via press release:
“Qualifying for the Indy 500 is the most stressful two days in racing.” – Wally Dallenbach
IndyCar 36 to profile J.R. Hildebrand on Saturday, May 26 at 6:30 p.m. ET
Firestone Indy Lights from Indianapolis Airs Friday, May 25 at Noon
NEW YORK—May 16, 2012— The NBC Sports Network will surround qualifying for the Indy 500 with 12 hours of live coverage on May 19-20, plus a five– hour show on Carb Day, Friday, May 25, which features Indy 500 practice, the Freedom 100 Indy Lights race, and the IZOD Pit Stop Competition. Motorsports viewers will also see a new episode of the all-access series, IndyCar 36, featuring J.R. Hildebrand, on Saturday, May 25 at 6:30 p.m. ET.
WALLY DALLENBACH ON INDY 500 QUALIFYING: “Qualifying for the Indy 500 is the most stressful two days in racing. These guys get torn up more about qualifying than they do for the actual race. There is no margin for error and you are pushing the envelope. The emotions for qualifying are the biggest in any motorsport that I know…the most important thing is to be in the race.”
NBC SPORTS NETWORK’S INDY 500 QUALIFYING COVERAGE (subject to change, all times ET):
DATE COVERAGE TIME
Sat., May 19 IndyCar Qualifying 11-2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Sun., May 20 IndyCar Qualifying 12-6:30 p.m.
Fri., May 25 Carb Day 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Freedom 100 Indy Lights 12 p.m.
Sat., May 26 IndyCar 36: J.R. Hildebrand 6:30 p.m. ET
COMMENTATORS: Bob Jenkins (lead race announcer), Jon Beekhuis (analyst) and Wally Dallenbach (analyst) will call all the qualifying coverage.
REPORTERS: Kevin Lee and Derek Daly will serve as pit reporters along with current IndyCar driver Townsend Bell. Bell will also enter this year’s Indy 500 and will give his unique prospective as a participant and insider right up until race day. Robin Miller is the NBC Sports Network’s IndyCar reporter.
INDYCAR 36: The NBC Sports Network will extend its all-access 36 series to IndyCar with IndyCar 36, on Saturday, May 26 at 6:30 p.m. ET. The driver profiled for this week’s episode will be J.R. Hildebrand, who made his IZOD IndyCar Series in 2010 and now races for Panther Racing. Hildebrand was the rookie driver who was leading last year’s Indy 500 when he crashed in turn four on the final lap, only to be passed by Dan Wheldon, who won the race.
The all-new 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, which debuted in December, and Fight Night 36 that aired last month.
FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS: NBC Sports Network will air a total of 12 one-hour telecasts of Firestone Indy Lights continuing Friday, May 25 at 12 p.m. ET, with coverage from this week’s race in Indianapolis, Ind. 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 9 Firestone 550 Fort Worth, Texas 8 p.m.
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.