“It’s going to be a piece of history. There’s never been a 500 like this – ever.” – Mike Tirico on This Year’s Indy 500
“For the Andrettis to qualify one of their own on the pole, it’s like bringing the world back onto the right axis.” – Paul Tracy on Marco Andretti Winning the Pole Position for Sunday
“It’s our responsibility behind the camera, holding the microphone, to really bring that energy.” – Danica Patrick on This Year’s Broadcast on NBC
“I know it’s August but it sure felt like May to me last weekend.” – Townsend Bell on Intensity of Indy 500 Qualifying
104th Indianapolis 500 Presented This Sunday, August 23, at 1 p.m. ET on NBC; Marco Andretti Takes Pole Position for 104th Indianapolis 500
STAMFORD, Conn. – August 20, 2020 – NBC Sports’ Indy 500 host Mike Tirico, Indy 500 studio analyst and former INDYCAR driver Danica Patrick, the lead Indy 500 commentary team of Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell, and Paul Tracy, as well as executive producer Sam Flood, previewed this Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 on a media conference call yesterday afternoon.
NBC Sports presents the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Presented by Gainbridge this Sunday, August 23, beginning at 1 p.m. ET on NBC. Marco Andretti won the pole position and will lead the field to the green flag for the Indy 500, the first time an Andretti has won the pole since Mario Andretti did so in 1987.
Following are excerpts from the call. Click here for a full transcript.
Mike Tirico on the uniqueness of this year’s Running of the Indianapolis 500: “The Indy 500 is the Indy 500, and it’s going to be a piece of history, and there’s never been a 500 like this – ever. I’m looking forward to the opportunity for all of us to document that story, this little bit of history in this piece of Americana and share it with the fans at home.”
Paul Tracy on Marco Andretti winning the pole position during qualifying: “To see Marco and the Andretti family and the excitement leading up to that and the drama and the speeds being faster than they’ve been in many years, it’s almost like — there are moments in sports where things get corrected like Dale Earnhardt Sr. winning the Daytona 500, so for the Andrettis to qualify one of their own on pole, it’s like bringing the world back on to the right axis.”
Sam Flood on no fans being allowed at IMS for ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing’: “If you can’t be at the racetrack, who would you rather hang out with to watch the race, Mike Tirico and Danica Patrick…and then once the green flag falls, I couldn’t imagine a better group to listen to than Leigh, Paul and Townsend and all the information that’s going to be gleaned from pit road from the amazing team down there…if you can’t be there, let’s hang with the best group to watch a race with you could ever assemble.”
Danica Patrick on her approach to commentating the race: “It’s our responsibility behind the camera, holding the microphone, to really bring that energy…it’s about being able to take the viewer and put them into as similar of a situation as you can possibly do so that they can feel a part of it and understand it better… to get them to relate to it, because unlike so many other sports, most people don’t try racing.”
Tirico on the experience of calling the Indy 500: “From my perspective, and I would say that I think we’re all taking stock of the things that we do in life a little bit differently now, I am so darned thankful that I had the experience that we had last year…I’ve been to every sporting event that we have in the U.S. I’ve been very, very blessed professionally. There’s nothing like it.”
Patrick on not having a female driver racing in this year’s Indy 500: “I think the story is actually that there’s a story there isn’t one, if that makes sense…we need to look at the bigger version to understand that it’s far, far more normal now to have females in the race and that the fact that there is a story about there not being one is the story.”
Townsend Bell on last week’s Indy 500 qualifying at IMS: “I know it’s August but it sure felt like May to me last weekend because of the exhilaration and the adrenaline that I think links all of us together and connects all of us during these troubled times, which is the purity of an INDYCAR circulating IMS on the absolute razor’s edge.”
Leigh Diffey on what he is looking forward to on Sunday following qualifying: “I think of all the races that Townsend, Paul and myself have called together, I’m more excited about this weekend than any other race based on what happened last weekend…it was exhilarating, it was edge-of-your-seat stuff, it was legitimate and real enthusiasm.”
Following last week’s nearly 40 hours of on-track practice and qualifying coverage, this week’s coverage from Indianapolis Motor Speedway begins with Carb Day tomorrow on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold at 11 a.m. ET. Sunday’s broadcast of the Indy 500 on NBC will mark the first time the race will be held in August.
NBC Sports will present five hours of live coverage from Indianapolis Motor Speedway on race day – Sunday, August 23 – beginning with pre-race coverage on NBC at 1 p.m. ET with the green flag slated to wave at approximately 2:30 p.m. ET. This weekend’s Indianapolis 500 coverage across NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold is below:
|Fri., Aug. 21||Indianapolis 500 Carb Day||NBCSN,
NBC Sports Gold
|Sun., Aug. 23||Indianapolis 500 Presented by Gainbridge Pre-Race||NBC||1 p.m.|
|104th Indianapolis 500 Presented by Gainbridge||NBC||2:30 p.m.|
|Indianapolis 500 Presented by Gainbridge Post-Race||NBC||5:30 p.m.|