Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC
Final Weekend of Indianapolis 500 Time Trials on ABC and ESPN2 ESPN on ABC and ESPN2 will have six hours of live coverage of the final two days of Indianapolis 500 time trials this weekend in High Definition from Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Included will be coverage of the always dramatic “Bump Day” on Sunday, the last opportunity for drivers to “bump” their way into the 33-car starting field for the 91st Indianapolis 500.
On Saturday, ESPN2 will be on the air from 4 p.m.-6:30 p.m. ET with coverage of the third day of time trials. Bump Day will be Sunday and ABC will air coverage from 1-3 p.m., followed by coverage on ESPN2 from 5-6:30 p.m. The Bump Day telecast is presented by GoDaddy.com. The 2007 running of the Indianapolis 500 marks the 43rd year of coverage of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” by ABC, the second-longest relationship between a TV network and a major sports property. Only CBS and the Masters have been together longer.
Marty Reid will anchor the coverage on ABC and ESPN2, joined in the booth by former IndyCar Series driver Scott Goodyear and 1989 NASCAR champion Rusty Wallace for analysis. Jack Arute, Jamie Little, Brienne Pedigo and Vince Welch will report from the pits and from Indy’s Gasoline Alley. The race is Sunday, May 27, with ESPN on ABC’s telecast beginning at noon ET.
ESPN’s IndyCar Series programming will be seen in 208 countries this year. ESPN Networks and Syndication Sales will reach 176 countries, with American Forces Network airing in 32 additional countries.
NASCAR Now Schedule
NASCAR Now, ESPN’s daily news and information show totally dedicated to NASCAR, will have its expanded Monday edition on the air from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. ET tonight on ESPN2. The program will have extensive highlights and recaps of the weekend’s NASCAR races from Darlington Raceway, as well as looks ahead to next weekend and updates on the latest news items.
NASCAR Now will air on ESPN2 for 30 minutes at its regular 6:30 p.m. ET time slot Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week, with a Friday-Saturday edition to air at 12:30 a.m. Saturday. In addition, the one-hour weekend edition will air at 10 a.m. Saturday with a look ahead to that evening’s NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge. Sunday’s edition of the program will air at 1 a.m. and repeat at 10:30 a.m.
NASCAR Now is hosted by Erik Kuselias, Doug Banks and Ryan Burr and originates from ESPN’s High Definition studios in Bristol, Conn., with reporters Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake. Contributors include analysts Tim Brewer, Brad Daugherty, Stacy Compton and Boris Said, along with NASCAR insiders Terry Blount, Angelique Chengelis, Tim Cowlishaw, David Newton and Marty Smith, as well as D.J. Copp, a member of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s NASCAR team.
NHRA Bristol Event Rescheduled to July; Topeka Next on ESPN2
The NHRA POWERAde Drag Racing Series was scheduled to compete this weekend at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway but the event has been postponed until July 6-8. The concrete launch pad of the quarter-mile dragstrip surface recently was replaced, and Bristol Motor Speedway and NHRA officials have been working to prepare the track for the event. ESPN2 will have same-day coverage of qualifying and eliminations from the event on its new date.
The next event in the NHRA POWERAde Drag Racing Series will be the O’Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals presented by Castrol GTX, June 1-3 at Heartland Park Topeka in Topeka, Kansas. ESPN2 will have same-day coverage of qualifying from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 2, with finals coverage from 4-7 p.m. Sunday, June 3.
An episode of NHRA Thrills and Spills will air at 10 a.m. Sunday on ESPN2.
New Episodes of ESPN2 Garage Programs on Tap for Week
New episodes of seven shows in the ESPN2 Garage block of automotive programming will air this week. Designed to complement ESPN’s extensive coverage of NASCAR, IndyCar, Champ Car and NHRA racing in 2007, ESPN2 Garage is dedicated to the automotive, motorcycle and motorsports world. ESPN2 will air more than 1,100 hours of motorsports programming in 2007.
New episodes of the ESPN2 Garage programs SpeedFreaks and Mothers Car Show will debut on Wednesday and Thursday, May 16 and 17, while original episodes of The Bidding Wars, Funkmaster Flex’s Car Wars, Hot Rod Television, P.I.P.E.S, and Stacey David’s GearZ will air Sunday, May 20, with replays to air on weekday afternoons the following week.
Mothers Car Show will air at 5:30 p.m. ET Wednesday, May 16. When the O'Reilly World of Wheels hits downtown Atlanta, some of the nation's finest customs and restorations -- such as a 1963 Impala convertible and a rare Berger Chevrolet Chevelle convertible, a 1932 roadster and a truly radical Corvette custom roadster -- strut their stuff. Previously aired episodes will air at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday and at 6 p.m. Friday.
In the new episode of SpeedFreaks that will air at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 17, the Freaks are in Long Beach, Calif. From the Long Beach Grand Prix, guests include up-and-comer Graham Rahal, who discusses whether he will he go to F1 next year or drive for Bobby Rahal, his father and owner of Rahal Letterman Racing. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver Brian Vickers is “Un-plugged,” and the ever-comedic American Le Mans Series champion Allen McNish makes an appearance.
Hot Rod TV will kick off Sunday’s ESPN2 Garage schedule at 11:30 a.m. The program visits the Bonneville Salt Flats, the “Land Where Speed Makes Time Stand Still.” The salt flats of Utah haven't changed for more than 14,000 years, and viewers will follow Nish Motorsports as it goes for the Holy Grail of land speed racing, with the Streamliner that already has rewritten the books. A previously aired episode will be shown at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 15.
Following at noon will be a new episode of P.I.P.E.S. Challengers modify their tuner car to race in a “king of the hill” competition, with the eventual series winner taking home a cash prize. The tuner must run on pump gas and achieve a predetermined horsepower and fuel efficiency rating. Viewers will gain insight on how to boost their own car’s performance and make it fuel efficient. A previously aired episode will be shown at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 15.
Stacey David’s GearZ airs at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. The Banshee is back on GearZ and rolling down the final stretches as host Stacey David installs new suspension and brakes to help control this molten missile when he uncorks the powerful V8. The episode includes other things viewers can do to any Miata to make it look, handle and perform better. GearZ also will air at 5 p.m. Monday, May 21.
A new episode of Funkmaster Flex’s Car Wars debuts at 1 p.m. Sunday. Funkmaster Flex has chosen four of the best customizers to compete for the title of Ford’s Best of Show. Flex visits Ford Headquarters to pick up his vehicles. On Opening Day, tensions run high as the contestants meet each other for the first time, learn what vehicles they’ll be customizing and receive their first challenge.
A new episode of The Bidding Wars airs at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. The 1950s class again reigns supreme as classic Cadillac Coupe Devilles, a '58 Vette and a '57 Fairlane cross the block, along with an incredibly rare 1911 Kelsey three-wheeler from the dawn of the automotive age. A previously aired episode will be shown at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 16.
Metric Revolution airs at 6 p.m. Thursday, with 22 of the country’s greatest motorcycle builders facing off in a competition unlike any other. This week Robert Fisher, Doug Keim and the team of Justin Scalzi and Andy Manna struggle to build the most radical custom bikes on the planet.