Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC
NASCAR Nationwide Series Under the Lights at Phoenix on ESPN2
The NASCAR Nationwide Series heads to the desert this weekend for an event Friday night at Phoenix International Raceway, and ESPN2 will have a live, high definition telecast of the 200-mile race on Friday, April 17, at 9 p.m. ET. ESPN2 is the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season, with selected races on ESPN and ABC. The race re-airs Saturday, April 18, at noon on ESPN Classic.
Dr. Jerry Punch will be the lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN’s coverage from Phoenix, joined in the booth for analysis by 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Dale Jarrett, one of the founding drivers of the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and two-time Cup Series champion crew chief Andy Petree. Mike Massaro, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch will report from the pits, while two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Tim Brewer will be in the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage.
Allen Bestwick will host the pre-race NASCAR Countdown program with analysis by Jarrett in the ESPN pit studio.
Craven, LaJoie, Smith on NASCAR Now Monday Roundtable
ESPN NASCAR analysts Ricky Craven and Randy LaJoie, along with NASCAR Now lead reporter Marty Smith, will be panelists on NASCAR Now’s weekly roundtable discussion program on ESPN2 on Monday, April 20, at 5 p.m. ET. They will join host Mike Massaro on ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program.
Half-hour episodes of NASCAR Now air Tuesday through Friday of this week at 5 p.m. The one-hour weekend edition, hosted by Nicole Manske, airs Saturday, April 18, at 10 a.m. with a preview of that night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Phoenix International Raceway.
NASCAR Now is hosted by Manske, Massaro and Allen 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, Ricky Craven and Randy LaJoie, and ESPN.com reporters Ed Hinton, Terry Blount and David Newton. The NASCAR on ESPN team event coverage team of Rusty Wallace, Dale Jarrett, Dr. Jerry Punch, Andy Petree, Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Spake and Vince Welch also make frequent contributions to NASCAR Now.
NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing from Atlanta on ESPN2
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series travels to Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga., this weekend, and ESPN2 will air qualifying and eliminations action on a same-day basis. Qualifying from the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals airs Saturday, April 18, at 6 p.m. ET, with eliminations airing Sunday at 7 p.m. Finals coverage re-airs Monday, April 20, at 11 a.m. on ESPN Classic.
One of NHRA’s long-established events — the race celebrated its 28th anniversary last season — this belle of the South has gained a reputation as one of the tougher events on the tour to win. With summer approaching, warm temperatures can turn the event into “Hotlanta” and throw crew chiefs a curve as they try to glue their charges to the facility’s 660-foot concrete launch pad. The event is the third on the schedule to feature the high-revving 190-mph Pro Stock Motorcycles.
Paul Page anchors ESPN2’s coverage with analysis by 22-time NHRA winner Mike Dunn. Gary Gerould and Dave Rieff report from the pits. Rieff and Dunn host NHRA RaceDay on Sunday at 11 a.m. to set the stage for that day’s eliminations action.
American Le Mans Series from Long Beach on ABC
The American Le Mans Series, a professional sports car endurance racing series based on the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans, will be featured on ABC this weekend with a telecast of the series event at the Long Beach Grand Prix. The race airs Sunday, April 19, at 12:30 p.m. ET.
The race, which will be contested on the famous Long Beach street circuit, will be the third of the season for the ALMS, which opened its campaign with the 12 Hours of Sebring and then raced on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. Many of the same drivers and teams will compete at Long Beach.
Greg Creamer will call the action for the telecast with analysis by former sports car racing standout Bill Adam. Dorsey Schroeder and Kelli Stavast will report from the pits.
Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League Action Airs Sunday on ESPN2
The Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League, which features modified trucks, tractors and other vehicles, will be in action in two 30-minute programs on Sunday, April 19, beginning at 10 a.m. ET on ESPN2.
The program will feature highlights from events held in Wheatland, Mo., and Henry, Ill. The league is sanctioned by the American Tractor Pulling Association.