50th Annual Winternationals at Pomona Kick Off Season
ESPN2’s coverage of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series for 2010 will feature the 50th anniversary of one of the circuit’s top events, the first-ever “four-wide” action and consistent scheduling with finals telecasts from 18 of the 23 events in Sunday night viewing times.
With exclusive coverage of the NHRA for the 10th consecutive season, ESPN2’s season begins Feb. 13-14 with the 50th annual Kragen O’Reilly NHRA Winternationals from Pomona, Calif. ESPN2 will have coverage of qualifying and finals rounds from all 23 events in the series, with more than 10 hours of expanded coverage from drag racing’s biggest event, the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. All coverage is produced in high definition.
The final six events, beginning with Indianapolis, comprise the “Countdown to 1” in the NHRA’s “Countdown to the Championship.” Finals from the last five races all will air in the 7-10 p.m. time slot on Sunday nights.
The March 27-28 event at zMax Dragway adjacent to Charlotte Motor Speedway will be known as the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals and will see the NHRA’s professional classes running four across in qualifying and eliminations action, a first in the NHRA.
ESPN2’s drag racing coverage team returns in 2010 led by Paul Page, who became lead announcer in 2006. The award-winning Page has worked in motorsports broadcasting since 1974 and served as lap-by-lap announcer for the Indianapolis 500 on either radio or TV for more than 25 years.
Former drag racer Mike Dunn, a 22-time winner in NHRA competition and one of only three drivers to have scored more than 10 wins in both the Top Fuel and Funny Car classes, returns for his ninth season as ESPN’s drag racing analyst. Gary Gerould and Dave Rieff return as pit reporters for the full season, with motorsports television veteran John Kernan joining them as a third reporter for 10 events.
Rieff and Dunn continue as hosts of NHRA RaceDay, a news and information program airing on Sunday morning of all NHRA Full Throttle event weekends on ESPN2. NHRA RaceDay sets up the day for fans at home with must-see matchups, interviews with stars of the sport, driver features, news and analysis, a review of qualifying and what to look for during the finals action. The show originates from NHRA’s Nitro Alley, allowing fans attending the race to watch and participate in the show.
Qualifying coverage from Pomona airs Saturday, Feb. 13, at 11 p.m. ET, with finals coverage airing the next day at 8 p.m. RaceDay airs from Pomona at 10 a.m.
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will be featured on ESPN through 2016 as part of a five-year, multimedia rights agreement extension forged between the NHRA and ESPN in 2009. The NHRA has appeared exclusively on the ESPN networks since 2001. By the end of the extended agreement, the partnership will have been in place for 16 years.
ESPN2 also will continue its coverage of the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, the premier sportsman series in drag racing and, for many aspiring racers, serves as a stepping stone for the future stars of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
New this year will be coverage of the 10-event NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Series. With body styles ranging from ’41 Willys to ’53 Corvettes, ’57 Chevys to ’70 ‘Cudas, and first-generation Camaros and Firebirds to profiles as racy as the latest Dodge Viper along with show-quality themed paint jobs, Pro Mods have been crowd-pleasers at NHRA events for several years as an exhibition and were elevated to a national series for 2010. Both the Sportsman and Pro Mod series will air on a tape-delay schedule.
NHRA coverage also is distributed internationally by ESPN International to 131 countries and territories, representing 19 million international households. The NHRA also will continue to have a presence on ESPN360.com in 2010.
2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series TV Schedule
(all times Eastern, all on ESPN2)
|Feb. 13||Pomona Qualifying||11 p.m. – 1 a.m.|
|Feb. 14||Pomona Finals||8 – 11 p.m.|
|Feb. 21||Phoenix Qualifying||2 – 4 a.m.|
|Feb. 21||Phoenix Finals||7 – 10 p.m.|
|March 14||Gainesville Qualifying||Midnight – 2 a.m.|
|March 14||Gainesville Finals||6 – 9 p.m.|
|March 27||Charlotte Qualifying||7 – 9 p.m.|
|March 28||Charlotte Finals||5 – 7:30 p.m.|
|April 10||Houston Qualifying||11 p.m. – 1 a.m.|
|April 11||Houston Finals||8 – 11 p.m.|
|April 17||Las Vegas Qualifying||6 – 8 p.m.|
|April 18||Las Vegas Finals||7 – 10 p.m.|
|May 1||St. Louis Qualifying||9 – 11 p.m.|
|May 2||St. Louis Finals||7 – 10 p.m.|
|May 15||Atlanta Qualifying||8 – 10 p.m.|
|May 16||Atlanta Finals||7 – 10 p.m.|
|May 22||Topeka Qualifying||8 – 10 p.m.|
|May 23||Topeka Finals||9 p.m. – midnight|
|June 5||Chicago Qualifying||11 p.m. – 1 a.m.|
|June 6||Chicago Finals||4 – 7 p.m.|
|June 12||Englishtown Qualifying||11 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.|
|June 13||Englishtown Finals||4 – 7 p.m.|
|June 19||Bristol Qualifying||7 – 9 p.m.|
|June 20||Bristol Finals||4 – 7 p.m.|
|June 26||Norwalk Qualifying||7 – 9 p.m.|
|June 27||Norwalk Finals||7 – 10 p.m.|
|July 10||Seattle Qualifying||11 p.m. – 1 a.m.|
|July 11||Seattle Finals||7 – 10 p.m.|
|July 17||Sonoma Qualifying||11 p.m. – 1 a.m.|
|July 18||Sonoma Finals||6 – 9 p.m.|
|July 24||Denver Qualifying||6:30 – 8 p.m.|
|July 25||Denver Finals||7 – 10 p.m.|
|Aug. 14||Brainerd Qualifying||11 p.m. – 1 a.m.|
|Aug. 15||Brainerd Finals||10 p.m. – 1 a.m.|
|Sept. 5||Indianapolis Qualifying||10 – 11 a.m.|
|Sept. 5||Indianapolis Qualifying||11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.|
|Sept. 5||Indianapolis Qualifying||5 – 7 p.m.|
|Sept. 6||Indianapolis Finals||1 – 6 p.m.|
|Sept. 18||Charlotte Qualifying||10:30 p.m. – midnight|
|Sept. 19||Charlotte Finals||7 – 10 p.m.|
|Sept. 25||Dallas Qualifying||10:30 p.m. – midnight|
|Sept. 26||Dallas Finals||7 – 10 p.m.|
|Oct. 9||Reading Qualifying||10:30 p.m. – midnight|
|Oct. 10||Reading Finals||7 – 10 p.m.|
|Oct. 30||Las Vegas Qualifying||10:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.|
|Oct. 31||Las Vegas Finals||7 – 10 p.m.|
|Nov. 13||Pomona Qualifying||10:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.|
|Nov. 14||Pomona Finals||7 – 10 p.m.|
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