The 2021 Indycar seasons begins with Race One at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama.

16 April 2021 | James Porteous | Clipper Media

Last year was fraught with uncertainty in most audience sports, but few franchises managed to rise to the occasion as well as Indycar.

They were literally flying by the seat of their pants for most of the season as they saw races canceled or rescheduled at the last moment, leaving them to wisely scramble to run double-headers where they were actually able to run races.

Who knows what this year will bring when it comes to audience participation but Indycar is clearly ready to do whatever it takes to run a full slate of races this year.

The series has faced many setbacks in the past few years. After it quite accidentally established a thriving community of fans on YouTube, most of whom gathered religiously to watch practice, qualifying, Indy Lights races and much more -for free- Indy struck a deal with NBC and moved everything except the actual races to their fledgling Gold Pass pay tier.

The biggest problem was that this ‘new’ tier was only available to viewers in the US, and only those willing to pay for what they used to enjoy for free.

This year sees all of the above moving to the relatively new Peacock Premium network. Early indications are that the move might please die-heart fans but the biggest issue remains – the content is only available to viewers in the US.

So it is the usual one-step forward and three back and hopefully, fans will not have to wait until the end of this season to see if Indycar has finally learned some hard lessons about the international scope of their followers.

Honestly, if Peacock is willing to ease some of the restrictions for the archived material it would most-certainly help in the reconstruction of the Indycar Community this year.

In the meantime, it is indeed time to tune in. Driver-wise this looks to be an exciting year. Not only do the standard big-names have something to prove, but everyone is aware of the new breed of drivers nipping at the heels, all of whom also have something to prove right here and right now.

James Porteous / Clipper Media

Barber Motorsports Park tv schedule for the 2021 Indycar season opener; Jimmie Johnson set for debut

This weekend, the 2021 Indycar season is set to begin. Barber Motorsports Park opens the season in Birmingham, Alabama.

View the Barber Motorsports Park tv schedule below.

Barber Motorsports Park: Indycar Menu
TV/Info | Prac 1 | Prac 2 | Qual | Race

The track opened in 2003 but quickly became a legend. It’s a 2.38-mile road course featuring 17 corners and 80 feet of elevation changes.

7-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson is set to make his debut with the series. Johnson retired from full-time NASCAR competition at the end of the 2020 season. He’ll be piloting the No. 48 for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Indycar TV Schedule
Grand Prix of Alabama

The following includes all on-track action:

Thursday
April 15

4:30-5:15pm ET | Indycar Radio
Indy Lights
Practice

Friday
April 16

12:00-12:30pm ET | Indycar Radio
Indy Lights
Qualifications Race 1

4:00-4:30pm ET | Indycar Radio
Indy Lights
Qualifications Race 2

Saturday
April 17

11:00-11:45am ET | Peacock App / Indycar Radio
NTT Indycar Series
Practice 1

1:05-2:15pm ET | Peacock App / Indycar Radio
Indy Lights
Race 1

2:40-3:25pm ET | Peacock App / Indycar Radio
NTT Indycar Series
Practice 2

5:50-7:10pm ET | Peacock App / Indycar Radio
NTT Indycar Series
Qualifications (LIVE)

10:00-11:00pm ET | NBCSN
NTT Indycar Series
Qualifications (DELAY)

Sunday
April 18

11:30-12:00pm ET | Peacock App / Indycar Radio
NTT Indycar Series
Warmup

1:10-2:20pm ET | Peacock App / Indycar Radio
Indy Lights
Race 2

3:00-6:00pm ET | NBC / Indycar Radio
NTT Indycar Series
Race (90 Laps)


Watch almost everything but the actual races starting this weekend on Peacock Premium

Barber Motorsports Park
Indycar Entry List

Race: April 18, 2021

Car No | Driver | Team

#2 Josef Newgarden
Team Penske

#3 Scott McLaughlin
Team Penske

#4 Dalton Kellett
AJ Foyt Enterprises

#5 Pato O’Ward
Arrow McLaren SP

#7 Felix Rosenqvist
Arrow McLaren SP

#8 Marcus Ericsson
Chip Ganassi Racing

#9 Scott Dixon
Chip Ganassi Racing

#10 Alex Palou
Chip Ganassi Racing

#12 Will Power
Team Penske

#14 Sebastien Bourdais
AJ Foyt Enterprises

#15 Graham Rahal
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

#18 Ed Jones
Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser Sullivan

#20 Conor Daly
Ed Carpenter Racing

#21 Rinus VeeKay
Ed Carpenter Racing

#22 Simon Pagenaud
Team Penske

#26 Colton Herta
Andretti Autosport

#27 Alexander Rossi
Andretti Autosport

#28 Ryan Hunter-Reay
Andretti Autosport

#29 James Hicnhcliffe
Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport

#30 Takuma Sato
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

#48 Jimmie Johnson
Chip Ganassi Racing

#51 Romain Grosjean
Dale Coyne Racing with RWR

#59 Max Chilton
Carlin

#60 Jack Harvey
Meyer Shank Racing

STACY REVEREGETTY IMAGES

This Is the Year to Start Following IndyCar

14 April 2021 | FRED SMITH | Road and Track Com

IndyCar racing is far from perfect. All of the cars sport the same spec Dallara chassis mated to an engine from one of just two suppliers.

