Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC
Live NASCAR racing will return to ABC for the first time in seven years Saturday when ESPN on ABC presents the NASCAR Busch Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Las Vegas event is the first of six select NASCAR Busch Series races this season that will air on ABC, with the other 29 to be televised by ESPN2.
Coverage will begin with the pre-race NASCAR Countdown show at 2:30 p.m. ET, with the race to start at 3 p.m. Brent Musburger and Chris Fowler will host the telecast. Play-by-play announcer Jerry Punch will be joined in the booth by 1989 NASCAR champion Rusty Wallace and two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Andy Petree for analysis. Allen Bestwick, Dave Burns, Jamie Little and Mike Massaro will serve as pit reporters. Studio analysts Tim Brewer and Brad Daugherty will join Fowler in the ESPN Pit Studio during the telecast.
The Las Vegas race will be the first of three consecutive NASCAR Busch Series races that will be televised by ESPN on ABC, all on Saturday afternoons. The March 17 event from Atlanta Motor Speedway and the March 24 race at Bristol Motor Speedway will be the others. The NASCAR Busch Series will return to ESPN2 with the April 7 event at Nashville Superspeedway.
The last live NASCAR race to appear on ABC was the Brickyard 400 from Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Aug. 5, 2000, one of five NASCAR Cup Series events on the network that year. NASCAR races have appeared on ABC for decades, beginning with broadcasts on the award-winning Wide World of Sports program in the 1960s.
NASCAR NOW SCHEDULE
NASCAR Now, ESPN’s first daily news and information show totally dedicated to NASCAR, will air on ESPN2 at 6:30 p.m. ET Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, with re-airs at midnight, and will air at midnight on Thursday and Friday. The program’s weekend edition will air at 10 a.m. Sunday with segments from Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Host Erik Kuselias will talk with NASCAR insider Marty Smith from Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday and Wednesday, while ESPN motorsports analyst Brad Daugherty will join the program on Wednesday.
ESPN2 GARAGE FEATURES SPEEDFREAKS, AUTOTRADER.com DRIVE in HD
Episodes of SpeedFreaks and Autotrader.com DRIVE in HD will be among the highlights of this week’s ESPN2 Garage, a group of motorsports, automotive and motorcycle shows designed to complement ESPN’s extensive coverage of NASCAR, IndyCar, Champ Car and NHRA racing in 2007. ESPN2 will air more than 1,100 hours of motorsports programming in 2007.
NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt, Jr., will be a guest on a new episode of SpeedFreaks that will air on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. A motorsports and lifestyle show, SpeedFreaks blends superstar motorsports pilots with actors and musical guests, all while positioning ‘The Freak Nation’ in a unique, cutting edge format unlike anything else in the racing world. The Freaks also ask their own brand of questions en route to covering the broad spectrum of the industry. In addition to Earnhardt, guests Saturday include NASCAR driver Robby Gordon and NHRA racers Joe Amato and Richie Stevens.
In Autotrader.com DRIVE in HD, former Motor Trend magazine editor C. Van Tune and others take viewers behind the scenes at the top auto shows in the United States. Hosts analyze the latest models, concept cars and other automotive industry innovations. Two episodes will air back-to-back beginning at 11 a.m. ET Sunday, featuring the Los Angeles and Chicago auto shows.
Two episodes of RM Classic Car Auctions will air this week. Set at one of the biggest auction houses in the country, viewers will see the auction scene in Monterey, Calif., and show some of the most beautiful and exotic cars in the world being sold for astronomical prices during the show. Episodes will air at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6, and at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 10.
Also in the ESPN2 Garage block this week will be Michael Waltrip Racing: A New Era on Wednesday, March 7, at 5:30 p.m., Chopper Nation on Tuesday, March 6, at 5 p.m., American Dragster on Wednesday at 5 p.m. and the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League on Saturday at 11 a.m.
VINTAGE NHRA RACING AIRING ON ESPN CLASSIC
ESPN Classic is reaching into its vast video archive for daily airings of vintage NHRA Drag Racing featuring races dating back to the mid-‘90s. The show airs Monday through Friday at 11 a.m. ET and will run through the end of March with 40 episodes.
NHRA Drag Racing on ESPN Classic features exclusive racing coverage that aired on ESPN and ESPN2. This week’s schedule:
Mar. 6 – NHRA Mopar Mile-High Nationals, July 20, 1997
Mar. 7 – NHRA Autolite Nationals, July 27, 1997
Mar. 8 – NHRA Northwest Nationals, August 3, 1997
Mar. 9 -- NHRA Winston Showdown, July 10, 1999
Mar. 12 – NHRA Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals, July 18, 1999
Fans will have some input moving forward with the scheduling. NHRA announced that fans can email firstname.lastname@example.org to pick which race they would like to see in the future on ESPN Classic, from those that aired on ESPN and ESPN2 since the mid-‘90s.