Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC

NASCAR Busch Series Live in Prime Time on ESPN2 from St. Louis

ESPN2 will feature NASCAR Busch Series racing live in prime time Saturday, July 21, from Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis as the series makes its only appearance of 2007 at the 1-mile superspeedway. The telecast of NASCAR Busch Series at Gateway presented by Camping World begins with NASCAR Countdown at 8 p.m. ET; the race starts at 8:30 p.m.

The race will be a homecoming for Rusty Wallace, ESPN’s lead auto racing analyst and a native of the St. Louis area. The 1989 NASCAR Cup champion, Wallace will be working his first race telecast from his home area since retiring from driving and joining ESPN at the end of the 2005 season.

Wallace will work in the ESPN booth as analyst for the telecast, joined by two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Andy Petree. Dr. Jerry Punch will handle play-by-play. Pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake.

Allen Bestwick will host NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN Pit Studio, joined by Wallace and analyst Brad Daugherty, while two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Chevy Cutaway Car.

Gateway International Raceway, located across the Mississippi River from St. Louis in Madison, Ill., has hosted a race for the NASCAR Busch Series each year since it opened in 1997.

ESPN2 To Have Live NASCAR Busch Series Practice, Qualifying Coverage from Gateway

ESPN2, the home of the NASCAR Busch Series in 2007, will have live coverage of qualifying Saturday from Gateway International Raceway, as well as Friday night’s practice session as drivers and teams prepare for Saturday night’s race.

Practice coverage will air at 7 p.m. ET Friday, with the live qualifying show at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Dr. Jerry Punch will be the lead announcer for ESPN2’s coverage of practice and qualifying, joined in the booth by analysts Rusty Wallace and Andy Petree. Pit reporters Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake will contribute to the telecasts.

Allen Bestwick will host the qualifying show, joined in the ESPN Pit Studio by analyst Brad Daugherty. Tim Brewer will be at the ESPN Chevy Cutaway Car.

ESPN Ultimate NASCAR Programming Continues July 19

ESPN Ultimate NASCAR, which is building up to the July 29 launch of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup racing on ESPN with 11 hours of programming on NASCAR history, continues at 9 p.m. ET Thursday, July 19, on ESPN with Biggest Races, a one-hour program counting down the 20 greatest races in NASCAR history, chosen by an exclusive panel of NASCAR experts and historians.

The program is the third of three countdown programs, following Greatest Drivers, which premiered July 5, and Greatest Rivalries, which aired last week. Starting Monday, July 23, the week leading into the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard will include seven hours of NASCAR documentaries – The Explosion, The Dirt, The Cars, Speed and Danger and The Families. All shows will debut on ESPN.

Since April, ESPN viewers have been watching “100 Defining Moments," a series of 30-second vignettes that kicked off ESPN’s Ultimate NASCAR initiative and are featured on SportsCenter, NASCAR Now and other ESPN programming. ESPN is counting down the 100 most defining moments in NASCAR history as selected by the panel.

‘Rocket Man’ Ryan Newman set to appear on First Take

NASCAR Nextel Cup star Ryan Newman will be a guest on ESPN’s First Take (10 a.m. ET M-F on ESPN2) at 10:50 a.m. Wednesday, July 18.

Newman, driver of the No. 12 Dodge, is 13th in the 2007 championship standings after an eighth-place finish in Sunday’s race at Chicagoland, just one position away from making the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.

NASCAR Now Schedule

NASCAR Now, ESPN’s daily news and information show dedicated to NASCAR, will have its expanded Monday edition on the air from 6-7 p.m. ET today on ESPN2. The program will have extensive highlights and recaps of Sunday’s NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race from Chicagoland Speedway and a look ahead to next weekend with updates on the latest news items.

NASCAR Now will air on ESPN2 for 30 minutes in its regular 6:30 p.m. ET time slot Tuesday through Friday of this week. On Friday, the program will lead up to NASCAR Busch Series practice from Gateway International Raceway.

NASCAR Now is hosted by Erik Kuselias, Ryan Burr or Allen Bestwick and originates from ESPN’s High Definition studios in Bristol, Conn., with reporters Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake. Contributors include analysts Tim Brewer, Brad Daugherty, Stacy Compton and Boris Said, along with NASCAR insiders Terry Blount, Angelique Chengelis, Tim Cowlishaw, David Newton and Marty Smith, as well as D.J. Copp, a member of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s NASCAR team.

ESPN on ABC to Feature Inaugural IndyCar Series Event at Mid-Ohio Road Course

The IndyCar Series will make its first visit Sunday, July 22, to the famed Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, and ESPN on ABC will have live coverage of the Honda IndyCar 200 at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.

Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti, Marco Andretti, Danica Patrick and defending IndyCar champion Sam Hornish Jr. will be among the drivers competing in the event.

Marty Reid will anchor the ESPN telecast, joined in the booth by former IndyCar Series driver Scott Goodyear for analysis. Jack Arute, Brienne Pedigo and Vince Welch will report from the pits.

