Thursday, June 7th, 2012


“I'm a huge fan of night racing, which seems to make the cars pop off the screen with an incredible sense of speed.” – NBC Sports Network analyst Jon Beekhuis IndyCar 36 to profile Helio Castroneves on Friday, June 8 at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network

NEW YORK—June 7, 2012— TheNBC Sports Network continues its IndyCar coverage this weekend in primetime with the Firestone 550 on Saturday, June 9 at 8 p.m. ET, live from Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. NBC Sports Network surrounds the race with IndyCar Qualifying coverage on Fri., June 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET, followed by a new episode of the all-access series, IndyCar 36, featuring three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves, at 8:30 p.m. ET.  Additionally, the network will air last weekend’s Indy Lights race from Detroit today at 5 p.m. ET.


NBC SPORTS NETWORK’S FIRESTONE 550 COVERAGE (subject to change, all times ET):


DATE                         COVERAGE                                                            TIME

Thurs., June 7              Indy Lights (Detroit)                                      5 p.m. ET

Fri., June 8                  IndyCar Qualifying                                        7:30 p.m. ET

Fri., June 8                  IndyCar 36 (Helio Castroneves)                     8:30 p.m. ET

Sat., June 9                  Firestone 550                                                  8 p.m. ET


COMMENTATORS: Bob Jenkins (lead race announcer), Jon Beekhuis (analyst) and Tommy Kendall (analyst) will call all the qualifying coverage. Additionally, Kevin Lee, Robin Miller and Townsend Bell will serve as pit reporters calling all the race action.


BEEKHUIS ON THE RACE: “Texas Motor Speedway in a word…wild. I’m a huge fan of night racing, which seems to make the cars pop off the screen with an incredible sense of speed. With 24 degrees of banking, the track is so fast. The challenge has always been to keep those speeds in check.  IndyCar has been working hard on a chassis configuration to reduce ‘pack racing.’ The goal is to ‘unstick’ the cars and actually make them more difficult to drive, which should make for quite a race.”


INDYCAR 36: Helio Castroneves will be profiled for the first time during this week’s episode of IndyCar 36, NBC Sports Network’s all-access 36 series, on Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET. Castroneves is one of the sport’s most notable drivers as well as a three-time Indy 500 winner.


The NBC Sports Network original series is produced by IMS Productions and gives viewers an all-access pass into the life of a world-class driver in the middle of race season. The cameras will follow a driver for 36 hours during a race weekend providing a behind-the-scenes look at the on- and off-track activities of the stars of the IndyCar Series. The all-access 36 also includes NHL 36 and Fight Night 36 that currently air on NBC Sports Network.


FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS: NBC Sports Network will air a total of 12 one-hour telecasts of Firestone Indy Lights continuing Thurs., June 7 at 5 p.m. ET, with coverage from last week’s race in Detroit, Mich. Firestone Indy Lights is the premier ladder series for drivers and teams striving to compete in the IZOD IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500. Primarily run in conjunction with the IZOD IndyCar Series, the Firestone Indy Lights schedule features races on road courses/street circuits and ovals, including the famed 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway.


NBC SPORTS NETWORK’S 2012 IZOD INDYCAR SERIES SCHEDULE (subject to change, all times ET):


DATE                         RACE                                                            LOCATION                          TIME

June 23                        Iowa Corn Indy 250                           Newton, Iowa                         8 p.m.

July 22                         Edmonton Indy                                  Edmonton, Alberta, Canada   2 p.m.

August 18                   Streets of Qingdao                              Qingdao, China                       12 a.m.

August 26                   Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma               Sonoma, Calif.                        4 p.m.

September 2                Baltimore Grand Prix                          Baltimore, Md.                        2 p.m.

September 15              Auto Club Speedway                         Fontana, Calif.                                    8 p.m.