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Latest IRL News and Commentary

Indy 500 TV and Radio coverage increase

May 2, 2001

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, May 2, 2001 - Fifty-two hours of television and more than 21 hours of radio coverage will originate from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the month of May, keeping fans informed of daily activities leading up to the 85th Indianapolis 500-Mile Race on May 27. This marks a 14-hour increase of coverage compared to 2000. 

ABC Sports, ESPN and ESPN2 will provide extensive, live television coverage from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, including on-track action and behind-the-scenes efforts from the famed Gasoline Alley garage area, as teams and drivers work to find the speed to first qualify for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing and then challenge for a coveted Indianapolis 500 victory. 

ESPN2 will feature daily reports on practice days, as well as Coors Carb Day on May 24. ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 will team up to provide seamless coverage of MBNA Pole Day on May 12 and Bump Day qualifications May 20, while ESPN and ESPN2 will do the same for the second day of qualifications May 13. Additional coverage will originate from the Speedway's IMS Productions studios for ESPN2's popular "RPM2Night" motorsports news show in May. 

ABC's live broadcast of the 85th Indianapolis 500 will begin with pre-race coverage at 11 a.m. (EDT) May 27, followed by flag-to-flag coverage of the race at noon. Broadcast television talent for the 85th Indianapolis 500 includes: Al Michaels, race broadcast host; Bob Jenkins, play-by-play announcer; Larry Rice and Jason Priestley, analysts; Jack Arute, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch, pit reporters; and Leslie Gudel, behind-the-scenes race reporter. 

The IMS Radio Network's Race Day live coverage begins at 11 a.m. (EDT) May 28 with a pre-race show, followed by the Indianapolis 500 broadcast at noon. The network will kick off the Indianapolis 500 with a preview show May 6, featuring notes and news on the month of May as well as a recap of the first three races of the 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series season. 

Four "Indy Live" interview radio talk shows will air during the month, plus morning and afternoon qualifying shows and regular qualifying updates every half-hour on May 12-13 and 20. 

The IMS Radio Network broadcast team for the Indianapolis 500 consists of veteran radio commentators: Mike King, play-by-play announcer; Chris Economaki, analyst; three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford, color commentator; Donald Davidson, historian; Jerry Baker, Turn 1 race reporter; Mark Jaynes, Turn 3 race reporter; Chris Denari, Turn 4 race reporter; Mike Lewis, Kim Morris and Johnny Parsons, pit reporters; Chuck Marlow, garage reporter; and Howdy Bell, medical center reporter. The Turn 2 race reporter has yet to be announced. 

The 2001 Indianapolis 500 will be one of the most competitive in history, with four former winners and 94 cars entered in the event. Past Indianapolis 500 champions Eddie Cheever, Jr. (1998), Buddy Lazier (1996), Arie Luyendyk (1990, 1997) and Al Unser Jr. (1992, 1994) are joined by Michael Andretti, defending CART series champion Gil de Ferran, sensational 21-year-old driver Sam Hornish Jr. and many other top open wheel racing drivers and teams, including defending champions Target/Chip Ganassi Racing, in this year's field. 
85th Indianapolis 500 Television Coverage Schedule 
(All times EDT except where noted) 

Date 
Program 
Time 
Network 

May 7-11 
"Indy Live" Daily Report 
5:30-7 p.m. 
ESPN2 (live) 

May 12 
MBNA Pole Day/Time Trials 
Noon-1 p.m. 
ESPN (live) 
1-3 p.m. 
ABC (live) 
3-7 p.m. 
ESPN2 (live) 

May 13 
Indianapolis 500 Time Trials 
Noon-2 p.m. 
ESPN (live) 
2-7 p.m. 
ESPN2 (live) 

May 14-15 
"Indy Live" Daily Report 
6:30-7 p.m. 
ESPN2 (live) 

May 16-18 
"Indy Live" Daily Report 
6-7 p.m. 
ESPN2 (live) 

May 20 
Bump Day Time Trials 
Noon-2 p.m. 
ESPN (live) 
2-4 p.m. 
ESPN2 (live) 
4-6 p.m. 
ABC (live) 
6-7 p.m. 
ESPN2 (live) 
Road to Indy 
7-8 p.m. 
ESPN2 (tape) 

May 21-23 
"Indy Live" Daily Report 
6:30-7 p.m. 
ESPN2 (live) 

May 24 
Coors Carb Day Practice & Coors Pit Stop Competition 
4-6:30 p.m. 
ESPN2 (live) 
"Indy Live" Daily Report 
6:30-7 p.m. 
ESPN2 (live) 

May 25 
Coors Carb Day replay 
2:30-4:30 a.m. 
ESPN2 (tape) 
"Indy Live" Daily Report 
6:30-7 p.m. 
ESPN2 (live) 

May 26 
Indianapolis 500 Preview 
4-5 p.m. 
ESPN (live) 

May 27 
Indianapolis 500 Pre-race 
11 a.m.-noon 
ABC (live) 
85th Indianapolis 500 
Noon-4:30 p.m. 
ABC (live) 

May 28 
Indianapolis 500 Celebration Banquet 
7-9 p.m. (EST) 
CBS Indianapolis affiliate WISH Ch. 8 

May 29 
Indianapolis 500 Review 
7:30-8:30 p.m. 
ESPN2 (tape) 
Indianapolis 500 Celebration Banquet 
8:30-10:30 p.m. 
ESPN2 (tape) 
Approximate hours of event television coverage: 52 

85th Indianapolis 500 IMS Radio Network Coverage Schedule 
(All times EDT) 

Date 
Program 
Time 

May 6 
Indianapolis 500 Preview 
6-7 p.m. 

May 8 
"Indy Live" interview talk show 
9-10 p.m. 

May 10 
"Indy Live" interview talk show 
9-10 p.m. 

May 12 
MBNA Pole Day Qualification Show 
Noon-2 p.m. 
MBNA Pole Day Qualification Show 
6-7 p.m. 

May 13 
Indianapolis 500 Qualification Show 
1-2 p.m. 
Indianapolis 500 Qualification Show 
6-7 p.m. 

May 17 
"Indy Live" interview talk show 
9-10 p.m. 

May 20 
Bump Day Qualification Show 
1-2 p.m. 
Bump Day Qualification Show 
6-7 p.m. 

May 22 
"Indy Live" interview talk show 
9-10 p.m. 

May 24 
Coors Carb Day Recap 
9-10 p.m. 

May 27 
85th Indianapolis 500 
11 a.m. 

IRRN also provides "Track Action Updates" every 30 minutes May 12-13 and 20 
between noon and 7:15 p.m. (EDT). 
Approximate hours of event radio coverage: 21.5 

Total hours of television and radio coverage during May: 73.5 

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