The once-international series no longer ventures past Toronto, and the once-diverse schedule is down to just three ovals. Without the shining beacon that is the Indianapolis 500, the series would be unable to support itself and North American open wheel racing’s time as an elite rung of auto racing’s ladder would be over. It is, however, worth your attention. That has never been more true than 2021.

The headliner, of course, is the talent. From the outside, IndyCar has a stagnant field, dominated by Scott Dixon, with Will Power nipping at his heels, just the way the series has been since the day Dario Franchitti retired.

That is changing quickly. Dixon and Power are joined by fellow champions Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud as the clear class of the field, with Andretti Autosport’s Indianapolis 500 champion Alexander Rossi an eternal contender. Rossi himself is just one championship win away from joining that conversation at the top of the field.

All five are threats to win any race, but what makes their battles so compelling are their contrasting styles. Power is fastest over one lap, for instance, while Rossi’s reckless talent for making a crucial pass is unmatched. All drive for the three traditional powerhouse teams in the series (Team Penske, Chip Ganassi Racing, and Andretti Autosport), and all will come into 2021 expecting to contend for a title.

Behind them, the headliners are a group of rising stars: Colton Herta, Patricio O’Ward, Felix Rosenqvist, and Alex Palou. Herta and O’Ward, who drive for Andretti Autosport and Arrow McLaren SP respectively, finished third and fourth in last year’s championship standings, each as second-year drivers. Rosenqvist has just left Chip Ganassi Racing to join O’Ward at McLaren’s ambitious program, and Palou has replaced him as Scott Dixon’s full-time teammate at CGR. Each will be in a ride capable of winning a championship, and each will be expected to punch well above their experience.

While second and third-year drivers make up a significant number of elite entries, the bigger names are in the rookie class. Chip Ganassi Racing has the headliner, signing Jimmie Johnson, the seven-time NASCAR champion and general face of the last two decades of stock car racing, to a two-year deal for road and street courses that could include the Indianapolis 500 next season. Penske Racing has made a promotion of their own, expanding to four cars to make way for Australian Supercars ace Scott McLaughlin. At Dale Coyne Racing, long-time Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean will also make a run at every road and street round, in addition to a potential additional entry at the short oval at Gateway Motorsports Park.

Additional depth comes from winning veterans like Takuma Sato, James Hinchcliffe, Graham Rahal, and Ryan Hunter-Reay, plus unproven younger talent in Jack Harvey and Rinus VeeKay. In totality, it is one of the deepest and most-compelling fields any racing series has claimed in decades.

It’s true they race largely spec cars, but those cars, Dallaras now twice evolved from the DW12 chassis introduced nine years ago, have produced a fairly long history of exceptional open wheel racing. Last year, some of that potential for great racing was muted by a COVID-restricted schedule that led to event cancellations and quickly-rescheduled doubleheader weekends, but tracks like Road America and the Indianapolis road course still produced exciting races that ended in last-lap passes and three-car battles for wins.

This year’s schedule is greatly improved. The category’s failure to organize more than four oval races is a clear issue, but the result is even more schedule spots for interesting road and street events. In addition to traditional street races at Long Beach, Toronto, and St. Petersburg, the series will now add a downtown round at Nashville on a route that has integrated a bridge across a river. On the natural terrain road courses, highlights include stops at Laguna Seca, Road America, and Portland, three traditional CART races that had been lost to time until their revival as IndyCar dates in recent years.

IndyCar is not glamorous. There is no IndyCar: Drive To Survive, and it probably would not be a good television product if it existed. The sport shines in a global spotlight exactly once a year, and the rest of the series can easily be written off as what the Indianapolis 500 field does when there is no Indianapolis 500 to race.

But the racing is exceptional, a 15-weekend showcase of a deeply talented field in similarly-competitive cars fighting for wins at a wide variety of tracks. There is plenty of room for improvement, but the IndyCar series, as it exists today, has already returned to form as the best racing product in North America. The season begins this Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park, and it is worth your time.This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io