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08/29/11
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Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC
Drag Racing’s Biggest Event, NASCAR Doubleheader at Atlanta 

The biggest event of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season will have 11 hours of coverage on ESPN2 this weekend with the running of the 57th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. Expanded qualifying and eliminations telecasts will culminate with five consecutive hours on Labor Day Monday, the final day of competition.

ESPN2’s coverage begins Sunday, Sept. 4, at 11 a.m. ET with a three-hour qualifying program. More qualifying coverage airs for two hours starting at 5 p.m.

Monday’s non-stop action kicks off at noon with eliminations and finals. In addition to the ESPN2 telecast, fans can watch the entire day of eliminations for all classes live on ESPN3.com, ESPN’s signature broadband sports network, starting at 11 a.m. 

Each Labor Day weekend, NHRA racers and fans descend on Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis for the biggest, oldest, richest, and most prestigious drag race in the world. They say that no career is truly complete without a win at drag racing’s grandest event. The fabled strip is regarded by many as one of the smoothest on the circuit, and the stakes are indeed high. This event is the final race for Full Throttle teams to earn points toward making the Countdown playoffs and the six-race run to the Full Throttle championships. The NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series also will compete at the event.

Paul Page anchors ESPN2’s coverage with analysis by 22-time NHRA winner Mike Dunn. Gary Gerould, John Kernan and Dave Rieff report from the pits.

NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series Live in Prime Time from Atlanta

The NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series race under the lights in prime time this weekend on the high-speed Atlanta Motor Speedway and ESPN networks will have live telecasts of both events on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 3-4.

The 500-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will air on ESPN on Sunday night, Sept. 4, with the NASCAR Countdown pre-race show at 6:30 p.m. ET and the race’s green flag at 7:46 p.m. The race telecast is presented by Pennzoil.

The NASCAR Nationwide Series race telecast on Saturday night, Sept. 3, on ESPN2 begins at 7 p.m. with NASCAR Countdown presented by OneMain Financial with the race’s green flag at 7:46 p.m.

Analysts Dale Jarrett, the 1999 driving champion, and two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree will join lap-by-lap announcer Allen Bestwick in the booth to call the action for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race, while Marty Reid will anchor the Saturday night telecast. 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 Nicole Briscoe with analysis by 1989 champion driver Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty. The studio team will interact with the booth during the telecast of the race.

American Le Mans Series Races in Baltimore

The inaugural street racing event in Baltimore will be the setting for the seventh round of the American Le Mans Series season and sports car racing fans can watch the race live on ESPN3.com on Saturday, Sept. 3, at 4:15 p.m. ET. Also from Baltimore, ESPN3.com airs coverage of qualifying on Friday, Sept. 2, at 2:40 p.m. John Hindhaugh and Jeremy Shaw will call the action on the ESPN3.com telecasts.

Highlights from the Baltimore race will air on ABC on Sunday, Sept. 4, at 4 p.m. Brian Till, Bill Adam and Johnny O’Connell will be in the TV booth with pit reporters Jamie Howe and Kelli Stavast.

Wallace, Craven, Smith on NASCAR Now Roundtable

ESPN NASCAR analysts Rusty Wallace and Ricky Craven join reporter Marty Smith as panelists on NASCAR Now’s weekly roundtable discussion program airing Tuesday, Sept. 6, at 1 a.m. ET (late Monday night) on ESPN2. Allen Bestwick will host the edition of ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program.

Half-hour episodes of NASCAR Now air late night this week due to ESPN2’s coverage of U.S. Open tennis. Programs air Wednesday at 2 a.m. (late Tuesday night); Thursday at 12:30 a.m. (late Wednesday night), Friday at 1 a.m. (late Thursday night) and Saturday at 1 a.m. (late Friday night) with Shannon Spake hosting. NASCAR Now’s weekend edition hosted by Spake airs Sunday, Sept. 4, at 10 a.m. with a preview of that night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Smith and Mike Massaro will report from the track while Craven will join Spake in the studio.

ESPN.com Offers RacingLive! During Atlanta 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, Sept. 4, RacingLive! Atlanta will kick off to coincide with ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor 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.com senior motorsports writer Ed Hinton will be on hand at AMS to report.

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.

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