p.m.: USF2000 practice

1:45-2:30 p.m.: Radical Cup Race

2:45-3:30 p.m.: Indy Lights practice

4-5 p.m.: NTT IndyCar Series practice (Peacock Premium)

5:15-5:45 p.m.: USF2000 qualifying

Saturday, April 30

9-9:45 a.m.: Radical Cup race

10-11 a.m.: NTT IndyCar Series practice (Peacock Premium)

11:15-11:45 a.m.: USF2000 qualifying

Noon-12:30 p.m.: Indy Lights practice

1-2:15 p.m.: NTT IndyCar Series qualifying (Peacock Premium)

2:30-3:20 p.m.: Indy Pro 2000 Race 1

3:35-4:05 p.m.: Indy Lights qualifying

4:20-5:05 p.m.: USF2000 Race 1

5:20-5:50 p.m.: IndyCar final practice (Peacock Premium)

6:05-6:50 p.m.: Radical Cup race

Sunday, May 1

10-10:40 a.m.: USF2000 Race 2

11-11:55 a.m.: Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Alabama (Peacock Premium)

1:08 p.m. – Command to start engines for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

1:15 p.m. – Green flag for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park (90 laps/207 miles), NBC and Peacock Premium (live)

3:30-4:20 p.m.: Indy Pro 2000 Race 2


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

ROUND 3: Josef Newgarden keeps Penske unbeaten in 2022 with first Long Beach win

Indy 500 pole qualifying overhauled for 2022

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

For purchasing tickets to the Indy 500, click here to reserve a seat.

SuperMotocross: Ken Roczen urgently needed change

Roczen change
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media
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Change can be frightening, but it is often exhilarating and Ken Roczen, a rider in his ninth season on a 450 bike, it was urgently needed.

Roczen ended the 2022 Supercross season with his worst performance in five years. After finishing outside of the top five in seven of his last eight rounds in the stadium series, well down the points’ standings in ninth, he decided to put that season on hold.

How it ended was in stark contrast to how it began. Roczen’s 2022 season got off to the best possible start. He won the Supercross opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California by more than seven seconds over the 2021 champion Cooper Webb.

That would be his last podium and he scored only one more top-five in the Glendale, Arizona Triple Crown.

MORE: Ken Roczen sweeps top five in Anaheim 2 Triple Crown

Before 2022, Roczen was a regular challenger for the championship despite being plagued by major accidents that required surgery in 2017 and 2018. On his return, he was diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus, which presents with symptoms of heavy fatigue, muscle weakness and loss of appetite and last year he tested positive for COVID-19.

Against those odds, he finished second in the outdoor season in 2019 and third in 2020. In the Supercross series, he finished third in 2020 and second in 2021.

But the abbreviated season of 2022 signaled a need for change for Roczen.

“I needed the change urgently,” Roczen said in last week’s post-race press conference at Angel Stadium. “I did a pretty big change in general.”

Those comments came three races into the 2023 with him sitting among the top three finishers for the first time in 10 Supercross rounds. It was the 57th podium of his career, only six behind 10th-place Ryan Villopoto. It was also the first for Suzuki since 2019 when Chad Reed gave them one in Detroit 63 rounds ago.

Taking time off at the end of the Supercross season had the needed effect. He rejoined SuperMotocross in the outdoor season and immediately stood on the podium at Fox Raceway in Pala, California. Two rounds later, he won at Thunder Valley in Lakewood, Colorado. The relief was short lived and he would not stand on the podium again until this year.

Roczen Motocross Round 3
Ken Roczen won Round 3 of the outdoor season in 2022 at Thunder Valley after finished second in Moto 1 and first in Moto 2. Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

Winds of Change

Roczen’s offseason was dramatic. Citing differences over his announcement to compete in the World Supercross Championship, he split with Honda HRC and declared himself a free agent. It wasn’t a difficult decision; Roczen was signed only for the Supercross season.

That change had the desired effect. Roczen won the WSX championship in their two-race, pilot season. More importantly, he proved to himself that he could compete for wins.

Late in the offseason, Roczen announced he would also change manufacturers with a move to HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki. He won the 2016 Pro Motocross title for Suzuki with nine wins in 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second. He easily outran the competition with an advantage of 86 points over second-place Eli Tomac.

“I just think change overall made it happen – and these overseas races – it’s really just a snowball,” Roczen said. “You start somewhere and you feel like something works out and I got better and had more fun doing it. Working with the team as well and working on the motorcycle to get better and actually see it paying off. It’s just, it’s just a big boost in general.”

The return to Suzuki at this stage of his career, after nearly a decade of competing on 450 motorcycles, recharged Roczen. He is one of three riders, (along with Cooper Webb and his former Honda teammate Chase Sexton), with a sweep of the top five in the first three rounds of the 2023 Supercross season.

But last week’s podium really drove home how strong he’s been.

“I think we’re all trying to take it all in,” Roczen said. “I wouldn’t say it came out of nowhere really, but before the season starts you think about – or I thought of how my whole last season went – and it’s been a long time since I’ve been on the podium.”

Roczen’s most recent podium prior to Anaheim 2 came at Budds Creek Motocross Park in Mechanicsville, Maryland last August in Round 10 of the outdoor season. His last podium in Supercross was the 2022 season opener that raised expectations so high.

Supercross Round 1 results
Ken Roczen raised expectations with his season opening win at Anaheim but did not stand on the box again in the Supercross series. Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

The change Roczen needed was not just a different team and bike. More importantly, he needed the freedom to set his own schedule and control his training schedule.

“It’s long days, but I’m really into it at the moment,” Roczen said. “Overall, I felt [that] throughout this off season and now my health has been really well, really good, so that helps. It’s needed to get to the top. I’m pretty confident that we’re, we’re doing the right thing – that I’m doing the right thing.

“I’m doing all my training on my own and I’m planning out my entire week. And I feel like I have a really good system going right now with recovery and putting in some hard days. Right now, I don’t really have anybody telling me what to do. I’m the best judge of that.

“It’s really hard to talk about how much work we’ve put in, but we’ve been doing some big changes and riding a lot throughout the week, some really, really late days. And they’re paying off right now; we’re heading in the right direction. We’re all pulling on the same string, and that helps me out big time.”