SportsCenter Special: NASCAR Face-to-Face with Hannah Storm, will feature NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart. Viewers will get an up-close look at their lives away from the track through a blend of conversation and access as they near the end of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, with Johnson and Keselowski locked in a battle for the 2012 series championship.
NASCAR will be the fourth subject in Storm’s Face-to-Face series on ESPN, which in previous editions focused on the NBA, the NFL and NFL player Tim Tebow. The program re-airs Thursday, Nov. 8, at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.
“The Face-to-Face franchise evolved from my passion about giving athletes a chance to tell their story in their own words," said Storm. “This is a classic long-form interview format that has gone by the wayside in large measure throughout the years. However, there’s an important place in sports television for in-depth conversation.
“I was particularly excited about a NASCAR Face-to-Face because of the incredible individual personalities that the sport offers," she said. “Also, it really brings me back to my roots covering NASCAR during my first full- time television job as a sports reporter in Charlotte.
“I used to report from the pits, asking the drivers how they felt after they crashed their multi-million dollar cars, so believe me, sitting in a chair across from them today asking tough questions is a relative pleasure."
In the program, Keselowski, one of NASCAR’s younger stars who has developed a large following with his openness on social media, and Storm visit a shooting range, where Keselowski often goes to unwind. “As is typical he was incredibly forthcoming on any number of topics from his rivals, his reputation, his upbringing and controversial issues in the sport," said Storm.
Johnson and his wife, Chandra, talk with Storm in an art gallery. ‘He was surrounded with very personal photographs of the Chase last year," said Storm. “Jimmie opens up about what he learned from the ending of his (championship) streak," adding that the Johnsons also discuss their life on the road as young parents.
Earnhardt, the sport’s most popular driver, gives one of his most extensive interviews since missing two events due to a concussion, while Stewart provides a glimpse of his busy life as a driver-owner.
“I believe NASCAR fans, and sports fans in general, will come away with a real appreciation and insight into the drivers we are profiling," said Storm.
As was the case with the Face-to-Face specials on the NBA and the NFL, the NASCAR program also will feature the work of world-renowned performance painter David Garibaldi
ESPN will have live telecasts of the final three races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season: Nov. 4 from Texas Motor Speedway, Nov. 11 from Phoenix International Raceway and Nov. 18 from Homestead-Miami Speedway. Coverage begins with NASCAR Countdown at 2 p.m. for the Texas and Phoenix races and at 1:30 p.m. for Homestead.