Notes: Road America race delivers 1.1 million viewers on NBC

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NBC Sports broadcast its most-watched Indy car race outside the Indianapolis 500 with Sunday’s REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR, according to Nielsen and digital data from Adobe Analytics.

It continued the trend that has seen the first five NTT IndyCar Series races aired on NBC show a viewership increase of 19 percent compared to the five races that aired on ABC a year ago. NBC Sports is in the first of a multiyear agreement with INDYCAR to serve as the exclusive domestic media rights holder and will broadcast a total of eight races on NBC this season. The remainder are telecast on NBCSN.

Sunday’s race at the iconic Road America track in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, won by Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi, averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 1.109 million viewers. Television-only viewership on NBC was 1.104 million viewers, with a 0.77 household rating.

Locally, Indianapolis led all markets with a 3.59 rating followed by Milwaukee with a 2.61.

The NTT IndyCar Series is averaging a TAD of 2.319 million viewers through five races on NBC, up 19 percent versus the comparable five races on ABC last season (1.955 million).

Overall, NBC Sports’ presentation of 10 races this season, with five on NBC and five on NBCSN, has averaged a TAD of 1.403 million viewers, up 8 percent versus comparable coverage last year on ABC and NBCSN (1.299 million).

Youngster finds his heroes in safety trucks, not Indy car

Teddy Madgwick with AMR INDYCAR Safety TeamWhile kids of all ages walked through the Road America paddock for close-up looks at Indy cars and NTT IndyCar Series drivers racing in the REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR, 6-year-old Teddy Madgwick’s focus was elsewhere.

The youngster was more interested in the AMR INDYCAR Safety Team, so he flagged down a few members. In his small hands, he held a diecast model of a safety team transporter and politely asked if they would sign it for him. While they were headed out to fulfill their on-track duties at the time, they told their young fan to come back later that afternoon.

True to their word, when Teddy came back, the whole safety team signed his beloved transporter as he shared all the information he had collected about the team, the three safety trucks and the medical car. Teddy’s parents explained that Teddy always looks to see which safety truck is first to an accident scene when they watch IndyCar races together.

After meeting the team, not only did Teddy get a personalized tour of the safety vehicles, the transporter and some time “at the wheel” of AMR Safety Truck 2, he also received a special tour of the transporter cab from driver Louie Parsons. On a race weekend when first responders of all types were honored at Road America, Teddy’s enthusiasm for the safety team provided the perfect complement to the activities.

Lucas Oil School of Racing named Road to Indy’s official driving school

Andersen Promotions announced Tuesday a long-term partnership with the Lucas Oil School of Racing that will see the leading driver training platform and race series become the official driving school of the Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires through 2022. The alliance builds on the relationship that has seen the Lucas Oil School of Racing serve as a steppingstone to the Road to Indy driver development ladder.

Lucas Oil School of Racing carsThe Lucas Oil School of Racing offers a unique concept, visiting more than a dozen circuits throughout North America each year to provide basic and advanced two-days schools. Its programs are open to racers as young as 12 who are preparing to make the move from karts to cars. The school delivers fundamental training aboard Ray Formula Cars GR11 chassis with an Elite Engines 2.0-liter powerplant and Cooper tires.

The Lucas Oil Formula Car Race Series offers arrive-and-drive racing with six events generating 18 races in total and provides its champion with a $75,000 scholarship to advance to the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship. In addition, the Lucas Oil School of Racing Cooper Tires Scholarship Shootout offers its champion a full season in the Formula Car Race Series.

“We receive a lot of requests from drivers, particularly in karting, asking how to get started on the Road to Indy, and we always direct them to the Lucas School of Racing,” said Dan Andersen, owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions that operates the Road to Indy under INDYCAR sanction. “So to welcome them as our official driving school makes perfect sense.”

Drivers in the Lucas Oil Formula Car Race Series will be provided with opportunities to attend Road to Indy events and be paired with USF2000 teams to go behind the scenes and learn more about the next step in their career development. Road to Indy representatives will also attend Formula Car Race Series events and the annual Cooper Tires Karting Shootout to promote and support the new partnership.

“A partnership between the Lucas Oil School of Racing and Andersen Promotions is a no-brainer,” said Neil Enerson, Lucas Oil School of Racing founder and CEO. “It's an honor to be named the official driving school of the Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires, and we look forward to cultivating the next crop of Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship drivers.”

Chip Ganassi Racing, Iowa Speedway partner on automotive internship program

Des Moines Area Community College, the largest undergraduate college in Iowa, is partnering with Chip Ganassi Racing and Iowa Speedway on a new internship program available exclusively to automotive students at the college.

DMACC students selected for the internship will spend 8-10 weeks at the CGR shop in Indianapolis, where they will have the opportunity to work on NTT IndyCar Series and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship cars alongside the team’s professionals.

“This internship is an incredible opportunity for DMACC automotive students who are passionate about racing and driven to work in the industry,” said Jerry Burns, DMACC Automotive Service Education Program and Automotive Technology chairperson and professor. “Careers in professional auto racing are very competitive, whether you’re a driver or an auto technician, and experience is key.

“Students selected for this internship will strengthen their industry qualifications and differentiate themselves by gaining invaluable, hands-on experience in a professional race shop.”

DMACC automotive students must submit all completed application materials by Friday, June 28 to be considered for the internship. Application information and materials can be found online at www.dmacc.edu/programs/automotive. A selection committee will review applications and finalists will be invited to attend the NTT IndyCar Series Iowa 300 on Saturday, July 20, at Iowa Speedway.

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