FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 4th, 2020
NBC SPORTS COMMENTATORS PREVIEW 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES OPENER AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY SATURDAY IN PRIMETIME ON NBC
NTT INDYCAR Series Genesys 300 – Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC;
First INDYCAR Race to be Shown in Primetime on NBC
“This race will be a unique opportunity for our group to tell stories coming in the midst of COVID-19 and the protests and all that the country is facing.” – NBC Sports Executive Producer Sam Flood
“We’re going to come at this broadcast with Indy 500-like energy and enthusiasm – that underscores how seriously we’re taking it.” – Leigh Diffey
“We’re going to see the furious speed that INDYCAR demonstrates on probably one of its most exciting tracks.” – Townsend Bell
Pre-Race Coverage Begins at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN
STAMFORD, Conn. – June 4, 2020 – The 2020 NTT INDYCAR Series opens its season in primetime this Saturday, June 6, at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, with live coverage of the Genesys 300 from Texas Motor Speedway.
Saturday night’s race will be the first INDYCAR race shown in primetime on NBC and the first INDYCAR race on broadcast television in primetime since 2013. Pre-race coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
Yesterday, NBC Sports’ lead INDYCAR broadcast team of Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell, and Paul Tracy, pit reporters Marty Snider and Kelli Stavast, and executive producer Sam Flood previewed Saturday’s race on a media conference call.
Following are excerpts from the call. Click here for a full transcript.
Flood on impact of protests and COVID-19 on Saturday’s broadcast: “It’s obviously a unique time in the history of our country between COVID-19, the world being shut down and everyone sheltering in place and staying away from each other with social distancing, to the protests that have consumed our cities and a lot of our country right now for obvious reasons…This race will be a unique opportunity for our group to tell stories coming in the midst of COVID-19 and the protests and all that the country is facing.”
Diffey on impact of Saturday’s race: “We’re going to come at this broadcast with Indy 500-like energy and enthusiasm, and with that being said, that underscores how seriously we’re taking it, and like Sam said, this event merits being on NBC primetime, and that time slot on NBC works hand-in-hand with this race. We know what kind of race and event Texas Motor Speedway provides, and therefore it’s a natural fit, and it’s going to be exciting.”
Tracy on difficulty of racing at Texas Motor Speedway: “The first 85 percent of this race you’ve got to race the racetrack, and it’s going to be changing constantly. It’s going to be rubbering up, it’s going to be hot when it starts, and it’s going to be constantly cooling down to the end of the race. This race typically changes dramatically from when we start when it’s hot and sunny, to when it finishes in the dark and the temperature has dropped about 25 degrees.”
Snider on having season open at Texas Motor Speedway: “Texas is always an action-packed race. It is one of the best races of the year. That’s what has me excited and fired up. You have the element of the rookies who are going to be jumping in – their first race at Texas is just insane to think about. And even the veterans, and they haven’t been in the car…in eight months, and it’s just going to be unbelievable this weekend.”
Bell: “We’re going to see the furious speed that INDYCAR demonstrates on probably one of its most exciting tracks, at Texas, on a Saturday night. Sparks will literally fly, and we’re talking about drivers and teams and, in this case, broadcasters that haven’t seen that kind of intensity since the season ended at Laguna Seca last September. That coupled with the brand new aeroscreen and seeing how that plays out for the first time at night on an oval – that was never the original expectation as we were going to start the season in St. Pete on a street circuit in the daytime.”
Stavast on difference as pit reporter practicing social distancing: “How do we (gather information) when you can’t grab someone on the shoulder and yell into their ear? You can social distance at a golf event and still talk six feet apart, but when you have a green racetrack or a hot racetrack and all the noise that goes along with it, it kind of complicates things…we might be holding up note cards, texting the people that we can text…there’s definitely going to be some nuances that will be unique to this situation, but nothing we can’t overcome.”
Live INDYCAR coverage from Texas begins this Saturday with a practice session at 1 p.m. ET exclusively on NBC Sports Gold’s INDYCAR Pass, which will provide live streaming coverage of all practices, qualifying and on-demand replays for the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series. INDYCAR Pass is available for $54.99. Click here to purchase.
Coverage continues Saturday with Qualifying at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and INDYCAR Pass. Pre-race coverage begins with Countdown to Green at 7:30 p.m. ET, before race coverage shifts to NBC at 8 p.m. ET. The night’s broadcast coverage will conclude with INDYCAR Post-Race on NBCSN at 10 p.m. ET.
Live comprehensive coverage of practice and qualifying from Texas Motor Speedway will stream on NBC Sports Gold’s INDYCAR Pass. Race coverage on NBC streams on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.
Following is Saturday’s INDYCAR coverage from Texas on NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold:
|Sat., June 6||NTT INDYCAR Series Genesys 300 – Practice||NBC Sports Gold||1 p.m.|
|NTT INDYCAR Series Genesys 300 – Qualifying||NBCSN & NBC Sports Gold||5 p.m.|
|Countdown to Green||NBCSN||7:30 p.m.|
|NTT INDYCAR Series Genesys 300||NBC||8 p.m.|
|INDYCAR Post-Race||NBCSN||10 p.m.|
*all coverage on NBC and NBCSN streams on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app
The Genesys 300 will be the first race of the 2020 NTT INDYCAR Series campaign as the series gets #BackOnTrack. This kicks off NBC Sports’ second season as the exclusive home of the NTT INDYCAR Series, including the Indianapolis 500, which will now take place on Sunday, August 23 on NBC. The remainder of the 2020 television schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.