By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
NBC Sports announced Thursday its entire TV lineup for the 57th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway, set to take place on January 26-27.
The 24-hour classic will have an all-star lineup as not only the IMSA crew covering the race, it’ll feature both NASCAR and IndyCar commentators, analysis and pit reporters, which is also NBC’s first race of a multi-year exclusive broadcast partnership with the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
IMSA CEO Ed Bennett described the stacked broadcast as an incredible sign of the network providing its best coverage to start off the 50th season of the sanctioning body.
“If one is looking for evidence of the substantial commitment NBC Sports has made to IMSA television coverage, look no further than this incredible lineup of broadcast talent,” said Bennett. “The approach they’re taking to the Rolex 24 At Daytona telecast is akin to what many of our best teams have done for decades, which is to pair proven, sports car talent with a lineup of all-stars from throughout the world of motorsports. There are many examples where that approach has been successful on the racetrack, and we’re confident it will pay similar dividends on television.”
From 2-5 p.m. EST, the broadcast will begin on NBCSN with play-by-play Leigh Diffey, former IMSA GT driver and analyst Calvin Fish, and former NASCAR and Champ Car driver A.J. Allmendinger, who’ll not only make his television debut, but also competing in Michael Shank Racing’s No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 when he’s off the booth, eyeing on a second Rolex 24 victory.
Allmendinger’s double duty is one of many storylines that fans across the world have gravitated. There are multiple entries are running throwback liveries such as Chip Ganassi Racing and CORE Autosport, Fernando Alonso’s bid on another 24-hour endurance race win, Shank’s all-female lineup led by multi-class winner Katherine Legge, and the anticipating return of Alex Zanardi, which NBC Sports Executive Producer and President of Production noted that it can’t get better than what lies ahead.
“There is no better spectacle in U.S. racing over a 24-hour period than this event with these drivers, who have incredible storylines,” said Flood. “From the all-female IMSA team to Alex Zanardi racing on U.S. soil again to our very commentators driving in the race, we couldn’t ask for a better way to launch our partnership with IMSA.”
Over on pit road, it’ll be NASCAR’s Dave Burns, Marty Snider and Kelli Stavast while IndyCar’s and Rolex 24 competitor Townsend Bell will join Krista Voda, Steve Letarte and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. at the network’s “Peacock Pit Box.”
In addition of the opening lineup, IMSA’s Brian Till, IndyCar’s Paul Tracy, Jon Beekhuis and Kevin Lee, and NASCAR’s Rick Allen and Parker Kligerman will also be part of the telecast. Rutledge Wood will also provide multiple stories around the 3.56-mile circuit.
On Jan. 24, NBC will have an IMSA season preview, featuring a sit-down interview with Zanardi, and his awe-inspiring road to Daytona. Also, Dale Jr. discusses with NBCSports.com motorsports writer and Nate Ryan about the 2001 edition of the Rolex 24 where he, his late father, Dale Earnhardt, Andy Pilgrim and Kevin Collins finished fourth overall in the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C5-R.
Live two-hour qualifying coverage will take place that same day beginning at 3 p.m. EST on NBCSN.
The entire lineup of NBC’s broadcast for the 2019 Rolex 24:
|Time (ET)||Platform||Commentators||Pit Crew||“Peacock Pit Box”|
|2 – 5 p.m.||NBCSN||Diffey, Fish & Allmendinger||Snider, Burns & Stavast||Voda, Letarte, Earnhardt & Bell|
|5 – 9 p.m.||NBC Sports App||Allen, Tracy, Bell & Till||Beekhuis, Lee & Kligerman||Voda|
|9 p.m. – 12 a.m.||NBCSN||Diffey, Fish, Allmendinger & Till||Snider, Burns & Stavast||Voda, Letarte & Earnhardt|
|12 – 3 a.m.||NBCSN||Allen, Tracy & Till||Beekhuis, Lee & Kligerman||N/A|
|6 – 9 a.m.||NBCSN||Diffey & Fish||Snider & Burns||N/A|
|9 a.m. – 12 p.m.||NBCSN||Allen, Tracy, Allmendinger & Bell||Beekhuis, Lee & Kligerman||Voda, Letarte & Earnhardt|
|12 – 3 p.m.||NBCSN||Diffey, Fish, Allmendinger & Bell||Snider, Burns & Stavast||Voda, Letarte & Earnhardt|