Jimmie Johnson to join Danica Patrick on Indy 500 coverage

NBC Sports announced today that Jimmie Johnson will join Mike Tirico and Danica Patrick for its studio coverage of the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.

Jimmie Johnson to join Danica Patrick on Indy 500 coverage

While for Tirico and Patrick it will be the third consecutive season in the commentary booth at the Memorial Day Weekend classic, it will be a first for seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Johnson.

Johnson ended his 83-win Cup career to join the Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda team this year, but is focused on road and street courses. The #48 car is taken over by 2004 IndyCar champion and 2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan for the oval races.

Johnson will serve as an analyst on race day and Qualifying weekend, working at the Peacock Pit Box alongside Steve Letarte, who will also be making his Indy 500 on-air debut. 

Their former Hendrick Motorsports colleague Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be part of the pre-race coverage, while Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy will continue as the NTT IndyCar Series’ traditional commentators in calling the race itself. Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast and Kevin Lee will serve as pit reporters. 

Patrick, who became an Indy star back in 2005 after leading the race as a rookie – the first woman ever to lead the 500 – and qualifying and finishing fourth, stated: “It continues to be an honor to be a part of the Indy 500 NBC Sports team for the third year in a row alongside Mike Tirico. I look forward to the experience more every year.

“In fact, it’s similar to the way it felt driving – as time passes, the gravity of the event becomes greater. I felt it from the inside, and now I am feeling it from the outside. On a competitive note, what has been obvious so far this season is how many great young drivers there are. It will be fun to see how they stack up to the veterans on the big stage.”

Johnson said: “To say I am excited for May in Indianapolis is an understatement. This will be my first in-person Indianapolis 500 experience, and I absolutely cannot wait to take it all in. I’m really excited to be working alongside Mike Tirico, who is one of my favorite hosts, and sitting on the Peacock Pit Box with Steve Letarte will be so much fun, as we go way back.

“I’m so appreciative to NBC Sports for this opportunity and I’m ready to have some fun and hopefully make it fun for the fans watching at home.”

“We are thrilled to have Mike and Danica return as well as add Jimmie to our Indy 500 coverage this May,” said Sam Flood, Executive Producer and President, Production, NBC Sports & NBCSN. “Danica’s and Jimmie’s racing insights, along with Mike anchoring our broadcast from historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will add another gear to Leigh, Townsend, Paul and our pit reporters’ coverage of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Jac Collinsworth will host the pre-race coverage which will include analysis from Earnhardt Jr. and reports from around the track by Rutledge Wood.

Pre-race coverage begins on NBC at 11am ET, with the green flag dropping at 12:30pm ET.

NBC Sports and Peacock Premium will offer 55+ hours of coverage across the two-weeks of Indy 500-related activity including every practice session, qualifying, Carb Day and eight hours of race-day coverage from IMS.

shares
comments

Related video

Wickens back in racecar, drives BHA Hyundai at Mid-Ohio

Previous article

Wickens back in racecar, drives BHA Hyundai at Mid-Ohio

Next article

Stefan Wilson plans to apply lessons learned from Justin

Stefan Wilson plans to apply lessons learned from Justin
Load comments
The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review Prime

The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review

At the halfway point in the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Prime

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all for us. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, Helio explained his tactics to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Prime

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after sweeping around the outside of Alex Palou on the penultimate lap in a thrilling climax. In one race, he validated Michael Shank's and Jim Meyer's faith in him, and Helio himself discovered there's life after Penske after all.

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021
Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious? Prime

Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious?

A quarter of the drivers racing in the 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500 are former winners - but are they the favourites? The veteran drivers largely impressed in qualifying - but there's also a plethora of young guns looking to secure victory at IndyCar's flagship race...

IndyCar
May 25, 2021
What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1? Prime

What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1?

The FIA says it wants American drivers in Formula 1, but would it take an IndyCar driver to transfer or does an American need to join the European junior ladder system to get there? By David Malsher-Lopez.

Formula 1
May 19, 2021
Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life Prime

Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life

After spending the majority of his 179-race Formula 1 career in middling to tail-end machinery, Romain Grosjean finds himself once again with an underdog team in IndyCar. While not without its challenges, he's relishing the more level playing field that means his Dale Coyne Racing crew can expect to claim a few scalps...

IndyCar
May 14, 2021
Why IndyCar's new aero parts should improve racing at Indy Prime

Why IndyCar's new aero parts should improve racing at Indy

Tino Belli, IndyCar’s director of aerodynamic development, believes the changes to the underside of the cars will allow them to run closer at Indy and make passes. The moment of truth comes on its biggest stage, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
May 10, 2021