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Racing this week on ABC/ESPN
One of the longest-running relationships between a sporting event and a network will continue on Sunday, May 30, when the Indianapolis 500 airs on ABC for the 46th consecutive year. ESPN on ABC’s live, high definition telecast from Indianapolis Motor Speedway is presented by GoDaddy.com and begins with a one-hour pre-race show at noon ET and the green flag at 1 p.m.

Brent Musburger hosts the telecast, while Marty Reid will call the race with analysis by former IZOD IndyCar Series star Scott Goodyear and 1998 Indy 500 winner Eddie Cheever. Reporting from the pits will be Rick DeBruhl, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch.

ESPN will use 59 cameras to televise the race fully in high definition, including a 360-degree rotating onboard camera mounted behind the driver on multiple cars. Unique views will be provided by Track Cam, a high definition camera running on a cable over pit road and the frontstretch that can move at more than 80 mph. All 33 cars will carry GPS boxes for the Sportvision RaceFX system to provide telemetry and pointers to help identify the cars for viewers. And ESPN will use a radio replay system that can record, playback and edit radios from any of the 33 drivers.

The one-hour pre-race show will include interviews with many of the 33 starting drivers as well as special features, including a look at the up-and-down past year of polesitter and defending race winner Helio Castroneves, from beating tax evasion charges to winning Indy to becoming a father. Ryan Hunter-Reay is featured in an ESPN Sports Science piece comparing driving an IndyCar to flying a fighter jet and drivers who have and have not won at Indy talk about the Blueprint for Success at the famous track. ABC Good Morning America host Robin Roberts, the pace car driver for the Indy 500, conducted a unique sit-down interview with Danica Patrick that will appear both on GMA and in the pre-race show and another feature looks back on ABC’s 46 years at Indy with on-camera interviews with some of the iconic announcers who were part of the history. The telecast also will include a Memorial Day tribute salute to veterans.

ESPN International’s networks and syndication of the Indy 500 will reach more than 252 million households. In addition, U.S. troops serving overseas and on Navy vessels around the world will watch via a broadcast agreement between ESPN and the American Forces Network, bringing the total to 213 countries and territories.

ESPN Classic Airs Indianapolis 500 Marathon on May 29       

To help race fans gear up for the Indianapolis 500 on May 30, which will air live on ABC, ESPN Classic is airing highlights of past editions of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing throughout the Month of May, including a 12-hour marathon on Saturday, May 29, the day before the race.

And four-time Indy 500 winners A.J. Foyt and Al Unser, and 1969 winner Mario Andretti, are profiled in episodes of the ESPN Classic signature series SportsCentury airing this month, including airings on race morning starting at 9 a.m. ET. Helio Castroneves will be trying to join Unser, A.J. Foyt and Rick Mears as the only four-time winners in the Indianapolis 500.

The remaining schedule (all times Eastern):

Monday, May 24
1 p.m.
1991 Indianapolis 500

Monday, May 24
3 p.m.
2008 Indianapolis 500

Wed., May 26
SportsCentury A.J. Foyt

Thu., May 27
SportsCentury Al Unser

Friday, May 28
SportsCentury Mario Andretti

Saturday, May 29
1971 Indianapolis 500

Saturday, May 29
2 p.m.
1981 Indianapolis 500

Saturday, May 29
4 p.m.
2001 Indianapolis 500

Saturday, May 29
6 p.m.
2002 Indianapolis 500

Saturday, May 29
8 p.m.
2009 Indianapolis 500

Saturday, May 29
10 p.m.
2005 Indianapolis 500

Sunday, May 30
9 a.m.
SportsCentury A.J. Foyt

Sunday, May 30
10 a.m.
SportsCentury Al Unser

Sunday, May 30
11 a.m.
SportsCentury Mario Andretti

NASCAR Nationwide Series Live from Charlotte on ABC

The NASCAR Nationwide Series races for 300 miles at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 29, and ABC will have a live, flag-to-flag telecast. NASCAR Countdown presented by Hellman’s airs at 2 p.m. ET, while the race telecast starts at 2:30 p.m. with the green flag at 2:46 p.m. ESPN2 is the home of the series all season, with selected races airing on ESPN and ABC.

Allen Bestwick will be the lap-by-lap announcer, joined in the booth for analysis by 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Dale Jarrett and two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Andy Petree. Pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake. Reports from two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Tim Brewer will air from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage.

Nicole Briscoe will host NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio, with analysis by Jarrett and Brad Daugherty, a team owner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

NASCAR Now Fans Series Continues Sunday.

NASCAR Now, ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program, concludes its month-long series on NASCAR fans in the one-hour weekend edition airing Sunday, May 30, at 9 a.m. ET. The program also will preview that night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Featured in the May 30 show will be U.S. Army Cpl. John Hyland, a native of Charlotte who was seriously injured in Iraq and has undergone 33 surgeries. With the help of NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick, who read about his plight and was so moved he donated a special van to bring home the wounded warrior, Hyland was able to spend the holidays with his family. An opera singer, Hyland will sing the national anthem prior to the Coca Cola 600. Hyland and other fans featured in the NASCAR Now series are subjects in the recently-released book “The Weekend Starts on Wednesday” by Andrew Giangola.

NASCAR on ESPN analysts Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree and ESPN The Magazine senior writer Ryan McGee will be panelists on NASCAR Now’s weekly roundtable discussion program on Monday, June 1, at the special time of 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2 with host Allen Bestwick.

Half-hour episodes of NASCAR Now air late night this week due to ESPN2’s coverage of French Open tennis. Mike Massaro hosts programs airing Wednesday, May 26, at 1 a.m. (late Tuesday night) and Thursday, May 27, at 1 a.m. (late Wednesday night). Nicole Briscoe hosts the episode airing Friday, May 28, at 1:30 a.m. (late Thursday night) and Ryan Burr hosts the program airing Saturday, May 29, at 1:30 a.m. (late Friday night). 

Burr also hosts the weekend edition on Saturday at 9 a.m. Marty Smith and Shannon Spake will report from Charlotte Motor Speedway.

NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Action Airs Sunday

On Sunday, May 30, ESPN2 airs highlights of the recent event in Topeka, Kan., for the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag racing Series. The Sportsman racers are featured in the 60-minute program airs at 10 a.m.

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