Seven Drivers Mathematically Alive in IndyCar Championship Chase, Josef Newgarden Leads Scott Dixon by Three Points – Closest Margin in a Decade
NBCSN Comprehensive Live Coverage from Sonoma – Practice on Friday at 5 p.m. ET, Qualifying on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET, Race on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET
NBCSN in Midst of Its Most-Watched IndyCar Season To-Date
Sunday NBCSN Motorsports Tripleheader: Formula One Singapore Grand Prix at 7:30 a.m. ET; NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series From Chicagoland at 3 p.m. ET; IndyCar at 6:30 p.m. ET
STAMFORD, Conn. – September 14, 2017 – The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series championship will be decided this weekend on NBCSN at the IndyCar GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma this Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET, as Josef Newgarden (Penske) looks to win his first-ever title and hold off a wide array of challengers in the tightest points battle atop the standings in a decade.
The IndyCar finale caps a tripleheader of racing on NBCSN, which begins at 7:30 a.m. ET with live coverage of the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix, and continues at 3 p.m. ET with the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series race from Chicagoland, which kicks off the 2017 Playoffs.
INDYCAR GOPRO GRAND PRIX OF SONOMA – SUNDAY AT 6:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN
Newgarden moved atop the IndyCar standings late this season with wins in three of four races (Toronto, Mid-Ohio, and St. Louis). However, Newgarden finished in 18th position in the penultimate race of the 2017 campaign at Watkins Glen on Sept. 3, after sustaining damage in a collision exiting pit road.
Newgarden leads four-time series champion Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing) by just three points in the standings heading into Sonoma, the closest margin with one race remaining since the 2007 season, when Dario Franchitti led Dixon by three points and won the finale at Chicagoland.
Sunday’s finale is a double-points race, with 100 points up for grabs for the winner. There are seven drives mathematically eligible for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series championship: Newgarden, Dixon, Helio Castroneves (Penske), Simon Pagenaud (Penske), Will Power (Penske), Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport), and Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan). Newgarden has never finished in the top five at Sonoma, while Dixon, Castroneves, Pagenaud, and Power all boast multiple top-five finishes and victories in Sonoma.
|2017 VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES POINTS STANDINGS|
|Driver||Points||Behind||Wins at Sonoma||Top 5s at Sonoma|
|Josef Newgarden (Penske)||560||—||0||0|
|Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi)||557||3||3 (’07, ’14, ’15)||6|
|Helio Castroneves (Penske)||538||22||1 (’08)||6|
|Simon Pagenaud (Penske)||526||34||1 (’16)||3|
|Will Power (Penske)||492||68||3 (’10, ’11, ’13)||4|
|Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport)||476||84||0||1|
|Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan)||466||94||0||2|
Comprehensive live coverage from Sonoma begins Friday at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN with practice, followed by qualifying on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET, and race coverage on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET. NBCSN will also present an encore presentation of the race on Monday, Sept. 18, at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Leigh Diffey play-by-play) will call the action alongside analysts and drivers Paul Tracy and Townsend Bell. Reporters Kevin Lee, Jon Beekhuis, Katie Hargitt and Robin Miller will report from the pits.
Heading into Sunday’s season finale, NBC Sports Group has had its most-watched IndyCar season to-date on NBCSN, averaging 499,000 viewers, up 14% vs. the 2016 season on the network (436,000). NBCSN’s coverage of the IndyCar Grand Prix at the Glen on Sunday, Sept. 3 (1:48-3:35 p.m. ET) averaged 604,000 viewers, up 37% vs. the same race last year.
FORMULA ONE SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX – SUNDAY AT 7:30 A.M. ET ON NBCSN
Sebastian Vettel (Ferarri) and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) continue their pursuit of the 2017 F1 drivers’ championship, currently separated by just three points in the standings. Hamilton re-took the lead with his victory at Monza in the Italian Grand Prix, but Vettel is primed to shift the momentum in Singapore this weekend. Vettel has won four of the last six Singapore Grands Prix (2011-13 and 2015). Hamilton boasts two wins at Marina Bay (2009 and 2014), but finished third in 2016, and retired from the race in 2015.
Live coverage begins exclusively on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app on Friday morning at 4:30 a.m. ET with Practice 1, followed by NBCSN’s live coverage of Practice 2 at 8:30 a.m. ET. Streaming coverage on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app continues Saturday at 6 a.m. ET with Practice 3 and live qualifying at 9 a.m. ET on CNBC.
Live Singapore Grand Prix race coverage begins Sunday morning at 7 a.m. ET on NBCSN with F1 Countdown, and is followed by F1 Extra at 10 a.m. ET.
Bob Varsha will call this weekend’s action, filling in for Diffey who will call the IndyCar finale in Sonoma. He and will be joined by veteran analyst and former racecar driver David Hobbs, and analyst and former race mechanic for the Benetton F1 team Steve Matchett. Will Buxton will serve as the on-site reporter in Singapore.
NBCSN OVERDRIVE THURSDAY MOTORSPORTS BLOCK CONTINUES THIS WEEK, INCLUDING AMERICAN FLAT TRACK RACING AT 10 P.M. ET
NBCSN Overdrive, the network’s Thursday night primetime motorsports block, continues this week, highlighted this week by American Flat Track racing from Sturgis, S.D., and Rapid City, S.D.
