INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Jimmie Johnson will make his first Indianapolis 500 begin this 12 months in any case — with the tv crew, not on the racetrack.
NBC Sports activities mentioned Tuesday it can use Johnson for studio protection of the Indianapolis 500 on each race day and qualifying weekend.
The seven-time NASCAR champion is now an IndyCar rookie operating solely the street and road programs, a call that has sidelined Johnson for the 4 ovals on the schedule together with the Indianapolis 500. He’s by no means earlier than attended an Indy 500.
“To say I’m excited for Could in Indianapolis is an understatement,” Johnson mentioned. “I completely can not wait to take all of it in.”
Johnson made his IndyCar debut final month in Alabama and has accomplished two races on the schedule. He races the street course at Indianapolis on Could 15 after which will transition right into a tv analyst for “The Best Spectacle in Racing.”
Johnson will work from the “Peacock Pit Field” alongside NBC Sports activities analyst Steve Letarte, who additionally might be making his Indy 500 debut. Letarte primarily works on NBC’s NASCAR protection and earlier this season returned to his previous job as Cup crew chief for one race with Spire Motorsports.
Protection of the Could 30 race will once more by anchored within the studio by NBC Sports activities host Mike Tirico, who might be joined by Danica Patrick for a 3rd consecutive 12 months. Patrick is the primary lady to guide laps at Indianapolis and the primary lady to earn a top-five end.
“I look ahead to the expertise extra yearly. Actually, it’s just like the way in which it felt driving, as time passes, the gravity of the occasion turns into higher,” she mentioned.
The race might be known as for the third consecutive 12 months by NBC Sports activities’ lead IndyCar workforce of Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy within the sales space, with pit reporters Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast and Kevin Lee.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. might be a part of the pre-race protection and motorsports reporter Rutledge Wooden will present on-site studies across the speedway. NBC Sports activities’ Jac Collinsworth will make his Indy 500 debut as host of pre-race protection on NBCSN.