Sunday afternoon, the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 will take place in front of an empty Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Danica Patrick will be present once again for the iconic race, albeit in more formal clothing. She will join Mike Tirico in the booth while providing commentary for the on-track action.
"Honored to be doing the #indy500 again this year with the legendary @miketiriconbc!!!! And my friend @marcoandretti is on the pole!!!! Getting all the @indycar back at @indianapolismotorspeedway FEELS!" Patrick confirmed with a post on Instagram. She also accidentally said that the race would take place in May before joking about being "conditioned" to the spring month.
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This is the second consecutive year that Patrick joins Tirico in the booth. She was on hand for the 2019 race, an exciting affair in which Simon Pagenaud and Alexander Rossi battled for the checkered flag. Pagenaud ultimately delivered the victory for his team after taking the lead with little over one lap remaining in the race.
The defending winner is back for 2020's iteration, but he will have to make up considerable ground to secure a repeat. He starts Sunday's race in the ninth row alongside Fernando Alonso and James Davison. Patrick's friend, Andretti, will start in the pole position after reaching 231.068 mph during qualifying. He marked the first time in 33 years that a member of the famed Andretti family took the pole at the Brickyard, following in grandfather Mario Andretti's footsteps.
As someone with considerable experience in IndyCar, as well as the Indy 500, Patrick has a unique viewpoint. She participated in the iconic race several times, including in 2005 when she finished fourth overall. Patrick also achieved a career-best third-place finish in the Indy 500 in 2008.
The Indy 500 had an original date of May 24, but the race moved to August due to the pandemic. In its place, NBC Sports held a four-hour special that looked back on the 2019 race. This broadcast featured interviews with both Pagenaud and Rossi and included new footage and content for viewers at home.
Months later, the iconic race will finally take place. Fans will not attend due to health and safety concerns, but they can watch the Indy 500 from the comfort of their homes. They will also watch Tirico and Patrick provide commentary once again.