Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC
NASCAR Nationwide Series on ABC from Dover
The NASCAR Nationwide Series makes its first appearance of the 2009 season at Dover (Del.) International Speedway this weekend, and ABC will have a live, high definition telecast from the 1-mile track on Saturday, May 31, at 2 p.m. ET as the series races for 200 miles on the track known as the “Monster Mile.” ESPN2 is the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season, with selected races on ESPN and ABC. The race re-airs Sunday, May 31, at 11 a.m. on ESPN Classic.
Dr. Jerry Punch will be the lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN on ABC’s coverage from Dover, 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. Dave Burns, Jamie Little and Shannon Spake will report from the pits, with two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Tim Brewer in the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage.
Allen Bestwick will host the pre-race NASCAR Countdown program with analysis by Jarrett and Brad Daugherty, owner of a winning team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, in the ESPN pit studio.
Craven, Daugherty, Brewer on NASCAR Now Monday Roundtable
ESPN NASCAR analysts Ricky Craven, Brad Daugherty and Tim Brewer will be panelists on NASCAR Now’s weekly roundtable discussion program on ESPN2 on Monday, June 1, at 6:30 p.m. ET. The three will join host Allen Bestwick on ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program.
Due to ESPN2’s coverage of the French Open, half-hour episodes of NASCAR Now will air Tuesday through Friday of this week at 6:30 p.m. with Nicole Manske in the host role. Mike Massaro hosts the one-hour weekend edition that airs Sunday, May 31, at 10 a.m. with a preview of that day’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway. Daugherty and Brewer will join Massaro on the set, while Jamie Little and Angelique Chengelis will report from the track.
NASCAR Now is hosted by Manske, Bestwick and Massaro 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 Topeka on ESPN2
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series travels to Heartland Park Topeka this weekend, and ESPN2 will air qualifying and eliminations action on a same-day basis. Qualifying from the O’Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals airs Saturday, May 30, at 8 p.m. ET, with eliminations airing Sunday at 4 p.m. Finals coverage re-airs Monday, June 1, at 1 p.m. on ESPN Classic.
Sprawling multipurpose Heartland Park Topeka has been a Midwest favorite since it opened in 1989, but its dragstrip has gained the majority of headlines. The event, originally in the fall, has featured numerous record performances, the most significant of which was the shattering of the quarter-mile four-second and 300-mph barriers in Funny Car in 1993. The event moved to its current spot on the schedule in 2001.
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.
IndyCar Series Action from Milwaukee Live on ABC
On the heels of the Indianapolis 500, the IndyCar Series moves to the historic Milwaukee Mile for an event on Sunday, May 31. ABC will have live coverage beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET. Ryan Briscoe drove to victory in last year’s Milwaukee race.
Marty Reid will call the race for ESPN on ABC’s coverage with analysis by former IndyCar Series star Scott Goodyear. Jack Arute, Brienne Pedigo and Vince Welch will report from the pits.
Other IndyCar Series-related programming this week on the ESPN Networks includes an airing of SportsCentury – Al Unser Sr. on Wednesday, May 27, at 9 a.m. on ESPN Classic.
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 on Sunday, May 31, in a half-hour program beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET on ESPN2.
The programs will feature highlights from an event held in Hamburg, N.Y. The league is sanctioned by the American Tractor Pulling Association.