ABC, VERSUS TO PROVIDE COMPLETE INDIANAPOLIS 500 TV COVERAGE
More than 30 hours of live VERSUS broadcasts scheduled in May from IMS
INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, April 8, 2009 -- ABC and VERSUS will provide comprehensive live coverage of the 2009 Indianapolis 500, with ABC broadcasting "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" for the 45th consecutive year and exclusive cable partner VERSUS offering more than 30 hours of practice and qualifying action.
ABC, which has televised the Indianapolis 500 annually since 1965, will start its coverage with a pre-race show at noon (ET) Sunday, May 24. Live race coverage starts at 1 p.m.
Brent Musburger will serve as host of the ABC telecast. Marty Reid will serve as the lead announcer, with 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr. and "500" veteran Scott Goodyear as analysts. Jack Arute, Vince Welch, Jamie Little and Brienne Pedigo will serve as pit reporters.
VERSUS' live May programming will include coverage from noon-6:30 p.m. for each of the Indianapolis 500 qualifying days: Pole Day on Saturday, May 9; Second Day Qualifying on Sunday, May 10; Third Day Qualifying on Saturday, May 16; and Bump Day on Sunday, May 17. The network also will feature five hours of uninterrupted and continuous coverage of Miller Lite Carb Day from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, May 22, featuring the final, one-hour practice for the elite, 33-car Indianapolis 500 field, the annual Pit Stop Challenge and the Firestone Freedom 100 race for the Firestone Indy Lights.
Immediately following the Indianapolis 500 on May 24, VERSUS will air a live post-race show featuring in-depth trackside analysis of all the action that unfolded during the race.
VERSUS' talent lineup includes Bob Jenkins as lead announcer, Indianapolis 500 veteran Robbie Buhl and former open-wheel standout Jon Beekhuis as analysts, and Arute, Robbie Floyd and Lindy Thackston as pit reporters.
"Indianapolis 500 fans are the big winners this year with the level of comprehensive live coverage provided by ABC and VERSUS," said Joie Chitwood, IMS president and chief operating officer. "Both networks bring a deep commitment to the '500' and feature the most talented people in sports broadcasting both on the air and behind the scenes."
In addition to live qualifying races, VERSUS will celebrate the rich history and excitement of the Indianapolis 500 with daily programming during Race Week. On Monday, May 18, VERSUS will air "Danica: Five Years Running," which includes highlights of Danica Patrick's career -- including her breakthrough 2008 IndyCar Series win -- and her thoughts on the 2009 season. On Tuesday, May 19, the network will air "IndyCar Series: Top 10 Closest Finishes," which features the top-10 closest finishes in IndyCar Series history, including the 2008 season finale at Chicagoland Speedway.
"IndyCar Series: Crashes and Conflicts," which will air Monday, May 20, showcases some of the most memorable incidents and conflicts between drivers and several of the most incredible crashes in recent IndyCar Series history. "Top 10 Indy 500 Moments," airing on Tuesday, May 21, is a 30-minute special highlighting the most memorable events in the race's history.
On Wednesday, May 22, VERSUS will air "Indy 500: Foyt, Mears & Unser," an in-depth look at the only four-time Indianapolis 500 winners. On Saturday, May 23, VERSUS will air highlights from the 53rd annual IPL Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade and a 30-minute preview show which will give viewers a last-minute look into the season's most-anticipated event and all the storylines on the eve of the race.
INDIANAPOLIS 500 TELEVISION SCHEDULE
Saturday, May 9
Pole Day Qualifying
Sunday, May 10
Second Day Qualifying
Saturday, May 16
Third Day Qualifying
Sunday, May 17
Bump Day Qualifying
Monday, May 18
"Danica: Five Years Running"
Tuesday, May 19
"IndyCar Series Top 10 Closest Finishes"
Wednesday, May 20
"IndyCar Series Crashes and Conflicts"
Thursday, May 21
"Top 10 Indy 500 Moments"
Friday, May 22
11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Miller Lite Carb Day
"Indy 500: Foyt, Mears & Unser"
Saturday, May 23
IPL 500 Festival Parade
Indianapolis 500 Preview Show
Sunday, May 24
Indianapolis 500 Pre-Race
Indianapolis 500 Race
Indianapolis 500 Post-Race
2009 IMS tickets: Established in 1909, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has long prevailed as an icon of motorsports excellence. Beginning in 2009, the Speedway celebrates its Centennial Era, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the facility in 2009 and the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in 2011.
Tickets for the three events in 2009 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway -- the Indianapolis 500, Allstate 400 at the Brickyard and Red Bull Indianapolis GP -- can be purchased online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com at any time.
Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.