Motorsports This Week on ESPN
The Chase Is On: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Live from California
The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship continues Sunday, Oct. 10, as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in the Pepsi Max 400 at the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., and ESPN will have a live telecast. The NASCAR Countdown pre-race show airs at 2 p.m. ET with the race telecast at 3 p.m. The race’s green flag is at 3:16 p.m. ESPN2 will air NASCAR Sprint Cup practice on Friday, Oct. 8, at 3 p.m. and qualifying at 6:30 p.m.
ESPN2’s season-long coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series continues at Fontana with a telecast of Saturday’s race. NASCAR Countdown airs at 4 p.m. with the race telecast at 4:30 p.m. The green flag flies at 4:46 p.m.
Marty Reid will call the action with analysis by Dale Jarrett, the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, and two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree. Two-time champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, while pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch.
NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio will be hosted by Allen Bestwick with analysis by 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion driver Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty, a team owner in the series. The studio team will interact with the booth during the telecast of the race.
NASCAR Telecasts Continue to Include Unprecedented Access
During ESPN’s telecasts of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, viewers are able to virtually go inside the race teams due to the unprecedented access granted ESPN to in-car communication as well as crew chiefs and team members. Located within the production units in the ESPN TV compound is a radio room in which radio transmissions of all 43 teams in NASCAR races can be recorded during races, allowing producers to be able to lift specific transmissions of any driver or team at any time.
In the telecast of Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway, ESPN viewers were able to listen as driver Kyle Busch, his crew chief Dave Rogers and other members of the team debated on what repairs to make to the car after contact with David Reutimann damaged the car’s rear end. From the ESPN pit studio, host Allen Bestwick and analysts Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty commented on the transmissions. As Busch is one of the drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the decisions were critical as the team tries to win the series championship.
Andretti, Craven, Evernham on NASCAR Now Roundtable
Former NASCAR Sprint Cup race winner John Andretti will join NASCAR on ESPN analysts Ray Evernham and Ricky Craven as panelists on NASCAR Now’s weekly roundtable discussion program airing Monday, Oct. 11, at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Mike Massaro will host the edition of ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program.
Nicole Briscoe hosts half-hour episodes of NASCAR Now airing at 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, Thursday at 6 p.m. and Friday at 8:30 p.m. Briscoe also hosts as NASCAR Now surrounds Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Fontana, Calif., with two episodes. The one-hour weekend edition of NASCAR Now presented by 5 Hour Energy airs at 9 a.m. with a preview of that day’s race, while the weekend wrap-up edition airs that night at 10 p.m. Shannon Spake and Marty Smith will report from California while Craven will join Massaro in the studio.
NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series in Pennsylvania
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series races this weekend in the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., and ESPN2 will air highlights of qualifying and eliminations. Qualifying action airs Saturday, Oct. 9, at 10:30 p.m. ET, and coverage of eliminations airs Sunday, Oct. 10, at 9 p.m.
The race, which last year celebrated its 25th anniversary, was held in September in the late 1980s and early 1990s, then moved to August a few years ago and now takes a crucial October spot on the schedule as the fourth event of the Countdown playoffs. Maple Grove Raceway has a long history of record performances, including the first side-by-side quarter-mile four-second and 300-mph Top Fuel passes, and the expected cool October climes should offer more of the same.
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 presented by Lucas Oil on Sunday at 10 a.m. to set the stage for that day’s eliminations action.
ESPN.com Offers RacingLive! During California Race
NASCAR fans looking for an online gathering during ESPN’s telecasts of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now have a place to go on ESPN.com.
RacingLive! on ESPN.com is a live blog where fans can engage in debate and discussion with ESPN.com writers and editors during the NASCAR Sprint Cup races. On Sunday, Oct. 10, RacingLive! California will kick off at 3 p.m. ET to coincide with ESPN’s telecast of the race at Auto Club Speedway.
Fans can join ESPN.com’s NASCAR experts in dissecting every aspect of the race live at http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar/.
ESPN Radio Raceday Airs Saturday, Sunday
Each weekend morning, ESPN Radio’s RaceDay starts its engines at 6 a.m. ET with host Pat Patterson anchored from Daytona Beach, Fla. Patterson also originates the broadcast from several racetracks with key races during the season. On both Saturday and Sunday mornings, ESPN Radio’s RaceDay listeners get an hour of news, previews and analysis, as well as profiles and interviews with NASCAR’s biggest names and newsmakers and the involvement of listeners via calls and e-mails.
Additionally, many of ESPN’s NASCAR reporters and analysts contribute each week as ESPN networks televise the entire NASCAR Nationwide Series and the final 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup races, including the 10-race “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup” championship. A list of ESPN Radio affiliates can be found at www.espnradio.com.