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DATE News (chronologically)
01/31/08
TV News
NASCAR Now Returns Monday for Second Season  With the 2008 NASCAR season about to begin, NASCAR Now, ESPN’s daily NASCAR news and information program, returns to the air Monday, Feb. 4, at 6 p.m. on ESPN2. In addition to new hosts, the program will have enhanced features in 2008.

NASCAR Now includes the latest news, highlights, opinion, debate and analysis from drivers, crew chiefs and insiders both on and off the track. The program airs for 30 minutes at 6 p.m. Monday through Friday of the opening week, and the Monday edition expands to one hour beginning Feb. 11. ESPN2 also will air a one-hour edition at 10 a.m. on the morning of each NASCAR Sprint Cup race.

NASCAR Countdown host Allen Bestwick joins NASCAR Now as host of the Monday edition. Nicole Manske, who recently came to ESPN after two years with a motorsports news program on SPEED, and ESPNEWS anchor Ryan Burr, a host in 2007, will host the other days on a rotating basis. Manske and Burr also will travel to NASCAR race weekends during the season to report for NASCAR Now and for other ESPN programming including SportsCenter and ESPNEWS.

“Having Nicole and Ryan travel to races as Allen does is going to bring an entirely new perspective to their roles on the program,” said Jack Obringer, ESPN senior coordinating producer, studio production. “It also provides more opportunities to integrate NASCAR Now and ESPN’s NASCAR event coverage into other ESPN platforms.”

New features of NASCAR Now in 2008 include a roundtable discussion on the expanded Monday editions of the program, beginning on the day after the Daytona 500. Hosted by Bestwick, the panel will include members of the NASCAR on ESPN team as they discuss the past weekend’s races as well as current news of the sport.

“We’re really looking forward to the new Monday roundtables,” said Obringer. “Allen has a lot of experience in that format and he’ll bring out the best from the panel. It will be informative and entertaining.”

NASCAR Now will feature regular appearances by NASCAR Sprint Cup champion drivers Rusty Wallace and Dale Jarrett, two-time Cup champion crew chief Andy Petree, pit reporters Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake and anchor Dr. Jerry Punch, all members of the NASCAR on ESPN race coverage team.

Returning NASCAR Now contributors include NASCAR Insiders Marty Smith, Angelique Chengelis, Terry Blount and David Newton along with analysts Tim Brewer, Brad Daugherty, Boris Said and Tim Cowlishaw, as well as D.J. Copp, rear tire changer on the #43 Petty Enterprises Cheerios Dodge driven by Bobby Labonte. NASCAR Now originates from ESPN’s high definition studios in Bristol, Conn.

ESPN’s 2008 NASCAR season begins Saturday, Feb. 16, at noon with coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Camping World 300 at Daytona International Speedway on ESPN2.
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