Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC
NASCAR Nationwide Series Live from Mexico City on ESPN
The NASCAR Nationwide Series goes south of the border this weekend for its annual event in Mexico City, and ESPN will have live, flag-to-flag coverage Sunday, April 20, beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown. The high definition telecast is presented by Kawasaki. ESPN2 is the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season, with selected races on ESPN and ABC.
Three-time NASCAR champion crew chief Ray Evernham will make his first appearance of the season in the ESPN booth as analyst on the telecast, joined by fellow analyst Rusty Wallace, the 1989 NASCAR Cup Series champion, and lead announcer Dr. Jerry Punch. Dave Burns, Mike Massaro and Vince Welch will report from the pits.
ESPN2 will have live coverage of NASCAR Nationwide Series final practice from Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Friday, April 18, at 4 p.m., and live coverage of qualifying Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
The race will be simulcast on ESPN360.com, ESPN’s signature broadband sports network, and on ESPN Deportes, the domestic Spanish-language network. The event also will be simulcast on ESPN MobileTV.
NASCAR Now To Feature Monday Roundtable Discussion
NASCAR Now, ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information show, features news, highlights, opinion, debate and analysis from drivers, crew chiefs and insiders both on and off the track.
On Monday, April 21, host Allen Bestwick leads a discussion of the Mexico City weekend and other NASCAR news in a one-hour episode airing at 5:30 p.m. ET. Joining Bestwick will be a panel of ESPN’s NASCAR analysts and reporters.
Half-hour episodes of NASCAR Now air Tuesday and Wednesday of this week at 6 p.m. and Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. The one-hour weekend edition airs Sunday at 10 a.m. with a preview of the NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Texas.
NASCAR Now is hosted by Ryan Burr, Nicole Manske and Bestwick and originates from ESPN’s high definition studios in Bristol, Conn. Contributors include NASCAR Insiders Marty Smith and Angelique Chengelis, analysts Ray Evernham, Tim Brewer, Brad Daugherty, Boris Said and Tim Cowlishaw, ESPN.com reporters Terry Blount and David Newton and D.J. Copp, a member of Bobby Labonte’s NASCAR team.
NASCAR Now viewers also benefit from frequent contributions by the NASCAR on ESPN team including Rusty Wallace, Dale Jarrett, Dr. Jerry Punch, Andy Petree, Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake.
ESPN Classic Featuring Classic NASCAR Races
Race fans will have the opportunity to watch two classic NASCAR races this week on ESPN Classic.
The 1998 Daytona 500 airs Thursday, April 17, at 2 p.m., while the 1988 Budweiser 400 airs Friday, April 18, at 3 a.m.
IndyCar Series in Japan at Twin Ring Motegi
The IndyCar Series will go international this weekend with the Firestone IndyCar 300 at Twin Ring Motegi, a 1.5-mile oval located some 60 miles northeast of Tokyo. The race will mark the fifth visit of the IndyCar Series to Japan, which hosted the series’ first-ever overseas event in 2003. ESPN2’s live, high definition coverage of the 300-mile race airs at midnight ET Saturday, April 19 (late Friday night). Replays air later Saturday at 3 p.m. on ESPN and Monday, April 21, at 9 a.m. on ESPN Classic.
The egg-shaped oval was built by Honda, the engine supplier for the IndyCar Series, and features turns banked 10 degrees and seating for 100,000. Tony Kanaan won last year’s race.
Marty Reid and Scott Goodyear will call the action while Jack Arute will report from the pits.
Long Beach Grand Prix to be Final Event for Champ Car World Series
ESPN2 will have coverage of the final event of the Champ Car World Series, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, airing Sunday, April 20, at 5:30 p.m. ET. The Champ Car series has unified with the IndyCar Series to create one American open wheel series, and the Long Beach event will close an important part of American racing history.
Marty Reid will be ESPN’s lead announcer for the high definition telecast, joined in the booth by former IndyCar Series star Scott Goodyear. Jack Arute, Jamie Little and Brienne Pedigo will report from the pits. The telecast re-airs Monday, April 21, at 11 a.m. on ESPN Classic.
American Le Mans Series Live on ABC from Long Beach
The American Le Mans Series, a professional sports car racing series featuring multiple classes of cars, will be in action on the famous Long Beach, Calif., street racing circuit this weekend. ABC will have coverage of the event from Long Beach airing Sunday, April 20, at 12:30 p.m. ET.
American Le Mans Series races include four classes of cars, all competing at the same time for class wins as well as the overall race win. Exotic and fast Prototypes share the track with production-based GT cars, creating constant passing and action for fans.
NHRA Lucas Oil Sportsman Series Action Saturday on ESPN2
Action from the NHRA Lucas Oil Sportsman Series airs Sunday, April 20, at 11 a.m. ET on ESPN2. The program features racing from the recent NHRA event in Las Vegas. Dave Rieff hosts the coverage for ESPN2.
Featuring race vehicles that range from 5-second Top Alcohol Dragsters and Top Alcohol Funny Cars to 15-second Stockers, the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series is the premier Sportsman series in drag racing. Eight categories are included in the series, which is showcased at select NHRA national events.
NHRA Fans Can Relive Events from 2005 on ESPN Classic
Fans of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series will have opportunities all week to relive some of the great events of the 2005 season as ESPN Classic opens the archives and brings the events back to life on TV. The programs air at 11 a.m. ET Tuesday through Friday.
On Tuesday, April 15, fans can watch the action of the 2005 Mac Tools NHRA Nationals, while Wednesday’s program features the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals. The Ameriquest NHRA Nationals air Thursday with the O’Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals airing Friday.
ESPN2 is the home for the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series and the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.
ESPN Classic Airing Russo & Steele Classic Car Auction Marathon
ESPN2 and ESPN Classic are the homes for lovers of classic car auction programs, and viewers will have the opportunity this week to see multiple hours of programming, including 10 hours of Russo and Steele Classic Car Auctions on ESPN Classic Saturday, April 19, beginning at 1 p.m. ET.
ESPN Classic also will air an episode of RM Auctions: On the Block Tuesday, April 15, at 10 p.m. ET.
An episode of The Bidding Wars airs Saturday, April 19, at 11 a.m. on ESPN2, with episodes of Russo and Steele Classic Car Auction airing Sunday, April 20, at 10 a.m. and noon.
Two Episodes of Car Wars with Funkmaster Flex Airing This Week
A new season of the ESPN2 reality show Car Wars with Funkmaster Flex continues with two episodes this week.’
The show features popular New York TV and radio personality Funkmaster Flex, who opens each episode with “music is my life but cars are my passion.” Flex oversees a competition involving amateur car customizers and the real-life drama associated with the contest. The contestants put everything on the line to win.
Back-to-back episodes air Saturday, April 19, beginning at 10 a.m.