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Turner Sports Introduces State-of-the-Art Rig for TNT
Turner Sports, entering its 24th season of NASCAR coverage, will debut its new state-of-the art mobile production rig (see links below for images), and launch its new NASCAR.COM weekend broadband series with its new host today at Daytona International Speedway.  The new rig will serve as the set for NASCAR.COM’s exclusive online series, NASCAR 24/7 Live, which will webcast live from various tracks prior to 20 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races throughout the course of the season.  The truck will also serve as the home for TNT’s pre-race show during the network’s six consecutive NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races, beginning with the June 10 race telecast from Pocono Raceway and concluding at Chicagoland Speedway on July 15.  The biggest names in auto racing will help drop the flag on the new set from Daytona today, including Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart (see full list of drivers below).  

“The new Turner Sports rig is a state-of-the-art set like no other as it gives us a completely mobile stage with the unique ability to interact with fans, both at the racetrack and at home,” said Lenny Daniels, senior vice president of production and new media, Turner Sports.  “As the new season revs up this week in Daytona, we’re excited to unveil the new truck and new webcasts, and continue to introduce fresh multiplatform innovations that give fans greater access and connectivity to their favorite sport.”

A fully functioning rig, the truck encompasses a retractable platform stage that can rotate a full 360-degrees and be raised seven feet off the base of the truck into the air.  Once the stage is fully extended, the height of the rig reaches a towering 26 feet tall.  Inside, the truck will house a comprehensive production center for NASCAR.COM’s new weekend series, NASCAR 24/7 Live, while the exterior will feature changeable TNT and NASCAR.COM logos and graphics designed to serve as a stage and backdrop for both Turner’s telecasts and webcasts.  The mobile unit will reside in the track infield during the six TNT Cup telecasts and outside the track for the 20 NASCAR.COM webcasts. 

NASCAR 24/7 Live will be hosted by Riki Rachtman, best remembered as the popular host of MTV’s heavy metal and hard rock program ‘Headbangers Ball,’ and current host of Racing Rocks on the United Stations Radio Networks. The programming schedule will include three live one-hour shows: Friday’s Lunch at the Track, co-hosted by drivers and analysts who preview the weekend’s races; Saturday’s NASCAR Busch Series Preview Show, with the latest overnight news and buzz from the garage and live interviews with drivers, crew chiefs and NASCAR officials; and Sunday’s NASCAR  NEXTEL Cup Series Preview Show, which will include live interviews with drivers, analysts and crew chiefs and include online polls trivia games and all things NASCAR. All shows and interviews will be available exclusively online at NASCAR.COM.

“As a longtime NASCAR fan, this is truly the ultimate dream job, and I’m excited to do a job that I love with a sport that I’m so passionate about,” said Rachtman.  “NASCAR fans are always hungry for new ways to get closer to the action, and I’m glad that Turner continues to think outside of the box to give them what they’re looking for.”

NASCAR 24/7 Live will make its debut with the Bud Shootout Preview Show on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 4 p.m. ET.  NASCAR.COM will offer a special sneak peek of the show today, Thursday, Feb. 8, when Rachtman, joined by guest co-hosts TNT pit reporter Marty Snider and NASCAR.COM contributor Leilani Munter, interviews 18 different NASCAR drivers and fields live questions submitted by fans online. 

NASCAR drivers scheduled to appear on Thursday to chat live with fans includes:

AM Session:                               PM Session:
9:00    Carl Edwards                      12:00   Kasey Kahne
9:15    Jimmie Johnson                    12:15   Jeremy Mayfield
9:35    Tony Stewart                      12:20   Matt Kenseth
10:05   Denny Hamlin                      12:35   Kyle Busch
10:10   Dave Blaney                       12:50   Jeff Gordon
10:15   Juan Pablo Montoya                 1:00    Dale Earnhardt Jr.
10:30   Kyle Petty                         1:20    Clint Bowyer
10:40   Mark Martin                        1:35    Elliott Sadler
10:50   JJ Yeley                           1:45    Kevin Harvick

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