Sunday’s triple header of F1, IRL and NASCAR signature races a first for U.S. TV

Will Buxton, a British motorsports journalist who NBC has hired to help cover Formula One events, said it this week about the famed Monaco Grand Prix:

Monaco-Grand-Prix-1930-poster-1906694“If ever there is a moment at which you became disillusioned with the sport, you are reminded of the majesty and splendor of this incredible sport, it is standing trackside here in Monaco with cars flying past you over 100 mph, inches from your face.
“You can feel the working parts of the engine rise through your feet and your legs, up your spine, draw the breath out of your lungs as they fly past you. This place gives you a buzz for motorsports that nowhere else on earth gives you.”

That’s a legal buzz in Europe, by the way.

Some Americans may feel the same about the IRL’s iconic Indianapolis 500, or NASCAR’s longest race of the year, the Coca Cola 600 in Charlotte, N.C. Interestingly, if your 3D flatscreen happens to have fume-a-vision, you’ll be able to experience all three of these races Sunday for the first time in one felled sniff.

The NBC Sports Network has added the Monaco Grand Prix live at 4:30 a.m. ESPN’s production of the Indy 500 for ABC follows at 8 a.m. (with the race at 9:15 a.m.). Fox then caps the pre-Memorial Day trifecta with the NASCAR Sprint Cup classic at 2:30 p.m.

And which one will Danica Patrick be in again?
Rich Feinberg, ESPN’s vice president in charge of motorsports production, admits that Indy 500 ratings have been “challenged in certain areas” when up against a glamorous NASCAR event, but it doesn’t mean the network is pulling back on expenses linked to coverage. It plans for more than 80 cameras, including those running on cable above the pits.

Another noticeable ESPN tweak: Girl-next-door “SportsCenter” anchor Lindsay Czarniak is the new host, replacing Brent Musburger.

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