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.


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