Where to Watch NASCAR Legend Jimmie Johnson’s IndyCar Debut? What Time Is the Race?

Published 04/14/2021, 8:10 AM EDT
KANSAS CITY, KANSAS – JULY 23: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet, sit in his car prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Super Start Batteries 400 Presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)


The NTT IndyCar Series returns this Sunday, also marking the racing return and Indy debut of NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson. The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will kick off the season this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park.

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This season of the IndyCar Series will have added interest from NASCAR circles as well, as Johnson makes his debut in the iconic racing event. After almost two decades in NASCAR, Johnson will now drive a completely new car, albeit with the same number – 48.

Weekend schedule for the opening IndyCar Series 2021 race

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The weekend will begin with the two practice sessions on Saturday, April 17. The NTT IndyCar Series Practice Session 1 will start at 11 AM ET, followed by Practice Session 2 at 2:40 PM ET. Fans can catch the action live on Peacock Premium, SIRIUS XM, and IndyCar Radio.

AUSTIN, TEXAS – FEBRUARY 11: NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson attends NTT IndyCar Series testing at Circuit of The Americas on February 11, 2020 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Then comes the qualification session at 5:50 PM ET, on the same channels. A repeat broadcast of the same will be shown at 10 PM on NBCSN.

The main race will take place on Sunday, April 18, starting at 3 PM ET. Before that, Johnson and the rest of the field will run a warm-up session at 11:30 AM. The main race will be shown on NBC Sports, SIRIUS XM, and IndyCar Radio.

The NASCAR drivers are already well settled in the new season. Johnson will also race mostly on Sundays as well, with the times clashing with NASCAR races as it is this weekend.

Jimmie Johnson ready to show his class in a new racing series

The former Hendrick Motorsports driver in NASCAR has signed up with Chip Ganassi Racing to drive 13 races this season, all on either street or road courses. Johnson will not compete in the iconic Indy 500 this year but has kept the door open for next year, although he does not have any concrete plans for the same.

The seven-time NASCAR Cup champion opened up on his emotions ahead of the debut race in a completely different racing series.

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I’m nervous and excited. Some days more nervous than excited, but I dig this,” he said in a recent interview.

“I love the accountability of fear and excitement and fear and all that goes with it, and putting in the time and learning all about the process everywhere I can right now,” Johnson added.

Johnson’s current contract with Chip Ganassi Racing is for two years and includes the 2022 season as well. While his 2021 plans include only road and street courses, Johnson will eventually take a call on running the oval races for next year.

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Aayush Majumdar

1006 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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