Sunday, the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 will take place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and it will air live at 11 a.m. ET on ABC. The storylines for this years race are plentiful starting with the return of Juan Pablo Montoya, where in 2000 the Indianapolis 500. Now for the first time since then, the former CART champion and Formula One race winner is back at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in an Indy car.
NASCAR’s Kurt Busch will be the forth driver in history to try to run the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. He will drive the Indy 500 then take a plane to Charlotte to run the the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600. If he completes both races, that will be a total of 1,100 miles in one day in two cities, in two different types of cars.
NBC Sports IndyCar Townsend Bell analyst will be driving in this years 5oo and he shared with Sports Talk Florida some of his thoughts about if being a broadcaster helps him as a race driver.
“Taking a step back and working in the television situation while I’m still in my racing career has really allowed me to – and forced me – to do a good job as analyst, to analyze drivers and teams objectively. And I’ve been really surprised at how much I’ve learned frankly. And it’s been fun to apply the learnings back, you know, as a driver again and back-and-forth.
In terms of any downside, I really don’t see any. You know, I love being at the racetrack whether it’s commentating or driving. And working with NBC, and Jeff mentioned this also, they’re such a competitive attitude at NBC that I love which is an insistence, and I think it comes from Sam all the way down through the organization. It’s an insistence on quality and being the best, telling the best stories, and we never settle; we’re always analyzing how we can do a better job.
And I’ve taken great lead from guys like Leigh Diffey who were, you know, David Hobbs, the best in the business; they’ve been doing it a long time. And it’s a real pleasure for me to just learn and feed off of their energy and expertise.
So all around, it’s been a real plus for me.”