FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 27th, 2021
LEIGH DIFFEY, TOWNSEND BELL, PAUL TRACY AND SAM FLOOD PREVIEW 105TH RUNNING OF THE INDIANAPOLIS 500 ON NBC
“To get the sports world looking full with folks in the stands celebrating this great American tradition on Memorial Day weekend, we couldn’t be prouder to bring that to America.” – Sam Flood on this Year’s Indianapolis 500
“We get this unbelievable gift of calling the biggest race in the world when the championship and the series is arguably at its strongest point.” – Leigh Diffey
“It’s a juggling act. It’s a three-hour, five-balls-in-the-air juggling act to win.” – Paul Tracy on the Uniqueness of the Indy 500
105th Indianapolis 500 Presented by Gainbridge – Sunday at 11 a.m. ET on NBC; Pre-Race Coverage of “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” Begins at 9 a.m. ET on NBCSN
STAMFORD, Conn. – May 27, 2021 – NBC Sports’ lead INDYCAR commentary team of Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell, and Paul Tracy, as well as executive producer Sam Flood, previewed this Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 on a media conference call yesterday afternoon.
NBC Sports presents the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Presented by Gainbridge from Indianapolis Motor Speedway this Sunday, May 30, at 11 a.m. ET on NBC. Six-time INDYCAR champion and 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon won the pole position and will lead the field to the green flag for this year’s Indy 500. Race day coverage begins at 9 a.m. ET on NBCSN.
Following are excerpts from the call. Click here for a full transcript.
Sam Flood on this year’s edition of the Indianapolis 500: “We’re really excited to be covering this spectacle, the biggest crowd we’ve had in this country since COVID started, probably the biggest crowd ever assembled since the COVID crisis got going. To get the sports world looking full with folks in the stands celebrating this great American tradition on Memorial Day weekend, we couldn’t be prouder to bring that to America.”
Leigh Diffey: “I’m more excited and looking forward to this one perhaps even more so than our maiden one in 2019. We’re back on Memorial Day weekend. The fans are back. We get this unbelievable gift of calling the biggest race in the world when the championship and the series is arguably at its strongest point.”
Paul Tracy on the uniqueness of the Indy 500: “It’s a juggling act. It’s a three-hour, five-balls-in-the-air juggling act to win.”
Townsend Bell: “We have to remember this is the only race in the world in terms of the top level where you’re going to grid three-wide, 11 rows deep, fire it off into Turn One at these incredible speeds.”
Tracy on Qualifying Weekend: “We truly last weekend had a treat of seeing the fastest field ever assembled…It just shows now how competitive this field has become and how important it is to have every I dotted and every T crossed when you come to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. If you even just hiccup, you’re not going to make the field.”
Bell on the struggles of Team Penske during Qualifying Weekend: “Boy, doesn’t that train up for an unbelievable Indy 500 to have the most successful team in the history of the race starting mid to deep in the pack with four drivers and four cars that in practice look to be better than anybody…I think we’re in for a real treat.”
NBC Sports will present eight hours of live coverage from Indianapolis Motor Speedway on race day, beginning with pre-race coverage at 9 a.m. ET on NBCSN. Coverage will shift to NBC for five hours of coverage at 11 a.m. ET, with the green flag of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing slated to wave at approximately 12:30 p.m. ET. Following the conclusion of the race, NBCSN will provide an hour of post-race coverage at 4 p.m. ET.
For the third consecutive year, the Indianapolis 500 will be called by NBC Sports’ lead INDYCAR team of Leigh Diffey (play-by-play), Townsend Bell (analyst) and Paul Tracy (analyst). Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, Dave Burns and Kevin Lee will serve as pit reporters.
NBC Sports’ comprehensive Indy 500 commentary team includes host Mike Tirico and analyst and former INDYCAR driver Danica Patrick, who became the first woman to lead laps and earn a top-five finish in the Indianapolis 500 in 2005. INDYCAR rookie and seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson will serve as a Peacock Pit Box analyst alongside NBC Sports’ Steve Letarte. NBC Sports motorsports reporter Rutledge Wood returns for the third straight year to provide on-site reports around Indianapolis Motor Speedway, while NBC Sports’ Jac Collinsworth will make his Indy 500 debut when he serves as host of pre-race coverage on NBCSN.
Earlier this week, NBC Sports announced comprehensive programming around the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, including pre-race coverage highlights. Click here for details.
This week’s coverage from Indianapolis Motor Speedway begins tomorrow with the final practice session on Carb Day on NBCSN and Peacock at 11 a.m. ET. Below is this weekend’s Indianapolis 500 coverage across NBC, NBCSN and Peacock:
|Fri., May 28||Indianapolis 500 Carb Day||NBCSN, Peacock||11 a.m.|
|Sun., May 30||Indianapolis 500 Presented by Gainbridge Pre-Race||NBCSN||9 a.m.|
|105th Indianapolis 500 Presented by Gainbridge||NBC||11 a.m.|
|Indianapolis 500 Presented by Gainbridge Post-Race||NBCSN||4 p.m.|