ESPN’s IndyCar Series programming is seen in 208 countries this year. ESPN Networks and Syndication Sales reaches 176 countries, with the American Forces Network airing in 32 additional countries.

NHRA Coverage from Seattle To Air Saturday and Sunday on ESPN2

The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series continues its Western Swing with the Schuck’s Auto Supply NHRA Nationals this weekend at Pacific Raceways near Seattle, and ESPN2 will have coverage of qualifying and finals Saturday and Sunday. Qualifying coverage from the Washington State drag racing facility will air at 11:30 p.m. ET Saturday, with three hours of finals coverage at 7 p.m. Sunday.

In one of the tour’s most breathtaking environments, venerable Pacific Raceways is surrounded by towering pine trees and parked in the shadow of majestic Mount Rainier and represents the middle stop on NHRA’s long-running and much-publicized Western Swing. The trees add more than beauty: They emit tons of power-enhancing oxygen to feed the appetite of the high-horsepower machines, resulting in prime performances. Track management extended the concrete launch pads to 660 feet in 2004, and 10,000 aluminum seats were added on the tower side of the track in 2006.
Paul Page will anchor ESPN2’s coverage from Denver, with analysis by 22-time NHRA winner Mike Dunn. Gary Gerould, Dave Rieff and John Kernan will report the action from the pits. Rieff also will host NHRA Race Day at 11 a.m. ET Sunday on ESPN2. The half-hour program will set the stage for Sunday’s eliminations with driver interviews, features and up-to-date information.

Additional NHRA programming this week on ESPN2 includes an episode of NHRA Stylefest, which will air at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 17, immediately following NHRA Sport Compact drag racing at 5 p.m.

Champ Car World Series Action from Edmonton Sunday on ESPN

The Champ Car World Series will conclude its swing through Canada this weekend with its annual stop in Edmonton, Alberta. The Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton from City Centre Airport circuit will be televised by ESPN beginning at 4 p.m. ET Sunday.

Canada’s Paul Tracy will be among the top contenders at Edmonton, along with three-time Champ Car Series champion Sebastien Bourdais. At least 13 events in the international open-wheel racing series are being televised on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic and ESPN on ABC in 2007, with the networks exclusively airing the series in 2008.

Veteran play-by-play announcer Rick Benjamin, color analyst and former Atlantic racer Jon Beekhuis will be in the booth for the Edmonton race, with Bill Stephens and Michelle Beisner reporting from the pits.

The Champ Car Atlantic Championship also will take place as part of the race weekend. Fans can watch the action live on, ESPN’s signature broadband service, at 12:30 p.m. ET Sunday.

Indy Pro Series Nashville Action Will Air Wednesday

The Indy Pro Series, the feeder series for the IndyCar Series, will be on the air at 5 p.m. ET Wednesday, July 18, on ESPN2 with a half-hour recap of last weekend’s action from Nashville Superspeedway. The Indy Pro Series drivers and teams ran in conjunction with the IndyCar Series at the 1.33-mile concrete oval.

Bob Jenkins will call the action in the telecast, joined for analysis by Robbie Buhl and Mike King. ESPN2 will have tape-delayed coverage of all Indy Pro Series events this season.

Champ Car Atlantic Edmonton Races on ESPN2 Monday Afternoon

ESPN2 will have a doubleheader of coverage of the Champ Car Atlantic Series, the feeder series for the Champ Car World Series, on Monday, July 23, with half-hour recaps from last weekend’s two races at Edmonton. The races will air at 5 p.m. ET.

Veteran announcer Rick Benjamin and analyst Jon Beekhuis, along with pit reporter Cameron Steele, will call the action for both races. ESPN2 will have tape-delayed coverage of all Champ Car Atlantic events this season.

World of Outlaws Sprint Car Racing on ESPN2 Sunday

World of Outlaws sprint car racing will be featured at noon ET Sunday, July 22, on ESPN2. The one-hour program will recap the July 17 WoO event at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa.

The telecast continues the World of Outlaws’ “SuperClean Summer of Money," with eight consecutive weekends of racing on ESPN2 at eight different tracks. The World of Outlaws is the world’s premier sanctioning body for winged sprint car racing.

PowerSports ATV Tour Competition Returns Saturday

Action from the PowerSports ATV Tour will air on ESPN2 at noon ET Saturday, July 21. The one-hour program will contain highlights from Round Five of the series as the ATV Tour appears on ESPN2 for the second year.

The PowerSports ATV Championship Tour is North America’s premier professional ATV racing circuit, featuring QuadMX, QuadTerrain and SuperSport Pro series action as well as 20-plus amateur classes for adults, women and children. The Tour is sanctioned by the World PowerSports Association, North America’s most respected snowmobile and ATV sanctioning body, and a promoter of ATV and snowmobile racing on both the regional and national level.

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