Checking out the field
Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
• Sunday, noon, NBC Sports Network
• Streets of St. Petersburg, 1.8-mile street course
Comment: Helio Castroneves extended his track record with his third victory, then touched the "Dan Wheldon Way" sign at Turn 10 in an emotional twist to his fence-climbing celebration.
Grand Prix of Alabama
• April 7, 3 p.m., NBC Sports Network
• Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, 2.38-mile road course
Comment: In 2012 Will Power won the race for the second year in a row and made Team Penske 3-for-3; Helio Castroneves took the inaugural race in 2010. Scott Dixon has been second all three times.
Grand Prix of Long Beach
• April 21, 4 p.m., NBC Sports Network
• Streets of Long Beach, Calif., 1.968-mile street course
Comment: Power took the lead from Simon Pagenaud with 15 laps left and never let go. Pagenaud's runnerup was his series best and led to a strong rookie campaign.
Sao Paulo Indy 300
• May 5, 11 a.m., NBC Sports Network
• Streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2.536-mile street course
Comment: Power made it a hat trick in 2012, both for that season and in Brazilian races. The Penske Racing ace has led 99 of 191 laps in winning all three editions of this race.
• May 26, noon, Ch. 28
• Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 2½-mile oval
Comment: Dario Franchitti overcame an early pit incident for his third Brickyard victory, holding off a last-lap challenge from Takuma Sato, who spun in Turn 1 trying to pass for the win.
Indy Duel in Detroit, Race 1
• June 1, 3:30 p.m., Ch. 28
Indy Duel in Detroit, Race 2
• June 2, 3:30 p.m., Ch. 28
• Raceway at Belle Isle Park, Detroit, 2.1-mile street course
Comment: One of the biggest points of controversy to hit the series in recent years begins here — it's the first of three Saturday-Sunday doubleheaders, all on street courses.
• June 8, 8:30 p.m., Ch. 28
• Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, 1½-mile quad oval
Comment: Justin Wilson earned his first career oval victory last year in stunning fashion, pouncing when leader Graham Rahal brushed the wall with just two laps to go; Rahal wound up second.
• June 15, 4 p.m., NBC Sports Network
• Milwaukee Mile, 1-mile oval
Comment: Ryan Hunter-Reay earned his first victory of the season last year, leading the final 84 laps for his first win at Milwaukee in the series and second in his career (Champ Car, 2004).
Iowa Corn 250
• June 23, 2:30 p.m., Ch. 28
• Iowa Speedway, Newton, 0.875-mile oval
Comment: Hunter-Reay made it two in a row in 2012, leading the final 13 laps to edge Andretti Autosport teammate Marco Andretti for the first 1-2 finish by Americans in the series since Indy in 2006.
Pocono IndyCar 400
• July 7, noon, Ch. 28
• Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, Pa., 2½-mile tri-oval
Comment: The facility in the Pennsylvania mountains will host an open-wheel race for the first time since 1989. The first of Teo Fabi's five career CART wins came there in 1983.
Indy Toronto, Race 1
• July 13, 3 p.m., NBC Sports Network
Indy Toronto, Race 2
• July 14, 3 p.m., NBC Sports Network
• Streets of Toronto, 1.75-mile road course
Comment: The site of the second doubleheader this season. For those keeping score, this event caps a stretch of nine races — nearly half of the schedule — in just eight weeks.
Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio
• Aug. 4, 3 p.m., NBC Sports Network
• Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, 2.258-mile road course
Comment: Scott Dixon is the name to know at this place, as he has won at Mid-Ohio four times in the past six years, including 2012. Chip Ganassi's team has won four in a row here.
Grand Prix of Sonoma
• Aug. 25, 4 p.m., NBC Sports Network
• Infineon Raceway, Sonoma, Calif., 2.303-mile road course
Comment: Penske Racing continued its dominance of the race in 2012 as Ryan Briscoe got ahead of Power on the final pit stop and stayed ahead to lead a team 1-2.
Baltimore Grand Prix
• Sept. 1, 2 p.m., NBC Sports Network
• Streets of Baltimore, 2-mile street course
Comment: Hunter-Reay won here last year to hang on in the hunt for the title, which until then looked like it was in Power's back pocket. Turned out, it was a critical turning point.
Grand Prix of Houston, Race 1
• Oct. 5, 3 p.m., NBC Sports Network
Grand Prix of Houston, Race 2
• Oct. 6, 1 p.m., NBC Sports Network
• Streets of Houston, 1.69-mile street course
Comment: The final doubleheader in what still could be stifling Texas heat, even in early autumn. The course winds around Reliant Stadium, home of the NFL's Texans.
• Oct. 19, 8 p.m., NBC Sports Network
• Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, Calif., 2-mile oval
Comment: Ed Carpenter earned his second career win here last year and another American, Hunter-Reay, clinched the series title, taking advantage after Power crashed out early.