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Author Topic: PR: Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC  (Read 88 times)
Dusty Brandel
RIS Editor
Racing commentor
Posts: 607

« on: August 07, 2007, 09:20:22 PM »

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Live on ESPN at The Glen

The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series will hit the road this weekend at famous Watkins Glen International for Sundayís race on the famed Upstate New York road racing circuit. ESPN will have live coverage beginning at 1 p.m. ET with the pre-race NASCAR Countdown program.

ESPN, which has televised more NASCAR Cup races than any other network, returned to coverage of the Cup Series two weeks ago at Indianapolis for its first Cup event since 2000. ESPN and ABC will have live coverage of the final 17 races of the 2007 season, including all 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup on ABC.

Dr. Jerry Punch will handle play-by-play for the Watkins Glen race, joined in the booth for expert analysis by 1989 NASCAR Cup champion Rusty Wallace and two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Andy Petree. Wallace scored two wins at Watkins Glen during his driving career. Pit reporters will be Allen Bestwick, Dave Burns, Jamie Little and Mike Massaro. Two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN DISH Tech Center.

ESPNís Suzy Kolber will host NASCAR Countdown at Watkins Glen, joined by analyst Brad Daugherty, a former winning team owner in NASCARís Busch and Truck series, in the ESPN Pit Studio.

ESPNís coverage from Watkins Glen will include live NASCAR NEXTEL Cup qualifying at 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3, and Happy Hour final practice at 2 p.m. Saturday, both on ESPN2.

NASCAR Busch Series Action Live on ESPN2 Saturday from Watkins Glen 

One week after running on a road course in Montreal, the NASCAR Busch Series will run its second road course race of the year Saturday at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. ESPN2 will have live coverage of the race beginning at 3 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown.

Dr. Jerry Punch will anchor ESPN2ís coverage from Watkins Glen, with analysis by 1989 NASCAR Cup champion Rusty Wallace and two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree. Pit reporters will be Allen Bestwick, Dave Burns, Jamie Little and Mike Massaro, while Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN DISH Tech Center.

In addition to coverage of the race, ESPN2 will televise NASCAR Busch Series practice from Watkins Glen at 5:30 p.m. Friday, and qualifying at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

NASCAR Now Schedule

NASCAR Now, ESPN2ís daily news and information show dedicated to NASCAR, will have its expanded one-hour program tonight beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET. The program will contain highlights of Sundayís NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Pocono, as well as the latest NASCAR news and information.

Tuesday through Thursday, NASCAR Now will air at its new time of 6 p.m. in its normal 30-minute format. Fridayís program will air at 6:30 p.m. following NASCAR Busch Series practice at Watkins Glen. The one-hour weekend edition will air at 10 a.m. Sunday, with extensive highlights of Saturdayís NASCAR Busch Series race at Watkins Glen and a preview of Sundayís NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at the same track. The weekend wrap-up edition will air at midnight Sunday. 

NASCAR Now is hosted by Erik Kuselias, Ryan Burr or Allen Bestwick and originates from ESPNís 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.ís NASCAR team.

IndyCar Series Live on ESPN2 Saturday Night from Kentucky

The IndyCar Series will race on another banked, high-speed oval track Saturday night and ESPN2 will cover the action live from Kentucky Speedway.  The race telecast starts at 6:30 p.m. ET.

IndyCar Series points leader and Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti will return to action after a spectacular crash during last weekendís race at Michigan International Speedway. Franchittiís car became airborne and slammed to the ground after contact with Dan Wheldon, but Franchitti emerged unhurt. 

Marty Reid will anchor ESPN2ís coverage, joined in the booth for analysis by former IndyCar Series star Scott Goodyear. Jack Arute, Brienne Pedigo and Vince Welch will report from the pits.

NHRA Coverage from Brainerd To Air Sunday on ESPN2

With its Western Swing concluded, the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series returns to the American Heartland this weekend for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway, and ESPN2 will have coverage of qualifying and finals. Qualifying coverage from the Gopher State drag racing facility will air at 12:30 a.m. Sunday, with three hours of finals coverage at 7 p.m. Sunday.

NHRAís version of a weeklong campout, this event is a popular stop because of the areaís recreational opportunities. Avid anglers often spend the days before the event trolling the areaís many lakes for walleye, bass and northern pike, and a huge on-site campground provides nightly camaraderie around a campfire for race-goers. A 700-foot concrete launch pad, one of the longest on the tour, helps boost performances as teams compete for positions in the final two events in the important Countdown to 8 cutoff.

Paul Page will anchor ESPN2ís coverage from Brainerd, 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 Sundayís eliminations with driver interviews, features and up-to-the-minute information. An episode of American Dragster will air at 5 p.m. Wednesday.


Champ Car World Series Action from Road America Sunday on ABC

The Champ Car World Series will visit one of Americaís historic racing venues this weekend, for an event at the 4-mile Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. The race will be televised at 3 p.m. ET Sunday on ABC.

Three-time Champ Car Series champion Sebastien Bourdais will be among the top contenders at Road America, along with series star Paul Tracy and rookie phenomenon Will Power. At least 13 events in the international open-wheel racing series are being televised on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic and ABC in 2007, with the networks exclusively airing the series in 2008.

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

New Episodes of ESPN2 Garage Programs To Air This Week

New episodes of the ESPN2 Garage programs SpeedFreaks and King of the Strip will premiere this week. SpeedFreaks will air at 5 p.m. ET Thursday, Aug. 9, while King of the Strip will air at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 12.

Other ESPN2 Garage programs scheduled to air this week include Hot Rod Television at 5:30 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. Saturday, PIPES at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and a repeat of SpeedFreaks at 4 a.m. Friday.

Designed to complement ESPNís extensive coverage of NASCAR, IndyCar, Champ Car and NHRA racing in 2007, ESPN2 Garage is dedicated to the automotive, motorcycle and motorsports worlds. ESPN2 will air more than 1,100 hours of motorsports programming in 2007.

Visit for ESPN's latest releases, schedules and other news, plus photos, video and audio clips and more.



Dusty Brandel
Women's Editor
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