Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Live from California on ABC
The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup continues this weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races for 500 miles on Sunday, Oct. 11, at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. ESPN’s live, flag-to-flag coverage of the Pepsi 500 will air on ABC. The telecast begins with NASCAR Countdown presented by Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on DVD at 2:30 p.m. ET and the race’s green flag is at 3:31 p.m.
ESPN’s coverage of the final 11 races of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule will air on ABC, including all 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. ESPN’s coverage from California includes NASCAR Sprint Cup final practice on Saturday, Oct. 10, at 3 p.m. airing on ESPN2.
Dr. Jerry Punch will be lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN’s coverage, with analysis by 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Dale Jarrett and two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Andy Petree. Reporting from the pits will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch, 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 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty, co-owner of a winning team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, in the ESPN pit studio.
Also this week, ESPN Classic will air an episode of the ESPN signature series SportsCentury on Monday, Oct. 12, at 8:30 a.m. zzzz
Tom Cruise Narrates Hendrick Motorsports Documentary Sunday on ABC
TOGETHER: The Hendrick Motorsports Story, NASCAR Media Group's documentary-style film chronicling the history of the eight-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship team, will air Sunday, Oct. 11, at 1:30 p.m. ET on ABC, prior to the network's live Pepsi 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race coverage from Fontana, Calif.
Narrated by three-time Academy Award nominee Tom Cruise and presented by Pepsi, TOGETHER employs exclusive interviews, never-before-seen archival footage, thrilling racing sequences and rare family photography to detail the personal relationships and emotional events that have shaped one of NASCAR's most decorated organizations.
Cruise, an auto racing enthusiast, starred in the 1990 NASCAR-themed motion picture Days of Thunder. The script was co-written by Shawn Truax and Ray Didinger and directed by Rory Karpf.
NASCAR Nationwide Series Live from California on ESPN2
ESPN2 continues its season-long coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series this weekend as the series races at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. The live, flag-to-flag telecast airs Saturday, Oct. 10, at 4 p.m. ET, with the green flag at 4:46 p.m. ESPN2 is the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season, with selected races on ESPN and ABC.
Marty Reid will be lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN’s coverage, with analysis by 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Dale Jarrett and two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Andy Petree. Reporting from the pits will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch, 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 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty, owner of a winning team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, in the ESPN pit studio.
Evernham, LaJoie, Craven on NASCAR Now Roundtable
NASCAR on ESPN analysts Ray Evernham, Randy LaJoie and Ricky Craven will be panelists on NASCAR Now’s weekly roundtable discussion program on Monday, Oct. 12, at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Mike Massaro will host the edition of ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program.
Nicole Manske hosts half-hour episodes of NASCAR Now airing Tuesday through Friday of this week at 5 p.m. Massaro will be joined by Said for the one-hour weekend edition that airs Sunday, Oct. 11, at 10 a.m. with a preview of that day’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. The weekend wrap-up edition airs at 10 p.m. Sunday. Marty Smith and Angelique Chengelis will report from California for both programs. .
NASCAR Now is hosted by Massaro, Bestwick and Manske 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.
Countdown to 1 Continues in NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series continues its Countdown to 1 playoffs as the series visits Virginia Motorsports Park in Petersburg, Va., this weekend. ESPN2 will air qualifying and eliminations action from the Virginia NHRA Nationals, with qualifying airing Saturday, Oct. 10, at 10:30 p.m. ET. Eliminations action airs Sunday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m., with a re-air Monday, Oct. 12, at 5 p.m. on ESPN Classic.
NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing returned to Virginia in 2006 with a race that shattered professional performance barriers, and the two races held there since also produced eye-popping performances. The track’s reputation for being able to handle all that the teams can dish out makes it a perfect venue for the Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock teams to begin their crucial three-race run to the world titles.
Paul Page anchors ESPN2’s coverage with analysis by 22-time NHRA winner Mike Dunn. Gary Gerould, Dave Rieff and John Kernan 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.
Other NHRA programming airing on ESPN Networks this week includes highlights from the 2004 K&N Filters NHRA SuperNationals in Englishtown, N.J., airing Monday, Oct. 12, at 3 p.m. on ESPN Classic.
Dale Jr. – Shifting Gears Returns to ESPN Classic Saturday
Two episodes of Dale Jr. – Shifting Gears, the 2008 sports documentary chronicling NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his unprecedented move from the team founded by his father to Hendrick Motorsports, air Saturday, Oct. 10, on ESPN Classic. The programs air at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. ET.
The five-part series produced by Earnhardt’s Hammerhead Entertainment originally aired in February and July of 2008, Earnhardt’s first season with Hendrick Motorsports.
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, Oct. 11, 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, Ky. The league is sanctioned by the American Tractor Pulling Association.