Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC

NASCAR Nationwide Series in Prime Time from St. Louis

The NASCAR Nationwide Series races in prime time on Saturday night as it makes its only appearance of the season at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis. ESPN2 will have a live, high definition telecast of the 250-lap race on Saturday, July 18 beginning at 9 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown. ESPN2 is the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season, with selected races on ESPN and ABC.

Also this weekend, live coverage of NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying airs Saturday at 5 p.m. on ESPN2, while coverage of final practice airs Friday, July 17, at 9 p.m.

Marty Reid will be lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN’s coverage, with analysis by 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Rusty Wallace and two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Andy Petree. Reporting from the pits will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little and Mike Massaro.

NASCAR Journalist Guests on NASCAR Now Roundtable
One of the most widely-read journalists regularly covering NASCAR racing will be a guest panelist on NASCAR Now’s weekly roundtable discussion program airing Monday, July 20, at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Joining host Mike Massaro will be Associated Press motorsports writer Jenna Fryer, whose writing appears in hundreds of publications on a weekly basis, and Ryan McGee of ESPN the Magazine and

Nicole Manske hosts half-hour episode of NASCAR Now airing Tuesday through Friday of this week at 5 p.m. NASCAR Now originates from ESPN’s high definition studios in Bristol, Conn. Contributors include NASCAR Insiders Marty Smith and Angelique Chengelis, analysts Ray Evernham, Tim Brewer, Brad Daugherty, Boris Said, Ricky Craven and Randy LaJoie, and reporters Ed Hinton, Terry Blount and David Newton. The NASCAR on ESPN team event coverage team of Rusty Wallace, Dale Jarrett, Dr. Jerry Punch, Andy Petree, Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Spake and Vince Welch also make frequent contributions to NASCAR Now.

Inaugural Brickyard 400 Kicks Off NASCAR Week on ESPN Classic
The 1994 Brickyard 400 is regarded as one of the most important events in NASCAR’s 60-year history, and NASCAR fans will have an opportunity to go back in time and watch history in the making as ESPN Classic presents highlights of the watershed event on Monday, July 20, at 6 p.m. ET.

The presentation kicks four consecutive nights of past Brickyard 400 telecasts on ESPN Classic, helping get fans ready for the 2009 edition airing Sunday, July 26, at 12:30 p.m. on ESPN.

Jeff Gordon won the inaugural race in 1994, the first stock car race ever held on the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Also this week on ESPN Classic, the ESPN signature series SportsCentury featuring Dale Earnhardt Jr. airs Wednesday, July 15, at 8 a.m.

NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing from Seattle on ESPN2
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series continues its western swing at Pacific Raceways near Seattle this weekend, and ESPN2 will air qualifying and eliminations action on a same-day basis. Qualifying from the NHRA Northwest Nationals airs Saturday, July 18, at 7 p.m. ET, with eliminations airing Sunday at 9 p.m. Finals coverage re-airs Monday, July 20, at 2 p.m. on ESPN Classic.

In one of the tour’s most breathtaking environments, Pacific Raceways is surrounded by towering Douglas fir trees and parked in the shadow of majestic Mount Rainier. The trees add more than beauty at the middle stop on the Western Swing: They emit tons of power-enhancing oxygen to feed the appetites of the high-horsepower machines, resulting in prime performances.

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 on Sunday at 11 a.m. to set the stage for that day’s eliminations action.

Other NHRA programming airing on ESPN Networks this week includes the 2003 Carquest Auto Parts NHRA Nationals from Joliet, Ill., airing Monday, July 20, at 1 p.m. on ESPN Classic, following the noon presentation of an hour of NHRA Lucas Oil Sportsman Series action from Topeka, Kansas.

Traxxas TORC Series Action on ESPN2 Sunday
Action from the Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL returns to ESPN2 on Sunday, July 19, at 11:30 a.m. ET with highlights from the series event held in Bark River, Mich. The premier short-course racing series with the top stars in off-road racing, this exciting form of door-to-door action will appear on both ESPN2 and ABC this season.

The 2009 season features eight total rounds of racing. ESPN2 will air five rounds with three to appear on ABC, including a live telecast on ABC of the Crandon 40th Anniversary of Off-Road Racing. Marty Reid, lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN on ABC's coverage of the Indianapolis 500 and selected NASCAR races, will call all of the Traxxas TORC Truck Series events on ESPN2 and ABC. Joining Reid will be long-time extreme sports announcer Tes Sewell and former Miss USA Kimberly Pressler as pit reporter.

Red Bull X Fighters Return to ABC on Sunday
The Red Bull X Fighters international freestyle motocross tour returns to ABC on Sunday, July 19, at 1:30 p.m. ET. Highlights from an event at the Fort Worth (TX) Stockyards will be featured in the one-hour program.

The World Tour became the sport’s undisputed number one event last year. Taking the sport to the ultimate level and combining it with creative orchestration at iconic locations, the tour staged spectacular contests in the bull fighting arenas of Mexico City and Madrid, the stone quarry of Wuppertal in Germany, the Sambadrom parade ground in Rio de Janeiro, a rodeo arena in Texas and a gigantic historic stadium in Warsaw.

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