NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing Coming to ESPN for Second Half of Season


NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing Coming to ESPN for Second Half of Season

The Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, one of the premier events in NASCAR, will be the launching point for ESPN’s live, flag-to-flag telecasts of the final 17 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season on Sunday, July 29.

ESPN’s multimedia platforms will surround the race telecasts on television, radio, online and on mobile devices. Of the 17 races, 14 will air on ESPN and WatchESPN and three Saturday night events will air on ABC, and ESPN’s flagship news and information program SportsCenter will follow the 14 ESPN race telecasts with additional post-race interviews, highlights and information.

Beginning Sept. 16 at Chicagoland Speedway, the final 10 races will comprise the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR’s playoffs, culminating Nov. 18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the crowning of the series champion.

For the 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, ESPN will again utilize NASCAR NonStop, a split-screen commercial format that brings more racing action to viewers. The format, which ESPN used for the first time in 2011, shows the advertisement on the left side of the screen and a continuation of racing action on the right side. ESPN’s scoring ticker continues to move across the top of the screen, allowing NASCAR fans to follow the running order of the race during the breaks. NASCAR NonStop takes effect at or near the halfway point of the race, with the first half of the race presented in the traditional commercial break format.

The race telecast from Indianapolis is presented by Golden Corral and follows the one-hour NASCAR Countdown pre-race show at noon, with the race’s green flag at 1:19 p.m. ET. Also from Indianapolis, ESPN will televise the inaugural race at the famed track for the NASCAR Nationwide Series on Saturday, July 28, with NASCAR Countdown at 4 p.m. and the green flag at 4:49 p.m. NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying for the Brickyard 400 airs earlier that day at 2 p.m. on ESPN, with NASCAR Sprint Cup practice at 10:30 a.m. on ESPN2.

The winner of the Brickyard 400 will visit ESPN’s Bristol, Ct., studios on Tuesday, July 31, to appear on multiple ESPN programs and platforms.

ESPN’s NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage team will include four former NASCAR Sprint Cup champions, led by analyst Dale Jarrett, the 1999 driving champion, who will work with two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree and lap-by-lap announcer Allen Bestwick in the booth. Rusty Wallace, the 1989 driving champion, and three-time champion crew chief Ray Evernham will be analysts for NASCAR Countdown with host Nicole Briscoe and analyst Brad Daugherty, a NASCAR team owner.

Pit reporters during ESPN’s 17-race NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro, Dr. Jerry Punch, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch while Marty Reid will be the lap-by-lap announcer for the remainder of ESPN’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race telecasts beginning with Indianapolis.

ESPN will use 74 high definition cameras in the Brickyard 400 telecast, including a new, Ultra Slo Mo handheld camera for analyzing pit stops. Bat Cam, a camera running on a cable over pit road and the frontstretch that can move at more than 80 mph, also will be utilized again at IMS. ESPN will have a helicopter camera for all 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup race telecasts.

Last year at Indianapolis, ESPN introduced the first-ever use of dual path transmission for onboard cameras, allowing the network for the first time to show two high definition views from onboard cameras in the same car simultaneously. The technology has been refined and is being expanded into ESPN’s NASCAR Nationwide Series telecasts starting at Indianapolis.

The NASCAR Countdown show for the Brickyard 400 will have a different look as it will move from the ESPN Pit Studio to a set located on an outside floor of the speedway’s iconic Pagoda. The grandstands, track and pits will provide a backdrop during the program.

Among the features that are planned for airing during ESPN’s Indianapolis telecasts:


  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his crew chief Steve Letarte sit down together with ESPN’s Marty Smith to discuss the evolution of their relationship, how Earnhardt has changed as a driver since they joined forces this season and why their team is finally firing on all cylinders.


  • ABC News journalist Katie Couric talks with Danica Patrick at Indianapolis Motor Speedway about her transition to NASCAR, how people perceive her as a person and possible sexism she might face on a daily basis at the racetrack.


  • Jeff Gordon reunites with his former championship winning crew chief Ray Evernham to talk about his struggles in 2012 and if success for him is lurking at the Brickyard, a place where he has won four times in his career.


  • Last year’s Brickyard 400 is relived through the eyes of race winner Paul Menard and his father, John. Collectively they tell the story of how emotional and meaningful the victory was to the Menard Family.

ESPN’s Multimedia Platforms Surround NASCAR

In addition to the live telecasts, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing will be covered on other ESPN multimedia outlets:

WatchESPN – All of ESPN’s NASCAR television content is also viewable digitally through WatchESPN and, the online-accessible authenticated version of ESPN. WatchESPN is available on computers, smartphones and tablets through and the free WatchESPN app, which are accessible to fans who receive their video service from an affiliated provider, and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE. NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series race telecasts airing on ESPN and ESPN2 can be seen on WatchESPN as can ESPN2’s daily news program NASCAR Now.

