NBC set to kick off “great celebration of motorsports” at IMS

So as to add to that, NBC will kick off its NASCAR protection this weekend with the primary mixture IndyCar Sequence/NASCAR race weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Whereas IndyCar has often shared a weekend at a monitor with a decrease tier NASCAR collection reminiscent of Vans or ARCA, it has by no means run the identical venue the identical weekend with NASCAR’s Cup Sequence.

This weekend will function IndyCar and NASCAR Xfinity Sequence races Saturday on the IMS highway course whereas the Cup collection will compete Sunday on the conventional oval course.

Bringing IndyCar and NASCAR collectively

The combo weekend was devised extra so out of necessity than the rest with the COVID-19 pandemic, however individuals and TV executives have mentioned it could nicely flip into one thing extra widespread, particularly when followers are allowed to attend.

“We’re so excited to get again to the race monitor and get going once more. However it’s a extremely distinctive weekend,” mentioned NBC Sports activities govt producer Sam Flood. “Past simply the IndyCar-NASCAR smashup on the Brickyard, we have a look at this as a extremely cool particular new strategy to produce races.

“It’s this distinctive time due to social distancing and all the principles and rules, to have the ability to produce these two races in the identical venue and the identical time-frame primarily, we’ve gone to this new mannequin, and we’re enthusiastic about it.”

Flood sees an enormous alternative to have interaction “crossover” followers in motorsports this weekend.

“We predict it’s a extremely vital crossover to have individuals watch racing, and we predict the power to develop all of motorsports occurs to get individuals to pattern completely different collection, and also you shouldn’t simply be a NASCAR fan, you have to be a racing fan,” he mentioned.

“That’s what we need to accomplish is getting extra individuals to pattern, and this dialogue has been occurring for a number of years now. We held a motorsports discussion board right here at NBC and all of the types of racing that we’ve got from the bikes to the vehicles, how we have been going to get these teams to work collectively, and I believe it is a nice celebration of motorsports.

“And it occurs with Roger Penske, on the monitor that he now owns, as the right launch level for it.”

Newly elected NASCAR Corridor of Famer and NBC TV analyst Dale Earnhardt Jr. says “there’s a lot respect” between open-wheel and inventory automobile racing.

“There’s been quite a lot of nice circumstances and alternatives the place IndyCar drivers have raced in inventory vehicles with success and inventory automobile racers have ran at Indy in IndyCars with success, as nicely,” he mentioned.

“These alternatives and conversations about what would possibly occur sooner or later nonetheless proceed at the moment, and we’ll hear about that with Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson, who’s going to be testing an IndyCar (on July eight with Chip Ganassi Racing), and I believe that this chance to have the 2 collection share the identical venue can actually ignite and be a catalyst to seeing the drivers cross self-discipline.”

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Kevin Harvick, a two-time winner of the Brickyard 400, mentioned the combo weekend was “an enormous step for racing.”

“All of us need to see racing achieve success and I believe that is positively an awesome step for each collection to be in the identical venue and convey our followers collectively and present each side that it’s not about choosing sides,” he mentioned.

“It’s about watching an awesome present and being part of an awesome occasion.”

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