For the first time in more than 50 years, the Indianapolis 500 has a new television home.

The Indy 500, which gets underway Sunday at 12:45 p.m., will air on NBC for the first time in the race’s 103-year history. ABC had been airing the event since 1965, but was outbid for the rights by NBC, which already had the television rights to the IndyCar Series.

Calling his first Indy 500 will be Leigh Diffey, the affable Australian native who has been the voice of NBC’s IndyCar coverage since 2013. During his 23-year broadcasting career, Diffey has called everything from the Olympics to professional rugby, and his first assignment after joining NBC Sports was calling the Penn Relays on NBCSN.

Diffey will enter an exclusive club Sunday. Since the Indy 500 went live in 1986 (from 1971 to 1985 it was shown on a same-day tape delay), just six people have done play-by-play during the race. Diffey will become the seventh.

“When you think about it, lots of people have done the Olympic Games and lots of people have done rugby, golf or track and field or whatever, but very few people have called the Indianapolis 500,” Diffey told Australian motorsport website SpeedCafe. “That’s why it’s very easy for me to say this is the top of the tree for me.”

Also working his first Indy 500 is Football Night in America anchor Mike Tirico, who got the thrill of a lifetime on Wednesday, when he was picked up at the airport by racing legend Mario Andretti in a two-seat, street-legal Indy car.

“OK, so that was the coolest freakin’ thing I’ve ever done in sports,” Tirico said.

2019 Indianapolis 500

When: Sunday, May 26

Where: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Start time: 12:45 p.m.

Announcers: Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell, Paul Tracy

Host: Mike Tirico

TV: NBC

Streaming: NBC Sports app, NBCSports.com/LiveExtra (require authentication), Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, Sling TV, Playstation Vue, DirectTV Now, Fubo TV (all require a subscription).

Media coverage

Coverage of the Indy 500 will begin on NBCSN at 9 a.m., and continue at 11 a.m. on NBC. Hosting NBC’s coverage will be Mike Tirico and former Indycar driver Danica Patrick, with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Rutledge Wood showing off some of the sights, sounds, and locations from the speedway (including the fabled Yard of Bricks).

Ahead of the green flag, The Voice’s Kelly Clarkson will sing “The Star Spangled Banner,” while Chicago Blackhawks national anthem singer Jim Cornelison will sing “Back Home Again in Indiana."

A post-race show will air at 4 p.m. on NBCSN.

Thunderstorms may interfere with Indy 500

Showers and thunderstorms moving through Indianapolis may interfere with Sunday’s race, according to AccuWeather.

A frontal boundary will extend from the central Plains through the mid-Atlantic on Sunday, when several rounds of showers and thunderstorms are expected to develop.

“Though there will be some breaks in any thunderstorms that are around the Indy 500 on Sunday, it may be hard to find any gap large enough to dry the track and run the full race,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert said Sunday morning. “Spotty thunderstorms will be a threat for the bulk of the day.”

Drivers must complete 101 of the race’s 200 laps before it’s considered official. There have been six other rain-shortened races in Indianapolis 500 history, most recently in 2007.

If the race can’t be completed on Sunday, it will be postponed to Monday, with a start time dependent on weather conditions.

Indy 500 Driver Lineup

Will Power, of Australia, is the defending Indianapolis 500 champion. Power enter’s Sunday’s race as one of the favorites. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy / AP
Will Power, of Australia, is the defending Indianapolis 500 champion. Power enter’s Sunday’s race as one of the favorites. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Row 1

No. 22: Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 229.992 mph

No. 20: Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 229.889 mph

No. 21: Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 229.826 mph

Row 2

No. 63: Ed Jones, Honda, 229.646 mph

No. 88: Colton Herta, Honda, 229.086 mph

No. 12: Will Power, Chevrolet, 228.645 mph

Row 3

No. 18) Sebastien Bourdais, Honda, 228.621. mph

No. 2) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 228.396 mph

No. 27) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 228.247 mph

Row 4

No. 98: Marco Andretti, Honda, 228.756 mph

No. 25: Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 228.617 mph

No. 3: Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 228.523 mph

Row 5

No. 7: Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 228.511 mph

No. 30: Takuma Sato, Honda, 228.300 mph

No. 33: James Davison, Honda, 228.273 mph

Row 6

No. 14: Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 228.120 mph

No. 15: Graham Rahal, Honda, 228.104 mph

No. 9: Scott Dixon, Honda, 228.100 mph

Row 7

No. 77: Oriol Servia, Honda, 227.991 mph

No. 23: Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 227.915 mph

No. 48: JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 227.908 mph

Row 8

No. 28: Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 227.877 mph

No. 19: Santino Ferrucci, Honda, 227.731 mph

No. 4: Matheus Leist, Chevrolet, 227.717 mph

Row 9

No. 60: Jack Harvey,Honda, 227.695 mph

No. 42: Jordan King, Chevrolet, 227.502 mph

No. 81: Ben Hanley, Chevrolet, 227.482 mph

Row 10

No. 26: Zach Veach, Honda, 227.341 mph

No. 10: Felix Rosenqvist, Honda, 227.297 mph

No. 39: Pippa Mann, Honda, 227.244 mph

Row 11

No. 24: Sage Karam, Chevrolet, 227.740 mph

No. 5: James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 227.543 mph

No. 32: Kyle Kaiser, Chevrolet, 227.372 mph

Borg-Warner Trophy

The late Dan Wheldon, of England, poses with the Borg-Warner Trophy after winning the Indianapolis 500 for the second time in 2011. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)
AP
The late Dan Wheldon, of England, poses with the Borg-Warner Trophy after winning the Indianapolis 500 for the second time in 2011. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

The winner of the Indianapolis 500 is awarded the Borg-Warner Trophy, among the most unique in all of sports. The trophy, first unveiled in 1936, bears a sculpted likeness of every driver that has won the race since Ray Harrou won the first Indy 500 in 1911.

The original trophy ran out of room in 1986 after Bobby Rahal’s victory, leading to the addition of a new base that won’t run out of space until 2034.