ESPN begins its coverage of the final 17 races of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season with a live, flag-to-flag telecast of the Brickyard 400 at historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 27.
The telecast from Indianapolis is presented by Golden Corral and begins with the NASCAR Countdown pre-race show at noon ET from the Speedway’s iconic Pagoda. The program will set up the race with interviews and features before the 1:19 p.m. green flag.
In addition, ESPN will televise NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying on Saturday, July 26, at 2 p.m. and ESPN2 will air NASCAR Sprint Cup practice Saturday at 9 a.m.
Also from Indianapolis, ESPN will televise the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday, with NASCAR Countdown at 4 p.m. and the green flag at 4:50 p.m. All NASCAR programming from Indy is available on WatchESPN and both races air live in Canada on TSN.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be ESPN In-Race Reporter for the Brickyard 400 while Chase Elliott will do the same for the NASCAR Nationwide Series race. The drivers will speak with ESPN analyst Dale Jarrett on the race’s pace laps and during caution periods, bringing viewers the added perspective of a driver competing in the race.
For the Brickyard 400, ESPN will use 75 high definition cameras including four new overhead pit cameras that are equipped with robotic heads for different and varying points of view of pit stops and the track.
Also in use will be four Ultra Hi Motion cameras for replays and unique action shots. One will be mounted on pit wall near the “Yard of Bricks” that make up the start/finish line at the Speedway while another robotic Ultra Hi Motion camera will be mounted to provide a low shot in the first turn. Two others will be in the second and fourth turns. Eight cars competing in the race will carry onboard cameras and ESPN also will have a helicopter camera for overhead shots in the Brickyard 400 and for all 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup race telecasts.
Among the features that will be presented on various ESPN platforms surrounding the Brickyard 400:
20 years of Bricks — The first Brickyard 400 was in 1994 and was won by Jeff Gordon. A look back at what it meant for NASCAR to finally race at the Brickyard and how it helped transform NASCAR from a regional to a national sport. Drivers, owners, media and others offer comments.
Professor Ray: Home Team Hendrick – Former ESPN NASCAR analyst Ray Evernham, who now works for Hendrick, reviews film to break down why the team is so good at the Brickyard. He was Jeff Gordon’s crew chief when Gordon won the inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994.
Dale Jr and Graham Rahal National Guard – NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr and Verizon IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal go for a crash course in training from their sponsor, the National Guard.
ESPN’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Coverage
Fourteen of the final 17 races will air live on ESPN while the three Saturday night races on the schedule will air on ABC.
Three former NASCAR Sprint Cup champions, including two NASCAR Hall of Fame drivers, will be an integral part of ESPN’s coverage team for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, including lead analyst Dale Jarrett, the 1999 driving champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer, who will work with two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree and lap-by-lap announcer Allen Bestwick in the booth.
NASCAR Countdown will feature analysis by 1989 champion and NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Rusty Wallace with host Nicole Briscoe and additional analysis from NASCAR team owner Brad Daugherty. The Countdown team will interact with the booth during the race telecasts. Pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch.
Beginning Sept. 14 at Chicagoland Speedway, the final 10 races will comprise the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR’s playoffs to determine the series champion. This year’s Chase will feature a new four-stage elimination format culminating Nov. 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway
For the 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, ESPN will again utilize NASCAR NonStop, a split-screen commercial break 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.
ESPN’s Multimedia Platforms Surround NASCAR
All NASCAR programming on ESPN and ESPN2 is available via WatchESPN on computers, smartphones, tablets, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast (via the WatchESPN app), Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. It is currently accessible in more than 67.5 million households nationwide to fans who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription from an affiliated provider.
ESPN.com will provide surround coverage from the Brickyard. Senior motorsports writer Ed Hinton, writer John Oreovicz and ESPN.com motorsports editor K. Lee Davis will lead the reporting team, with additional contributions from NASCAR Insider Marty Smith. Hinton, Oreovicz and other ESPN reporters and personalities maintain and regularly update blogs with their insights, perspectives and more. ESPN.com, along with Jayski.com, will feature extensive video, audio and editorial coverage throughout the 2014 NASCAR season including RacingLive!, a live blog where fans can engage in debate and discussion with ESPN.com writers and editors during the NASCAR Sprint Cup races. Fans can join ESPN.com’s NASCAR experts in dissecting every aspect of the race live at http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar/.
ESPN’s flagship news and information program SportsCenter will air immediately following all 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup races on ESPN and will feature extended post-race highlights, interviews and analysis both from the ESPN Pit Studio team at the track and from ESPN NASCAR analyst Ricky Craven in the SportsCenter studio.
ESPN’s Spanish-language television, radio and Internet in the U.S. will televise the NASCAR Nationwide Series race from Indianapolis on a tape-delayed basis at 4 a.m. on Sunday, July 27, and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Brickyard 400 on Monday, July 28, at 5 a.m. ESPN Deportes’ NASCAR commentator team will feature Andrés Agulla (play-by-play) and Alex Pombo (analysis). In addition to the telecast of the race, ESPN Deportes will have segments for its edition of SportsCenter.
ESPN International is one of the world’s leading syndicators of sports programming and its relationship with NASCAR has helped maximize coverage of NASCAR by providing a solid base of distribution year on year. 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 currently available to more than 112 countries and territories around the world. In addition, U.S. troops and their families serving around the world and Navy vessels at sea can watch the season through American Forces Network.
ESPN Classic is counting down to the 21st running of the Brickyard 400 with airings of multiple past editions of the race. The race airings began Monday of this week and continue through Friday, July 25, at 3 p.m. with the 2011 race.
About NASCAR on ESPN:
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 ESPN.com, 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].