“You want to talk about mental fortitude. Think about what this driver just went through the last 10 minutes.” – Townsend Bell on Marcus Ericsson’s Indy 500 Victory
“Shades of Simon Pagenaud in 2019. An incredible run.” – James Hinchcliffe
“Today was everything you always hope the Indy 500 can be. Marcus Ericsson did such an amazing job…Incredible driving under incredible pressure.” – Danica Patrick
“The biggest crowd on the biggest day in racing at the greatest racetrack in the world.” – Townsend Bell
STAMFORD, Conn. – May 29, 2022 – NBC Sports presented exclusive coverage of the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 this afternoon from Indianapolis Motor Speedway on NBC, Peacock and Universo, as Marcus Ericsson won “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Pato O’Ward and Tony Kanaan rounded out the podium.
NBC Sports’ lead INDYCAR commentary team of Leigh Diffey (play-by-play) and analysts Townsend Bell and James Hinchcliffe called NBC Sports’ broadcast of the Indy 500 alongside pit reporters Marty Snider, Kevin Lee, Dave Burns, and Dillon Welch.
NBC Sports host Mike Tirico anchored coverage alongside analyst and former INDYCAR driver Danica Patrick. Dale Earnhardt Jr., one of racing’s most popular personalities and an NBC Sports motorsports analyst, contributed to pre-race coverage alongside motorsports reporter Rutledge Wood, and joined Tirico and Patrick on the Peacock Pit Box during the race.
Marcus Ericsson to Snider on his approach finishing the race following the red flag: “I felt you can never take anything for granted. Obviously there was eight laps to go and I was praying so hard it wasn’t going to be another yellow, but I knew it was probably going to be one. It was hard to refocus, but I knew the car was amazing, the crew, Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda, has done such an amazing job.”
Bell on Marcus Ericsson’s victory: “You want to talk about mental fortitude. Think about what this driver just went through the last 10 minutes.”
Hinchcliffe: “Shades of Simon Pagenaud in 2019. An incredible run.”
Bell: “The best elevator ride in the world. Victory lane here in Indianapolis.”
Patrick: “Today was everything you always hope the Indy 500 can be. Marcus Ericsson did such an amazing job…Incredible driving under incredible pressure.”
Bell on Chip Ganassi: “He brought a race-winning team here with five different options.”
Diffey on Marcus Ericsson: “With the spirit of Ronnie Peterson onboard with his helmet, Marcus Ericsson wins the Indy 500 in the most dramatic way!”
Hinchcliffe on Ericsson: “The last two red flags situations we’ve had in INDYCAR (were) Nashville and Detroit Race 1 in 2019. Marcus Ericsson’s two INDYCAR wins have come after red flags.”
Tony Kanaan on his mentality going into the restart with four laps to go during an in-car interview with Townsend Bell during the red flag: “It should be all or nothing again. I’ve done it before so I have nothing to lose. I’m going for the championship. Second place won’t do me any good.”
Hinchcliffe on the impact of Jimmie Johnson’s crash on lap 194 to race leader Marcus Ericsson: “A red flag could completely change the outcome of this race.”
Hinchcliffe on Scott Dixon’s pit lane speeding violation on lap 176: “The man that’s led more laps around the Indy 500 than any other driver in history sees his chance for a win absolutely disappear. Pulls off the pit lane to serve what’s going to be the longest and most painful penalty of his career.”
Bell: “Dixon — bad luck strikes again. Unbelievable!”
Diffey: “Can you imagine what is going on in Scott Dixon’s mind right now? Dominated the day (and) led almost half the race only to fall victim to a pit lane speeding violation.”
Hinchcliffe on Romain Grosjean’s crash on lap 106: “Turn 2 has really been a handful today. Like we’ve seen from (Rinus) VeeKay and (Callum) Ilott, the rear end just steps out in traffic and it is a massive leftside hit.”
Earnhardt Jr. on the windy conditions at the track: “It’s going to be part of the story. The gusts are the problem. It’s going to be interesting how the drivers are going to have to adjust their cars.”
Hinchcliffe on Alex Palou entering pit lane right after Callum Ilott’s crash on lap 69: “(He) was so close to getting away with it…This is devastating…This is very much going to change the structure of his race.”
Bell on the impact of Rinus VeeKay and Callum Ilott’s crashes: “All of a sudden, it goes from total dominance and control from Chip Ganassi Racing — just completely managing the race — to this racetrack managing those two drivers.”
Patrick on the atmosphere at IMS: “Indianapolis Motor Speedway has its own energy, whether or not anyone is here. I’m glad that all these fans – all 325,000 of them here today – are going to experience the magic of this track.”
Bell: “The biggest crowd on the biggest day in racing at the greatest racetrack in the world.”
Patrick on Helio Castroneves attempting to win a record fifth Indy 500 victory: “I think you have to have that passion and that energy to keep coming back. I really feel that (Castroneves) has been such a great representation for the sport of INDYCAR.”
Patrick on Jimmie Johnson: “Whether its bikes, stock cars, open wheel cars, he just loves racing. I think it’s so cool his dad is spotting. It’s such a family affair.”
Hinchcliffe on Scott Dixon: “There’s no reason not to look at this guy to win. Three runner-up finishes, five pole positions…He’s got the chance today to be the all-time lap leader at IMS, but he “only” has one Indy 500 trophy. When he got that, he was a one-time (INDYCAR) Series champion. He’s got five more of those. He wants nothing more than to get that second Borg-Warner.”
Pre-race coverage highlights included:
- NBC Sports’ Tim Layden narrated an essay on the traditions around “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing”;
- Feature on Jimmie Johnson and his father, Gary Johnson, serving as one of his spotters during today’s Indy 500;
- Piece on four-time Indy 500 champion Helio Castroneves detailing his race victories;
- Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon and Alex Palou’s sit-down interview with NBC Sports’ Leigh Diffey;
- NBC Sports’ James Hinchcliffe with an inside look at the drivers lot at IMS and the pranks that take place;
- Feature about the night the Borg-Warner Trophy went missing;
- Reports from Rutledge Wood and Dale Earnhardt Jr. around IMS, including the Snake Pit where they interviewed WWE superstar Titus O’Neil.
Country music superstar and The Voice coach Blake Shelton served as grand marshal, actor Miles Teller served as honorary starter and waved the green flag, while recording artist and actor Jordan Fisher performed the National Anthem ahead of the race.