FULL RESULTS: Ryan Hunter-Reay takes the checkered flag
ABC will be the television home of the Indianapolis 500 for the 50th time when race coverage begins on Sunday, a fact that makes ESPN vice president of motorsports production Rich Feinberg say "wow."
"What a run. My personal memories of the Indy 500 and ABC’s coverage of it date back to when I was a kid," Feinberg said. "Memorial Day weekends with my family, appointment viewing. Those days it was on a tape delay at night. To see it come around now to the 50-year anniversary is just amazing."
Today, the Indy 500 is shown live, with coverage beginning at 11 a.m. ET on ABC. Ed Carpenter will lead the 33-car field to the green flag at approximately 12:12 p.m. Feinberg hopes the 50th edition will be as good as the first 49 and plans to do it by telling the drivers' stories as well as explaining the strategy behind the race.
"Our team looks at it like it’s a privilege to produce the Indy 500," Feinberg said. "It always has been. It always will be. It’s a cherished assignment that everybody embraces. Our goal is quite simple, and that’s to uphold the tradition of excellence in coverage that’s been established by our ABC colleagues over the past 49 years."
To do so, ABC will use 92 cameras, including 36 on drivers.
"It is a very large production, one of the largest that we do every year," Feinberg said.
Allen Bestwick, better known for his work in NASCAR, will call the race and has a combined five decades of open-wheel experience in Eddie Cheever and Scott Goodyear alongside him in the booth to help with analysis.
That's good, because Bestwick is an IndyCar rookie himself. But he's put the prep work in and feels confident in his ability to call the race.
"It’s still an auto race," he said. "The object is still to get the distance covered from start to finish in the least amount of time possible. Terminology, styles, strategies are a little different."
Goodyear, with two decades of racing experience and a pair of second-place finishes in the Indianapolis 500 in 1992 and 1997, has analyzed IndyCar since 2002 for ESPN.
"For me, I view this race now from the television booth almost like a driver," Goodyear said. "There are the super teams that you anticipate will do well, there are teams in the middle of the road that have a good shot at it, then there are teams there participating, if they’re in the top 10 at the end of the day they feel pretty lucky."
Coverage: 11 a.m., ABC
Green flag: 12:12 p.m. (approximately), ABC
All times listed in Eastern.