Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC
NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series Live in Prime Time from Richmond
The NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series race under the lights in prime time this weekend at Virginia’s Richmond International Raceway and ESPN networks will have live telecasts of both events on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 9-10.
The 400-lap NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will air on ABC on Saturday night, Sept. 10, with the NASCAR Countdown pre-race show at 7 p.m. ET and the race’s green flag at 7:43 p.m. The race is the final event in the NASCAR “regular season” and will solidify the 12 drivers who will be competing in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series race telecast on Friday night, Sept. 9, on ESPN2 begins at 7 p.m. with NASCAR Countdown presented by OneMain Financial with the race’s green flag at 7:43 p.m. The race is the third in the four-race Nationwide Insurance “Dash 4 Cash,” a bonus program designed to reward Nationwide Series championship contenders. Drivers Reed Sorenson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Josh Wise and Elliott Sadler are eligible for a $100,000 bonus to be paid to the highest-finishing of the four in the race. Sorenson, who has won the bonus in the first two Dash 4 Cash race at Daytona and Iowa, has the possibility of winning $1 million over the course of the four select races.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night will conclude 10 consecutive hours of NASCAR coverage on ESPN2, which begins with NASCAR Sprint Cup practice at noon and includes NASCAR Sprint Cup final practice at 2:30 p.m. and qualifying at 5:30 p.m. ESPN2 also will air NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying at 4 p.m. and half-hour NASCAR Now programs hosted by Shannon Spake at 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5 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 Friday 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 race telecasts.
NASCAR Now Weekend Wrap-up Program Begins after Richmond Race
The weekend wrap-up edition of ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now will return to lead into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with the first program airing at 11 p.m. ET on Saturday night, Sept. 10. The program will follow ABC’s live telecast of that night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway, the final race before the start of the Chase. NASCAR Now’s weekend wrap-up program will air on Sunday nights after the nine Sunday afternoon races in the Chase and on Saturday night after the night race at Charlotte.
The one-hour race morning edition of NASCAR Now will continue to air on the morning of all NASCAR Sprint Cup races for the rest of the season. NASCAR fans should check their local listings for the times of both weekend programs.
Benson, Craven, Smith on NASCAR Now Roundtable
NASCAR driver Johnny Benson Jr. will join ESPN NASCAR analyst Ricky Craven and NASCAR Now lead reporter Marty Smith as panelists on NASCAR Now’s weekly roundtable discussion program airing Monday, Sept. 12, at 2:30 p.m. ET 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 2 a.m. (late Wednesday night) and Friday at 1 a.m. (late Thursday night) with Shannon Spake hosting.
Three half-hour programs will air on Friday, Sept. 9, with reports from Richmond International Raceway. The program times will be 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. NASCAR Now’s weekend edition hosted by Spake airs Saturday, Sept. 10, at 9 a.m. with a preview of that night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond, and the weekend wrap-up edition airs that night at 11 p.m. Smith and Mike Massaro will report from the track while Craven will join Spake in the studio.
NHRA Lucas Oil, Get Screened Drag Racing Series on ESPN2 Sunday
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series has this weekend off, but drag racing fans can still see some NHRA action on their televisions as ESPN2 airs highlights of the recent events for the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and Get Screened America Pro Modified Series on Sunday, Sept. 11.
The programs will feature action from the recent Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. One hour of highlights from the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series airs at 5 p.m., followed at 6 p.m. by 30 minutes of Pro Modified racing action.
ESPN.com Offers RacingLive! During Richmond 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 Saturday, Sept. 10, RacingLive! Richmond will kick off to coincide with ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. 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 national motorsports writer Terry Blount will be on hand at Richmond.
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.