The weekly primetime block will include six unique series and more than 40 hours of premiere programming, featuring new seasons of Grudge Race and Caffeine and Octane. American Flat Track, widely regarded as the most prestigious and competitive form of dirt track motorcycle racing in the world, will be featured most Thursdays on Overdrive at 10 p.m. ET. Click here for more information
NBCSN PRESENTS THE FIRST RACE OF THE 2017 MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES PLAYOFFS THIS SUNDAY AT 3 P.M. ET
NBC Sports Group surrounds the first race of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, with over 17 hours of trackside coverage from Chicagoland Speedway, in Joliet, Illinois. NBC Sports Group’s race coverage begins Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, with XFINITY Series racing, and culminates Saturday at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, with Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series racing.
Following is this week’s motorsports coverage schedule:
|Thur., September 14||NASCAR America||5 p.m.||NBCSN|
|NASCAR Scan All||6 p.m.||NBCSN|
|Caffeine & Octane (Encore)||8 p.m.||NBCSN|
|Caffeine & Octane (Encore)||8:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|Grudge Race (Premiere)||9 p.m.||NBCSN|
|Grudge Race (Encore)||9:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|American Flat Track – Buffalo Chip TT||10 p.m.||NBCSN|
|American Flat Track – Black Hills Half-Mile||11 p.m.||NBCSN|
|Fri., September 15||F1 Singapore Grand Prix – Practice 1||4:30 a.m.||Streaming*|
|F1 Singapore Grand Prix – Practice 2||8:30 a.m.||NBCSN|
|NASCAR Cup Series Chicagoland – Practice||12:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|NASCAR XFINITY Series Chicagoland – Practice||2 p.m.||NBCSN|
|NASCAR XFINITY Series Chicagoland – Final Practice||4 p.m.||Streaming*|
|IndyCar GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma – Practice||5 p.m.||NBCSN|
|NASCAR Cup Series Chicagoland – Qualifying||6:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|Sat., September 16||F1 Singapore Grand Prix – Practice 3||6 a.m.||Streaming*|
|F1 Singapore Grand Prix – Qualifying||9 a.m.||CNBC|
|NASCAR Cup Series Chicagoland – Practice||11:30 a.m.||CNBC|
|NASCAR XFINITY Series Chicagoland – Qualifying||12:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|NASCAR America||1:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|NASCAR Cup Series Chicagoland – Final Practice||2 p.m.||NBCSN|
|NASCAR XFINITY Series Countdown to Green||3 p.m.||NBCSN|
|NASCAR XFINITY Series Chicagoland Race||3:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|NASCAR XFINITY Series Post-Race||6 p.m.||NBCSN|
|IndyCar GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma – Qualifying||6:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|F1 Singapore Grand Prix – Qualifying**||8 p.m.||NBCSN|
|Sun., September 17||F1 Countdown||7 a.m.||NBCSN|
|F1 Singapore Grand Prix||7:30 a.m.||NBCSN|
|F1 Extra||10 a.m.||NBCSN|
|NASCAR America||1 p.m.||NBCSN|
|NASCAR Cup Series Countdown to Green||2:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|NASCAR Cup Series Chicagoland Race||3 p.m.||NBCSN|
|NASCAR Cup Series Post-Race||6 p.m.||NBCSN|
|IndyCar GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma||6:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|IndyCar Post-Race||9 p.m.||NBCSN|
|F1 Singapore Grand Prix (Encore)||9:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|Red Bull Air Race – Germany**||11:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
*NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app
NBC SPORTS GROUP STREAMING, DIGITAL AND SOCIAL CONTENT
NBC Sports Group will provide comprehensive streaming and digital coverage surrounding its motorsports properties via NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – and NASCAR Talk and MotorSportsTalk, NBC Sports Group’s digital home for the latest motorsports news.
NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app will provide season-long live streaming coverage of all Formula One practices, qualifying sessions and Grands Prix, including exclusive coverage of practices that will not air on NBC or NBCSN. NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app will stream NASCAR and IndyCar content that will air on NBC and NBCSN (race coverage and some practice and qualifying), as well as the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, Red Bull Global RallyCross series, and Red Bull Air Race.
MOTORSPORTSTALK: MotorSportsTalk (@MotorSportsTalk) on NBCSports.com brings racing fans up-to-the-minute news, video and information on Formula One, the Verizon IndyCar Series, and other open-wheel and off-road racing from around the world. The site also serves as the destination for all news, analysis and video from NBC and NBCSN productions of IndyCar and F1, including contributions from on-air commentators.
SOCIAL: NBC Sports Group will continue to provide comprehensive motorsports social coverage across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. On Twitter, fans can follow @MotorsportsTalk for all-encompassing content across NBC Sports Group’s motorsports properties. @NASCARonNBC and@NASCARTalkNBC share the latest NASCAR content, @F1onNBCSports provides the latest news in Formula One, and @IndyCaronNBCSN delivers up-to-the-minute information on the Verizon IndyCar Series.
In addition, the NASCAR on NBC Facebook page will provide users with videos, interactive content and much more. Fans should also “like” NBC Sports on Facebook for the most up-to-date news, videos and commentary about NBC Sports Group’s motorsports properties.
For more information about NBC Sports Group shows and properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios and headshots, please visit NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com.
– NBC SPORTS GROUP –