TNT to be third TV partner

The shape of NASCAR's television future continues to emerge, with TNT as the "third partner" Brian France spoke about during an interview at Kansas Speedway three weeks ago. It appears TNT will air at least six mid-season Nextel Cup races in the new contract, which will begin with the 2007 season.

Three of those – June races at Pocono, Michigan and Sonoma – would come from the portion of the schedule Fox now airs. The other three, at Daytona, Chicagoland and New Hampshire in July, would come from the package now shared by NBC and TNT.

It is possible the second Pocono race in July also could be part of the TNT deal, giving it a seventh race. That would make the Allstate 400 at Indianapolis the first race each year for ABC/ESPN, which is expected to get the final portion of each season – including the Chase for the Nextel Cup races – in the new contract.

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