Motorsports This Week on ESPN


Motorsports This Week on ESPN

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Returns to ESPN from Indianapolis

 The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to ESPN with a live, flag-to-flag telecast of the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 25. The telecast is presented by Golden Corral. The NASCAR Countdown pre-race show kicks off the day at noon ET with the race telecast starting at 1 p.m. and the race’s green flag at 1:19 p.m.

The Indianapolis race is the first of 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup events to be produced by ESPN to close out the 2010 NASCAR season, including all 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Of the 17 races, 14 will air on ESPN and three on ABC.

ESPN’s coverage from Indianapolis Motor Speedway includes a live telecast of NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying on Saturday, July 25, at 10 a.m., and telecasts of two practice sessions for the NASCAR Sprint Cup cars on the famed 2.5-mile track, all on ESPN2. The first practice session airs Friday, July 24, at 2 p.m., while final practice airs Saturday at 3:30 p.m. All programming airs in high definition.

Five former NASCAR Sprint Cup champions will be an integral part of ESPN’s coverage team at the Brickyard, including analyst Dale Jarrett, the 1999 driving champion, who will work with two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree and lap-by-lap announcer Marty Reid in the booth. Two-time champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from


the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, while pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch.

NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio will feature analysis by 1989 champion driver Rusty Wallace and three-time champion crew chief Ray Evernham, with host Allen Bestwick and analyst Brad Daugherty. The studio team will interact with the booth during the telecast of the race.

Following the race, additional reports, analysis and interviews from Indianapolis will air on ESPN’s flagship program SportsCenter as will be the case for all 14 races airing on ESPN.

NASCAR Now Goes Live from Indianapolis; Weekend Wrap-Up Show Returns

 ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now will originate from Indianapolis Motor Speedway for four episodes this week surrounding the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of the season on ESPN.

A one-hour episode of NASCAR Now hosted by Allen Bestwick airs from Indianapolis on Thursday, July 22, at 5 p.m. ET with a preview of the weekend’s NASCAR action. Bestwick also hosts a half-hour show on Friday, July 23, at 6:30 p.m. with reports on the day’s activities at Indy as well as other NASCAR news.

Two one-hour episodes will sandwich ESPN’s live telecast of Sunday’s Brickyard 400. NASCAR Now hosted by Nicole Briscoe airs at 10 a.m. with a preview of the race, including driver interviews and features, while a weekend wrap-up edition airs at 10 p.m. hosted by Bestwick. The weekend wrap-up edition of NASCAR Now will be a part of ESPN’s coverage of the final 17 weeks of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule.

NASCAR on ESPN analysts Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree, Brad Daugherty, Rusty Wallace and Ray Evernham, NASCAR Now co-host and reporter Mike Massaro and lead reporter Marty Smith also will contribute to the on-site Indianapolis coverage.

 A panel of ESPN’s NASCAR analysts will discuss the Indianapolis weekend in the one-hour roundtable edition of NASCAR Now on Monday, July 26, at 5 p.m. Joining Bestwick will be Wallace, Evernham and former NASCAR Sprint Cup race winner Ricky Craven. Half-hour episodes air Tuesday and Wednesday, July 20-21, at 5 p.m. hosted by Massaro.

NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Joey Logano will be a live in-studio guest on Wednesday’s NASCAR Now. While on the ESPN campus in Bristol, Ct., Logano also will appear on several other ESPN platforms during the day.


Special Episode of SportsCenter Airs from Indianapolis

ESPN’s flagship program SportsCenter will present a half-hour special from Indianapolis Motor Speedway on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 24, the eve of ESPN’s live telecast of NASCAR’s Brickyard 400 at the famed track. SportsCenter at the Brickyard will be hosted by Allen Bestwick with analysts Dale Jarrett and Ray Evernham.

SportsCenter at the Brickyard will preview Sunday’s race with analysis, features and interviews and will lead into ESPN’s live telecast of that night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race from O’Reilly Raceway Park near Indianapolis.


ESPN Debuts NASCAR-Themed Branding Campaign

During this week’s lead-up to the July 25 Brickyard 400, ESPN will launch the next phase of its new brand campaign which will feature the haulers used to transport NASCAR Sprint Cup teams from track-to-track. “It’s Not Crazy, It’s Sports” debuted July 12 with a baseball-themed spot. ESPN’s first brand campaign since 2005 demonstrates ESPN’s shared passion for sports and celebrates the idiosyncrasies and unique stories that are the social currency of passionate sports fans.

The NASCAR-themed ads, the third phase of the campaign, show that the competitive nature of NASCAR drivers also extends to the drivers of their team haulers. The second phase looked back at the Apollo 14 mission where astronauts Edgar Mitchell and Alan Shepard took a few golf swings on the surface of the moon. Future spots for the campaign will roll out in the coming months. W+K New York served as the creative agency.

ESPN also has two new promotional spots airing in support of the launch of its NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage this week at the Brickyard 400. Click HERE to view 60 and 30-second versions of the NASCAR haulers spot as well as the Brickyard 400 and Sprint cup spots.


Brickyard Marathon on ESPN Classic Features Five Past Events

With ESPN set to kick off its coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with a live telecast of the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 25, ESPN Classic is helping NASCAR fans get ready for the big event by re-airing some previous editions of the Brickyard 400.

NASCAR fans can enjoy a Brickyard Marathon on ESPN Classic starting on Friday night, July 23, and running through the night. The 1995 edition opens the marathon at 8 p.m., followed at 10 p.m. by the 2008 race. Highlights from the 2009 and 2007 races follow, with the inaugural Brickyard 400 from 1994 airing at 4 a.m. on Saturday, July 24.

The inaugural NASCAR event at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1994 is widely credited with helping elevate the popularity and status of NASCAR racing. 


NASCAR Nationwide Series in Prime Time from Indianapolis

ESPN continues its season-long coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series this weekend with live, prime time racing on Saturday night, July 24, from O’Reilly Raceway Park near Indianapolis. The 200-lap race airs on ESPN beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown, with the race telecast at 8 p.m. and the green flag at 8:15 p.m. ESPN2 is the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season, with selected races on ESPN and ABC.

Also on Saturday, coverage of NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying airs at 5 p.m. on ESPN2, while coverage of final practice airs earlier that day at 12:30 p.m.

Vince Welch will be lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN’s coverage, with analysis by 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Rusty Wallace and former NASCAR Sprint Cup race winner Ricky Craven. Reporting from the pits will be Rick DeBruhl, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake.


NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series in Denver

The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series concludes its annual Western Swing this weekend with the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals near Denver, and ESPN2 will air highlights of qualifying and eliminations. Qualifying action airs Saturday, July 24, at 6:30 p.m. ET, and coverage of eliminations airs Sunday at 7 p.m.

The traditional Western Swing opener now becomes its dramatic conclusion as teams travel high and deep into the Rocky Mountains to more than 5,800 feet, where the altitude affects everything from engine tune-ups to aerodynamics. Crews must make changes to established power-making combinations and battle lack of downforce to tackle the environs. The event is testament to the skill and adaptability of the racers.

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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Andy Hall

I’m part of a team that handles PR/Communications for SportsCenter, including the SC Featured brand, the E60 program, and ESPN’s news platforms. In addition, I’m the PR contact for ESPN’s Formula 1 coverage and golf majors (the Masters and PGA Championship). I’m based in Daytona Beach, Fla., and have been with ESPN since 2006.
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