Thoughts on Leigh Diffey expecting to call his last IndyCar race at the Iowa Speedway doubleheader this weekend before the Olympics and most likely NASCAR later on

by Sports Benches

This weekend’s IndyCar Series race doubleheader at Iowa Speedway will be Leigh Diffey’s last race on the call after just over a decade, even though there’s six events left on the calendar this season before NBC Sports will bow out on a high with Fox Sports set to take it from here going into 2025 and beyond where they will show all races live including the annual Indianapolis 500 race on free-to-air. We all know he will be calling Track and Field during the 2nd week of the Summer Olympics over in Paris, France in early August for the network, which is a position that is so legendary since he first called the races at a Olympic event four years ago in Tokyo, Japan on top of various top-level races like the World Champs in the past.

Lots more to come when he will be back calling the Olympics Track and Field once again for the 2028 edition in Los Angeles followed by his hometown reunion for the Brisbane edition come 2032 – the time when NBC’s current Olympic contract will be expiring by then unless they renew for a lot more down the track from the last time the network signed their big Olympics renewal with the IOC that dates back to May 7th, 2014. There’s even more exciting news for Leigh post-IndyCar – even though it still hasn’t been made official but close to 100% likely – is that he will be well and truly expected to replace Rick Allen as NBC’s lead NASCAR Cup Series announcer once the Olympics is done alongside Steve Letarte and Jeff Burton. This won’t affect his other commitments such as Supercross and the early season IMSA races when NBC is not doing NASCAR, although he might miss the a rare Cup race or two for the World Championships in Track & Field if required during the odd years.

We don’t know when he will be begin calling the NASCAR races again but most likely when the Playoffs start around September with Leigh getting the promotion. Meanwhile, Rick Allen – who is currently calling the Cup races at the moment – will only keep his Xfinity Series gig for The CW – whether if it’s just the short term under NBC’s production just for the Playoffs or on a permanent basis ahead of its first full-time season next year with all races also free-to-air.

Seems like having a three-man booth suits the network’s style more off the back of good banter and chemistry that Leigh forged with James Hinchcliffe and Townsend Bell in IndyCar rather than the four-man group they’ve done with NASCAR for several years until the end of last season. Then at a time when they’ve renewed their commitment to air NASCAR for another few years not long later but only at Cup level; like the Premier League, NBC would want to go differently without Dale Jr. & now Rick.

For now, things won’t be the same without Leigh calling the open-wheel races at all once he wraps up NBC’s IndyCar coverage at Iowa with Kevin Lee expected to take the baton until the finale at Nashville Superspeedway. He’s been great presenting/calling these races firstly with Formula 1 of course before he got the chance to call the Formula 1 & IndyCar races for NBC at the same time back in 2013 while being the first overseas announcer to call the Indianapolis 500 when NBC had full rights to IndyCar for another few years from 2019 until the end of this year. We’re glad that he’s had one hell of a ride to see it for himself and the wider motorsports community as we can’t wait to hear what Leigh soon enough after the Olympics.

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