NASCAR Nationwide Series Opener, Danica Patrick NASCAR Debut Live from Daytona on ESPN2
The NASCAR Nationwide Series kicks off its 2010 season this weekend at Daytona International Speedway and ESPN2 will have live coverage as the series races for 300 miles on the famous Daytona high banks. The much-anticipated NASCAR debut of open wheel racing star Danica Patrick will be one of many intriguing storylines in the event.
NASCAR Countdown starts ESPN2’s race day coverage on Saturday, Feb. 13, at noon ET. The race telecast starts at 1:15 p.m. with the green flag at 1:34 p.m. Marty Reid will be the lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN2’s race coverage, joined in the booth for analysis by 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Dale Jarrett and two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Andy Petree. Pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch. Two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage.
Allen Bestwick will host NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio, with analysis by 1989 NASCAR Cup champion Rusty Wallace, three-time NASCAR champion crew chief Ray Evernham and Brad Daugherty, a team owner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
ESPN2 also airs live coverage of NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying on Friday, Feb. 12, at 3 p.m., as well as NASCAR Nationwide Series practice coverage on Thursday, Feb. 11, at 11:30 a.m.
NASCAR Now Live from Daytona All Week
NASCAR Now, ESPN2’s daily news and information show totally dedicated to NASCAR, originates from Daytona International Speedway with daily one-hour episodes this week. The program will originate from the ESPN Pit Studio behind pit road at Daytona and will include driver interviews, reports, analysis and the latest news.
Allen Bestwick hosts programs airing Tuesday, Feb. 9, and Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 5 p.m. ET, as well as Thursday, Feb. 11, at 5:30 p.m. Nicole Briscoe will be in the host seat for the program airing Friday, Feb. 12, at 6 p.m. Bestwick hosts the weekend edition at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 14, the day of the Daytona 500.
Special SportsCenter Airs from Daytona
SportsCenter will present a one-hour special from Daytona International Speedway on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, the eve of NASCAR’s Daytona 500. Hosted by Allen Bestwick, with analysts Rusty Wallace, Ray Evernham and Brad Daugherty, SportsCenter at Daytona will preview the Great American Race with analysis, opinion, and interviews.
SportsCenter is ESPN’s flagship studio show and television’s only nightly, one-hour sports news program. Offering in-depth reports on breaking news, creative highlights, features and in-depth analysis from award-winning journalists, SportsCenter is television’s most comprehensive and longest-running sports news show.
NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Season Blasts Off on ESPN2
The 2010 season for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series blasts off this weekend with the 50th annual Kragen O’Reilly NHRA Winternationals at Pomona, Calif., and ESPN begins its 10th consecutive year of NHRA action with same-day coverage of qualifying and eliminations. ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD air qualifying action on Saturday, Feb. 13, at 11 p.m. ET, and coverage of eliminations on Sunday, Feb. 14, at 8 p.m.
Every February since 1961, fans have flocked to Southern California not just for the un-winterlike weather, but also for one of drag racing’s grandest traditions: the unveiling of new cars, drivers, teams, and sponsorships at the season opener. The Big Go West plays out at the fabled facility known for its outstanding traction, smooth surface, and potential for record performances. Teams hope to use the opener as a springboard in their pursuit of a spot in the Countdown to 10 championship program.
Paul Page anchors ESPN2’s coverage with analysis by 22-time NHRA winner Mike Dunn. Gary Gerould and Dave Rieff report from the pits. Rieff and Dunn host NHRA RaceDay on Sunday at 10 a.m. to set the stage for that day’s eliminations action.
ESPN2 Airing NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series Preview Shows
ESPN2 airs season preview shows for both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series on Tuesday, Feb. 9, starting at 2 p.m. ET with the 30-minute Nationwide Series preview. The Sprint Cup program airs at 2:30 p.m.
ESPN2 will be the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season, with selected races on ESPN and ABC. ESPN Networks also will have live coverage of the final 17 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, including all 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
ESPN Classic Revs Up with Classic Daytona 500, SportsCentury Airings
To help get NASCAR fans fired up for the opening of the season, ESPN Classic re-airs episodes of its signature series SportsCentury featuring some of NASCAR’s greatest drivers during afternoons on Wednesday through Friday of this week.
Episodes featuring Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. air Wednesday, Feb. 10, starting at 2 p.m. ET. The next day, episodes featuring Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart air starting at 2:30 p.m. Richard Petty and Tim Flock are featured Friday starting at 2 p.m.
In addition, starting at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13, the eve of the Daytona 500 , and carrying through the night, ESPN Classic televises highlights of five of the best Daytona 500 races of all time – 1979, 1998, 1999, 2007 and 1976.
Also airing on ESPN Classic this week is a classic NASCAR race from Atlanta Motor Speedway. The 1986 Atlanta Journal 500 airs Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 1 a.m.
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