IHRA Drag Racing Returning to ESPN Networks After 18 Years


IHRA Drag Racing Returning to ESPN Networks After 18 Years

IHRA Summit Sportsman National Championship to Appear on ESPN3 in 2017

After an absence of 18 years, International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) drag racing action will return to ESPN’s networks in 2017.

The IHRA and ESPN have reached an agreement for two days of racing from events in the 2017 IHRA Summit Sportsman National Championship to stream live on ESPN3, ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network. IHRA racing last appeared on one of ESPN’s networks in 1999.

ESPN3 will stream as much as eight continuous hours from the track on both weekend days for 13 events, much of it live, that will include on-track action, interviews and reports from the pits, features and more. The first event will be on the weekend of Feb. 4-5 from Immokalee (Fla.) Regional Raceway, with streaming on ESPN3 beginning at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday and noon on Sunday.


“This is a landmark opportunity for the IHRA to further advance its plans for all stakeholders in the Sportsman Racing Division,” said Chris Lencheski, vice chairman and CEO of IRGSE, the parent company of the IHRA.  “This agreement highlights our sportsman racers and positions us to move into 2018 with a tremendous partner for our professional racing series with significant momentum behind the IHRA, its teams, tracks and sponsors.”

ESPN3 is a destination that delivers thousands of exclusive sports events annually. It is accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices through WatchESPN. The network is currently available nationwide at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. It is also available at no cost to U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers, smartphones and tablets connected to on-campus educational and on-base military broadband and Wi-Fi networks.

“We’re always looking for ways to serve sports fans and are very pleased to be able to offer IHRA racing to our viewers through streaming on ESPN3,” said Dan Ochs, director, content strategy & acquisitions, ESPN. “IHRA and ESPN have a history dating back to the 90’s and it’s great to bring them back.”

The 2017 IHRA Summit Sportsman National Championship Schedule on ESPN3:

Date                 Location

Feb. 4-5 Immokalee (Fla.) Regional Raceway
Feb. 11-12 Palm Beach (Fla.) International Raceway
March 4-5 State Capitol Raceway, Baton Rouge, LA
March 18-19 San Antonio Raceway, Marion, TX
March 25-26 Darlington (SC) Dragway
May 6-7 Maryland International Raceway, Budds Creek, MD
June 3-4 State Capitol Raceway, Baton Rouge, LA
June 10-11 US 131 Motorsports Park, Martin, MI
June 24-25 Piedmont Dragway, Julian, NC
July 8-9 Keystone Raceway Park, New Alexandria, PA
Aug. 19-20 Memphis International Raceway
Sept. 2-3 Carolina Dragway, Aiken, SC
Sept. 23-24 Dragway 42, West Salem, OH


About IHRA: The International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) is owned and operated by IRG Sports + Entertainment™, a TPG Specialty Lending company. The IHRA promotes professional and sportsman racing for drivers of all levels. The IHRA sanctions nearly 100 motorsport facilities in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and The Bahamas and welcomes 80,000 racers annually to IHRA-sanctioned facilities. The IHRA oversees multiple sportsman racing programs including the Summit Sportsman National Championship and the Summit Racing Equipment SuperSeries. For more information, visit www.IHRA.com, or connect with us on Facebook.com/IHRAMotorsports, Twitter @IHRA or Instagram @IHRADRS.


Media contacts:

ESPN: Andy Hall, [email protected]

IHRA: Rob Goodman, [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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