Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC
NASCAR Nationwide Series Live from Richmond on ESPN2
The NASCAR Nationwide Series races under the lights in prime time at Richmond International Raceway on Friday night, April 30, and ESPN2 will have a live, flag-to-flag telecast. NASCAR Countdown presented by Hellman’s airs at 7 p.m. ET, while the race telecast starts at 7:30 p.m. with the green flag at 7:43 p.m. ESPN2 is the home of the series all season, with selected races airing on ESPN and ABC.
Allen Bestwick will be the lap-by-lap announcer, joined in the booth for analysis by 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Rusty Wallace and two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Andy Petree. Pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Mike Massaro and Dr. Jerry Punch. Two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage.
Nicole Briscoe will host NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio, with analysis by Wallace and Brad Daugherty, a team owner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
NASCAR Now Begins Fans Series on May 1
NASCAR Now, ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program, will begin a month-long series on NASCAR fans in the one-hour weekend edition airing Sunday, May 1, at 10 a.m. ET. The program also will preview that night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. The segments on fans will air in the weekend edition each week during May.
Featured in the May 1 show will be Mike Wright of Disputanta, Va., a dedicated fan of Richard Petty. Wright, 40, has been to more than 250 NASCAR races and considers Petty his absolute hero in life. The long-haul trucker has gotten an autograph from “The King” more than 150 times.
Wright and other fans featured in the NASCAR Now series are subjects in the recently-released book “The Weekend Starts on Wednesday” by Andrew Giangola.
NASCAR on ESPN analysts Ray Evernham and Ricky Craven and ESPN.com senior writer Ed Hinton will be panelists on NASCAR Now’s weekly roundtable discussion program on Monday, May 3, at 5 p.m. on ESPN2 with host Allen Bestwick.
Shannon Spake hosts half-hour episodes of NASCAR Now airing Tuesday through Thursday of this week at 5 p.m. as well as the weekend edition. Marty Smith and Nicole Briscoe will report from Richmond, joined by analyst Rusty Wallace.
NASCAR Now is hosted by Mike Massaro, Briscoe and Bestwick and originates from ESPN’s high definition studios in Bristol, Conn. Contributors include reporters Marty Smith, Shannon Spake and Angelique Chengelis, analysts Ray Evernham, Tim Brewer, Brad Daugherty, Ricky Craven and Randy LaJoie, and ESPN.com reporters Ed Hinton, Terry Blount and David Newton. The NASCAR on ESPN team event coverage team of Rusty Wallace, Dale Jarrett, Marty Reid, Dr. Jerry Punch, Andy Petree, Dave Burns, Jamie Little, and Vince Welch also make frequent contributions to NASCAR Now.
IZOD IndyCar Series Live on ABC from Kansas
With the Indianapolis 500 only a few weeks away, the IZOD IndyCar Series will stage its first oval track race of the season when it visits Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., on Saturday, May 1. ABC will have a live telecast of the race from the 1.5-mile superspeedway at 1:30 p.m. ET. Marty Reid will call the action on the telecast with analysis from former IndyCar star Scott Goodyear. Reporting from the pits will be Rick DeBruhl, Jamie Little and Vince Welch,
The event is the second of five races in the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season that will be produced by ESPN and air on ABC. The schedule also includes the Indianapolis 500 on May 30, marking the 46th consecutive year that the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” will air on ABC, as well as upcoming events at Watkins Glen International and Toronto.
NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series in St. Louis
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series races this weekend in the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis, and ESPN2 will air highlights of qualifying and eliminations. Qualifying action airs Saturday, May 1, at 9 p.m. ET, and coverage of eliminations airs Sunday at 7 p.m.
Contested in the shadow of the famed St. Louis arch at multipurpose Gateway, the 2007 event was the first to be held in cooler May climes after a change in the schedule from its traditional summer date. Since its inception, the event has become known for surprise winners. The Madison, Ill., quarter-mile hosts the fourth event of the season for riders in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class.
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 presented by Lucas Oil on Sunday at 10 a.m. to set the stage for that day’s eliminations action.
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