ABC Memorial Day Tradition Continues with 49th Indianapolis 500 Telecast
ABC will televise the Indianapolis 500 for the 49th consecutive year on Sunday, May 26, continuing a Memorial Day tradition that began in 1965.
A one-hour preview show airs from Indianapolis Motor Speedway at 11 a.m. ET, with the race telecast, presented by Go Daddy, at noon. The green flag for one of the world's iconic and most historic sporting events is at 12:15 p.m.
Indianapolis native Ed Carpenter, who broke through to win the pole position for an event he grew up wanting to compete in, provided drama as he paced last weekend's time trials while driving for his own small race team against a field of international drivers and mega racing organizations. Carpenter will lead the field of 33 drivers to the green in the traditional three-abreast starting formation.
ESPN's production of the Indianapolis 500 on ABC will utilize 84 cameras to televise the premier event of the IZOD IndyCar Series, including three onboard cameras per car in 12 of the 33 cars competing in the race.
Among the cameras will be the newly-enhanced "Batcam," a camera that provides unique and dramatic views running on a cable over pit road and the frontstretch and has been utilized by ESPN at Indy for several years. But with new technology, "Batcam" can now move faster than ever, reaching speeds of 95 mph.
Views and replays also will be enhanced with expanded usage of four Ultra Hi Motion cameras. As was the case last year when the cameras were used for the first time, they will be located in the short chutes at each end of the 2.5-mile track as well as at the fourth turn exit, with a fourth robotic camera added this year to provide a low shot entering the first turn. The cameras can shoot at speeds of up to 1,200 frames per second. ESPN also will have Super Slo Motion cameras positioned in each turn.
Carpenter will be one of the 12 drivers carrying onboard cameras as will defending race winner Dario Franchitti and defending IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay. Others will be Charlie Kimball, JR Hildebrand, James Hinchcliffe, Townsend Bell, Will Power, Helio Castroneves, Marco Andretti, Graham Rahal and Tristan Vautier
Viewers of the ABC telecast will have the option of a second screen experience through a choice of live streaming video from the onboard cameras on ESPN3, ESPN's multi-screen live sports network. ESPN3 will carry the feeds exclusively through WatchESPN and on Indycar.com to fans who receive their Internet or video subscription from an affiliated provider. Viewers will be able to choose which driver's onboard cameras they want to watch from among the available cars and this year, for the first time, all of the feeds also will include ESPN's live scoring ticker. ESPN3 also will have replays of the ABC telecast following the event. ESPN3 is available online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE.
Marty Reid will call the race with analysis by former IndyCar driver Scott Goodyear and 1998 Indy 500 winner Eddie Cheever. ESPN SportsCenter anchor Lindsay Czarniak will host the telecast while pit reporters will be Rick DeBruhl, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch.
ESPN's Indianapolis 500 coverage will be produced under the oversight of ESPN vice president, motorsports, Rich Feinberg. Shawn Murphy will produce the race telecast and Bruce Watson will direct, while Jeff Ingalls will produce the pre-race show with Chip Dean directing.
The telecast's opening tease focuses on the life of Carl G. Fisher, the entrepreneur and founder of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The tease opens on a farm, where Fisher's dream to build the greatest automobile racetrack in the world began. Combining live action elements and CGI, the tease celebrates record-setting speeds, innovation and classic Indy 500 moments as Fisher reflects on his realized vision and looks ahead to the future.
Among the special features that are planned for the pre-race show or in SportsCenter's Indianapolis 500 coverage:
· Andretti Curse -- The Andretti name is synonymous with the Indianapolis 500, yet in the family's long history they have claimed the Borg Warner trophy just once. Is it a curse or is it just bad luck? ESPN's Jeremy Schaap narrates and asks what will the Andretti's lasting legacy be at the greatest spectacle in motor sports?
· Dario's Go Kart -- As Dario Franchitti prepared to go for his fourth Indy 500 win, the vehicle that started it all was quietly being rebuilt by his father. George Franchitti was a race car driver and his son, as he turned 40, re-received the gift of a go kart that was given to him 35 years ago. ESPN's Tom Rinaldi narrates. .
· James Hinchcliffe: Beyond Hinchtown - A man of many ideas, James Hinchcliffe markets himself in ways his peers have not. This profile of Hinchcliffe explores his magnetic personality, his success on the track and how his Canadian roots factor in.