ESPN Deportes — ESPN’s Spanish-language television, radio and Internet in the U.S. will televise all 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races airing on ESPN networks on a delayed basis, starting with the Brickyard 400 at 4 a.m. on Monday, July 30. ESPN Deportes’ NASCAR commentator team will feature Andrés Agulla (play-by-play) and Alex Pombo (analysis). In addition to the telecasts of the races, ESPN Deportes will have segments for its edition of SportsCenter. — will provide surround coverage from the Brickyard. Award-winning motorsports journalists Ed Hinton, Terry Blount, David Newton and John Oreovicz and motorsports editors K. Lee Davis and Joe Breeze will lead the reporting team, with additional contributions from NASCAR Insider Marty Smith as well as ESPN the Magazine’s Ryan McGee. Hinton, Blount, Newton, Oreovicz and other ESPN reporters and personalities maintain and regularly update blogs with their insights, perspectives and more., along with, will feature extensive video, audio and editorial coverage of the 2012 NASCAR season, as well as providing multiple ESPN Fantasy games and content distributed to other emerging platforms such as Apple’s iTunes Store and Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE. RaceCast,’s enhanced, live race-day applications features a live animated graphic display, track information, lap leaders, race leaders, driver information and live in-race chat with ESPN announcers, reporters and editors via Racing Live! NASCAR fans looking for an online gathering during the Indianpolis telecast have a place to go on Racing Live! on is a live blog where fans can engage in debate and discussion on nearly any topic during the races. Fans can join’s NASCAR experts in dissecting every aspect of the race live at As part of’s integration with, veteran racing voice Mark Garrow continues as a frequent contributor, producing podcasts and hosting regular chats on – espnW’s mission is to connect female fans with the sports they love and follow, and with Danica Patrick competing in her first full year of NASCAR racing, has been following her all season with news, features and behind-the-scenes information. provides an engaging environment where women are an integral part of the sports conversation, share their perspective on men’s and women’s sports and find the motivation and support for their athletic goals and interests.

ESPN Radio — Each weekend morning, ESPN Radio’s RaceDay starts its engines at 6 a.m. ET with host Pat Patterson anchored from the site of that weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race. On both Saturday and Sunday mornings, ESPN Radio’s RaceDay listeners get an hour of news, previews and analysis, as well as profiles and interviews with NASCAR’s biggest names and newsmakers and the involvement of listeners via calls and e-mails. The program airs 52 weeks a year.

ESPN International – ESPN International is one of the world’s leading syndicators of sports programming and its relationship with NASCAR is helping maximize coverage of NASCAR and providing a solid base of distribution. Through a combination of sales and network programming, the 38 NASCAR Sprint Cup races (including the Bud Shootout and Sprint All-Star Race) and 33 NASCAR Nationwide Series races are available to 134 countries and territories around the world. In addition, U.S. troops and their families serving around the world and Navy ships at sea can watch the season through American Forces Network.

ESPN Mobile – ESPN’s mobile platforms give fans on-the-go access to all the racing action, news and developments. Fans can find coverage on the ESPN mobile Web site — the leading mobile Web sports site and among the most-trafficked sites in the world – in a dedicated NASCAR section that includes special coverage around the biggest races, driver cards and more.  Additionally, fans can access real-time results on the ESPN ScoreCenter app and sign up to receive customizable alerts to follow their favorite drivers during the race.

ESPN Classic – ESPN Classic will air a marathon of previous Brickyard 400 races on July 26-27. The marathon begins at 1 a.m. on Thursday, July 26, with the 1998 Brickyard 400, and the races continue on Friday, July 27, at midnight with the 1995 race, won by Dale Earnhardt, with the 2007 race airing at 1 a.m. The 2000 race airs at 4 a.m., followed at 7 a.m. by the 2010 edition and at 11 a.m. by the inaugural event in 1994 that was won by Jeff Gordon. The day concludes with the 2008, 2009 and 2011 races at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively. ESPN Classic also will air NASCAR-related SportsCentury and Dick Schaap interview programs each morning Monday-Friday of race week.



Date                Site                                                                              Network         Time

July 29 Indianapolis Motor Speedway ESPN 1 p.m.
Aug. 5 Pocono Raceway ESPN 1 p.m.
Aug. 12 Watkins Glen International ESPN 1 p.m.
Aug. 19 Michigan International Speedway ESPN 1 p.m.
Aug. 25 Bristol Motor Speedway ABC 7:30 p.m.
Sep. 2 Atlanta Motor Speedway ESPN 7:30 p.m.
Sep. 8 Richmond International Raceway ABC 7:30 p.m.
Sep. 16 Chicagoland Speedway ESPN 2 p.m.
Sep. 23 New Hampshire Motor Speedway ESPN 2 p.m.
Sep. 30 Dover International Speedway ESPN 2 p.m.
Oct. 7 Talladega Superspeedway ESPN 2 p.m.
Oct. 13 Charlotte Motor Speedway ABC 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 21 Kansas Speedway ESPN 2 p.m.
Oct. 28 Martinsville Speedway ESPN 2 p.m.
Nov. 4 Texas Motor Speedway ESPN 3 p.m.
Nov. 11 Phoenix International Raceway ESPN 3 p.m.
Nov. 18 Homestead-Miami Speedway ESPN 3 p.m.



ESPN produces comprehensive, multi-platform coverage featuring telecasts of the final 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup races, including the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Additionally, ESPN is the television home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series. ESPN’s NASCAR coverage extends to, SportsCenter, ESPN the Magazine, WatchESPN, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPN on Xbox LIVE, ESPN Radio and ESPN International, among other ESPN platforms. ESPN aired 262 NASCAR Cup Races over a 20-year period starting in 1981 and returned to NASCAR coverage in 2007. The network’s award-winning, live flag-to-flag coverage on ESPN has been honored with 19 Sports Emmy Awards, as well as many industry honors. It is widely credited for helping to popularize the sport nationwide.


Contact:           Andy Hall at 386-492-2246, [email protected].

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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