Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC
NASCAR Nationwide Series Live in Prime Time from Daytona on ESPN2
ESPN2 continues its season-long coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series with a live, prime-time telecast of the 250-mile race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway Friday, July 4, beginning at 7 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown. The telecast from the 2.5-mile superspeedway also airs in high definition on ESPN2 HD.
Dr. Jerry Punch will be ESPN2's lead announcer, joined in the booth for analysis by 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Dale Jarrett, one of the founding drivers of the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and two-time NASCAR Cup champion crew chief Andy Petree. Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake will report from the pits, while two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Tech Center.
Allen Bestwick will host NASCAR Countdown with analysis by three-time NASCAR Cup champion crew chief Ray Evernham and Brad Daugherty, a former winning team owner in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, in the ESPN pit studio. NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Mike Wallace, a former winner at Daytona, joins ESPN's coverage team as In-Race Reporter. Wallace will talk to Jarrett on the race's pace laps and during caution periods.
ESPN2 also airs coverage of qualifying for the event at 1 p.m. on Friday, and coverage of final practice on Thursday, July 3, at 5:30 p.m.
Evernham, Said, Smith on NASCAR Now Monday Roundtable
ESPN analyst and three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion crew chief Ray Evernham will appear on the weekly roundtable discussion on NASCAR Now, ESPN2's daily NASCAR news and information show, Monday, July 7, at 5:30 p.m. ET. NASCAR driver Boris Said, also a NASCAR Now analyst, and NASCAR Now lead reporter Marty Smith also join host Allen Bestwick in an hour-long discussion of the latest NASCAR news.
Half-hour episodes of NASCAR Now air at Tuesday and Wednesday of this week at 6 p.m., and Friday at midnight (late Thursday night). The one-hour weekend edition airs Saturday at 10 a.m. with a preview of that day's NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Daytona International Speedway.
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.
Tony Stewart Featured on ESPN2's Driven to Hunt Sunday
Two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart will be featured on an episode of the ESPN2 series Driven to Hunt on Sunday, July 6, at 7 a.m. ET. The program repeats at 9:30 a.m.
Stewart opens his ranch to the Hunt of a Lifetime Foundation, allowing young gun Zach Lorenz a chance at a big whitetail. Viewers get an inside look at where Stewart grew up.
Driven to Hunt will invite a prominent NASCAR personality on a once-in-a-lifetime hunt. From drivers to team owners to the over-the-wall gang, hunting is what they dream about. Future guests include drivers Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Terry and Bobby Labonte and team owner Richard Childress.
Dale Jr. ' Shifting Gears Airs Friday on ESPN2
NASCAR fans will have an opportunity to see an episode of the television series Dale Jr. ' Shifting Gears, chronicling the move of Dale Earnhardt Jr. to Hendrick Motorsports in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Friday, July 4, at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The program airs following NASCAR Nationwide Series racing from Daytona International Speedway.
The series provides viewers with a behind-the-scenes look at the personal, corporate and competitive ramifications involved with the five-time NASCAR Most Popular Driver award recipient leaving Dale Earnhardt, Inc., the team founded by his late father. Dale Jr. ' Shifting Gears is produced by Earnhardt Jr.'s Hammerhead Entertainment, a division of JR Motorsports, in cooperation with Hendrick Motorsports and is presented by the National Guard.
The final two episodes air on ESPN in prime time the week of the July 27 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, ESPN's first live NASCAR Sprint Cup event of the season.
IndyCar Series Goes Road Racing at Watkins Glen Sunday on ABC
The IndyCar Series makes its first appearance of the 2008 season on a road racing circuit this weekend and ESPN on ABC will have live coverage of the Camping World IndyCar Grand Prix at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International Sunday, July 6, at 3:30 p.m. ET. A replay airs Monday, July 7, at 9 a.m. on ESPN Classic.
The historic Watkins Glen circuit has been very kind to IndyCar Series point leader Scott Dixon, who has scored a victory in all three events since the series made its first appearance at the track in 2005. With the unification of open wheel racing in North America, many drivers who raced in the former Champ Car series have been looking forward to the race and applying their extensive road racing experience.
Marty Reid will call the action, joined for analysis by former IndyCar Series star Scott Goodyear. Jack Arute, Brienne Pedigo and Vince Welch report from the pits.
NHRA Fans Can Relive Events 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 of this week, and Monday of next week.
On Tuesday, July 1, fans can watch the action of the 2005 Pontiac Excitement NHRA Nationals from Columbus, Ohio, while Wednesday's program features the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals from Topeka, Kan. The Carquest Auto Parts NHRA Nationals from Joliet, Ill., air Thursday with the K&N Filters NHRA Super Nationals at Englishtown, N.J., airing Friday. '
ESPN2 is the home for the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series and the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.
NHRA Lucas Oil Sportsman Series Action Saturday on ESPN2
Action from the NHRA Lucas Oil Sportsman Series airs Saturday, July 5, at 11 a.m. ET on ESPN2. The program features racing from the recent NHRA event at Norwalk, Ohio. 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.