It’s known as the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, and for the first time in 54 years, there’s a new place to see it.
On May 26, the 103rd Indianapolis 500 comes to NBC as part of NBC Sports’ new media rights agreement with the NTT IndyCar Series. ABC broadcast the famous race from 1965-2018.
For NBC, the Indy 500 is a big addition to its “Championship Season” of summer sports events, and the network is going all out in showcasing it. Mike Tirico will host studio coverage on race day, joined by former IndyCar and NASCAR driver Danica Patrick as an analyst.
“I’m very honored,” Patrick says of returning to the Brickyard with NBC. “Every time I come to Indianapolis, especially when I come to the track itself, I drive through the tunnel, I come in, I can see the Pagoda, I can feel the track. I always had a deep respect for Indianapolis Motor Speedway as your best and worst friend.”
In 2005, Patrick became the first female driver to lead a lap at Indy. She finished in the top 10 five times in eight starts at Indy. Fittingly, the final race of her career was the 2018 Indy 500.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to have some really great races there,” Patrick says. “Really, the Indy 500 is where it all started for me as a well-known racecar driver, what was called back in the day ‘Danica Mania.’ To not only finish my career last year with the Indy 500, but to come back and have this be somewhat of an encore is a real honor.”
The Indy 500 again shares a date with two other great auto racing events.
The Monaco Grand Prix, Formula One’s most prestigious and scenic race, returns to the streets of Monte Carlo. ESPN airs the race live in the morning, with ABC airing an afternoon encore.
NASCAR’s longest race, the Monster Energy Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, begins in the late afternoon and rolls into the night on Fox.
Sunday, May 26
Formula One: Monaco Grand Prix, 9a/8c, ESPN
NTT IndyCar Series: Indianapolis 500, noon/11c, NBC
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: Coca-Cola 600, 6/5c, Fox