· Helio and Tony - IndyCar drivers and childhood friends, Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan, reflect on their relationship, their lifelong rivalry and their success and struggles at the Indianapolis 500
· A.J. and Takuma -- Outwardly, the race team of Takuma Sato and A.J. Foyt could not be more different. Far East meets Wild West. This piece will explore their differences but ultimately, will show that the heart of a racer is the heart of a racer, and this fundamental quality is what binds Sato and Foyt
· Speed and Danger -- A high energy, frenetic and unnerving look at the high speeds and danger associated with IndyCar racing and the Indianapolis 500.
· America Made the 500 -- Iconic still images bring to life the legendary history and tradition of the Indianapolis 500, an event made by America, for America, in a stirring tribute to the origins of the race and its Midwestern home.
· Memorial Day -- Every year, in a single afternoon, 1,700 members of the Old Guard take to the hills of Arlington National Cemetery and place American flags at the headstones of the fallen. More than 200,000 graves are marked with the red, white and blue, and it is done in just a few hours. These soldiers are shown as they honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country
Other ESPN Platforms
In addition to the live telecast on ABC, the Indianapolis 500 will receive ESPN multiplatform coverage on the following outlets:
SportsCenter, ESPN's flagship news and information program, will include reports from Indianapolis Motor Speedway before and after the running of the Indianapolis 500. SportsCenter anchor Lindsay Czarniak, who is hosting the ESPN on ABC telecast of the race, and analyst Eddie Cheever reported from the Speedway during qualifying weekend and will report again from Carburetion Day and the day before the race, joined by analyst Scott Goodyear. Czarniak will have an exclusive interview with the race winner that will run Sunday night as the SportsCenter Sunday Conversation.
ESPN.com will provide surround coverage of the Indy 500 with senior motorsports writer Ed Hinton and IndyCar correspondent John Oreovicz on hand at IMS. The site has already been previewing and preparing for the event. ESPN.com staff will cap off the coverage on race day with Racing Live! Indianapolis 500 on ESPN.com as the writers, editors and fans interact on every aspect of the race. In addition, ESPN SportsCenter anchor Lindsay Czarniak and analyst Eddie Cheever will provide exclusive digital coverage leading up to and after the race.
ESPN International -- In combination with ABC Television, the Indy 500 will be televised on ESPN's International networks and syndication partners in 157 countries and territories to more than 196.7 million homes throughout the world. Countries include Africa, Australia, Canada, Central America, Europe, Japan, Middle East, New Zealand, Russia, South America and the United States. The Greatest Spectacle in Racing will also be broadcast live to over 800,000 servicemen and women and their families through American Forces Network.
ESPN Classic will help get fans ready for the Indy 500 with 70 hours of programming beginning Tuesday, May 21. ESPN Classic will air 60 hours of classic Indy 500 races and 10 hours of SportsCentury programs related to the 500, including episodes featuring Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears and more. The special programming continues after the May 26 race with races airing May 28-30 on their anniversary dates.
ESPN Radio's Saturday RaceDay starts its engines at 6 a.m. with an hour of news, previews and analysis. ESPN Radio also provides auto racing fans the comprehensive Sunday RaceDay (6-7 a.m. Sundays), which covers the auto racing world. IndyCar correspondent Bruce Martin will report from Indianapolis Motor Speedway for both programs airing the weekend of the Indianapolis 500.
ESPN Deportes, ESPN's Spanish-language television, radio and Internet in the U.S., will cover the Indy 500 via SportsCenter, the network's flagship news and information program. In addition, ESPNDeportes.com will provide comprehensive coverage with previews, qualifying, photo galleries, and videos. ESPN Deportes also will produce the SAP for the ABC telecast of the race, with Andres Agulla and Alex Pombo providing the commentary.
ESPN The Magazine - The current issue of ESPN The Magazine, on newsstands now, contains an Indianapolis 500 preview by senior writer Ryan McGee. In addition to making his picks for the event, McGee also looks back on the highs and lows experienced by driver AJ Allmendinger during his career and examines the step team owner Roger Penske took in giving Allmendinger a chance to drive for him in this year's Indy 500. The "Mag 15" issue celebrates the magazine's 15th anniversary.