NASCAR’s Road To Homestead Begins This Weekend On ESPN, ESPN2

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

This weekend is going to be a busy one for ESPN.

The schedule is jam packed this weekend for The Worldwide Leader in Sports and its family of networks. The biggest of this weekend’s events across the ESPN family of networks is the annual running of NASCAR’s Brickyard 400. ESPN takes over coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series from TNT this weekend and carries it straight through to the series’ season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This weekend’s coverage of the Brickyard 400 events begins Saturday morning at 9am with the broadcast of Sprint Cup Series practice on ESPN2 and WatchESPN. This is the only coverage that will be carried on ESPN2. All other coverage throughout the weekend will be carried on ESPN and WatchESPN.

Qualifying for the Brickyard 400 will be broadcast at 2pm ET followed by ESPN’s weekly broadcast of NASCAR Countdown at 4pm ET and the NASCAR Nationwide Series’ Lilly Diabetes 250 at 4:30pm ET. The green flag for that race is expected to drop at 4:49 pm ET.

Sunday’s coverage of the Brickyard 400 begins with NASCAR Countdown at high noon. The green flag for the Brickyard 400 is expected to fly at 1:19pm ET weather permitting. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will serve as in-race reporter for the Brickyard 400. He will discuss all of the latest in-race happenings with ESPN analyst Dale Jarrett during the race’s pace and caution laps.

More information on this weekend’s coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races is available online now at http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Verizon Indycar Series Qualifying For Indy 500 This Weekend

Courtesy:  Verizon Indycar Series

Courtesy: Verizon Indycar Series

The Verizon Indycar Series raced on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course for the first time last week. Now, America’s premiere open-wheel racing series will be back on the track this weekend qualifying for the Indianapolis 500.

This weekend’s qualifying, which will be broadcast live on ESPN3 and ABC, will determine the 33-car field for this year’s race. Saturday’s broadcast is the traditional bump day. It will be broadcast live online via ESPN3 from 11am ET – 3pm ET and on ABC from 4pm ET to 6pm ET.

Sunday’s second qualifying session on Sunday, May 18th, will split that initial field into two groups. The first group, those from Saturday’s top nine, will take part in the “Fast Nine Shootout.” The “Fast Nine Shootout” will determine the final starting position for the top nine drivers for the Indy 500. The top nine fastest drivers in the “Fast Nine Shootout” will run in order from slowest to fastest in order to determine the first three rows. Drivers in positions 10 – 33 will requalify for position beginning at 10:15am ET.

ESPN3 will broadcast Sunday’s second qualifying sessions live from 10am – noon ET. ABC will run the double qualifying session from 1pm ET to 3pm ET.

More information on ESPN3 and ABC’s coverage of Indy 500 qualifying and coverage is available online at http://espn.go.com/racing. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

NHRA Back On Track This Weekend In Atlanta

Courtesy:  NHRA

Courtesy: NHRA

Almost a month after its last event, the drivers of the NHRA take to the track again this weekend.

The NHRA takes to the track this weekend in Atlanta for the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals. Current divisional points leaders Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Erica Enders-Steven (Pro-Stock), and Andrew Hines (Pro-Stock Motorcycle) all look to extend their leads for this weekend’s event. ESPN 2 and ESPN3 will carry coverage of this weekend’s event.

Live qualifying and final eliminations will be carried live online via ESPN3. Qualifying will air online via ESPN3 live Friday May 16th at 6:30pm with Final Eliminations live Sunday May 18th at 11am live on ESPN3. Qualifying will run through tape delay on ESPN Saturday, May 17th at 6pm ET. Final Eliminations can be seen on ESPN 2 Sunday May 18th at 9pm ET.

Dave Rieff and Mike Dunn will be in the booth for all of this weekend’s action. More information on ESPN2 and ESPN3’s coverage of the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals is available online at http://espn.go.com/racing. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Indianapolis Speedway To Host Inaugural Grand Prix Of Indy May 10th

Courtesy:  Verizon Indycar Series

Courtesy: Verizon IndyCar Series

The Verizon IndyCar Series will take to the track for a first-ever race this weekend.

The Indianapolis Speedway will play host to the Verizon IndyCar Series this weekend for the first ever running of the Grand Prix of Indy. Last week’s winner and current series points leader Ryan Hunter-Reay looks to expand his points lead when the series takes to the Indianapolis Speedway’s road course. The race kicks off the series’ biggest month. The series’ biggest race, the annual running of the Indy 500, will take place May 25th.

Allen Bestwick will anchor this weekend’s broadcast on ABC. He will be joined by analysts Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever. The green flag is expected to drop at 3:50pm with pre-race coverage beginning at 3:30pm ET. More information on this weekend’s race and the Verizon IndyCar Series is available online at http://www.indycar.com, http://www.facebook.com/IndyCar, http://twitter.com/indycar and http://espn.go.com/racing. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

NHRA Heads To Texas This Weekend

Courtesy:  NHRA

Courtesy: NHRA

The Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series heads to the Lone Star State this weekend.

The Mello Yellow NHRA Drag Racing Series heads from the famed four-wide lanes of Z-Max Dragway to the Royal Purple Raceway in Houston, Texas this weekend for the annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Spring National presented by Super Start Batteries. ESPN3 will carry qualifying live Friday, April 15th at 7:30pm and Final Eliminations Sunday, April 27th at Noon. ESPN2 will rebroadcast qualifying Saturday, April 26th at 6pm and Final Eliminations Sunday, April 27th at 7pm.

Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Erica Enders-Stevens (Pro-Stock), and Andrew Hines all look to extend their leads in their respective division. Dave Rieff will have the call from the booth for this weekend’s races. He will be joined by Make Dunn for more insight on each matchup.

More information on the ESPN family of networks’ coverage of the NHRA is available online at espn.go.comracing. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Championship Battle Still Very Tight As NNS Heads West Again For Week Five

Courtesy:  NASCAR/ESPN/ESPN2/ABC

Courtesy: NASCAR/ESPN/ESPN2/ABC

The NASCAR Nationwide Series heads back out west this weekend for week five of the series’ schedule.

JR Motorsports driver Regan Smith will look to make a dent in his current single-point lead over Roush Racing driver Trevor Bayne this Saturday when the NNS takes to the track for the Treatmycot.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  Saturday’s telecast begins at 4:30pm ET on ESPN with ESPN’s NASCAR Countdown pre-race show.  The green flag is expected to drop at 5:17pm ET.

Allen Bestwick will call the race.  He will be joined in the booth by former NASCAR crew chief Andy Petree.  Rusty Wallace will sit in for former Winston Cup Champion and fellow ESPN analyst Dale Jarrett this week.  Nicole Briscoe will host NASCAR Countdown.  She will be joined by ESPN analysts Ricky Craven and Brad Daugherty.

More information on ESPN’s coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series is available online at http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Networks Open 14th Season Of NHRA Coverage This Weekend

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The NHRA Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series kicks off its 2014 season this weekend on ESPN.

ESPN’s broadcast of the 54th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals in Pamona, California kicks off the fourteenth season that the Worldwide Leader in sports has broadcast drag racing’s top series.  ESPN3 will carry live qualifying Friday, February 7th at 6:30pm ET.  Live eliminations will be carried on ESPN3 beginning Sunday, February 9th at 2pm ET.   Qualifying will be broadcast Saturday, February 8th at 11pm ET on ESPN2.  Final eliminations will be broadcast Sunday, February 9th at 8pm ET on ESPN.  Dave Rieff will anchor the weekend’s events.  He will be joined by analyst Mike Dunn.

NHRA fans can keep up with all of ESPN’s coverage of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series online at http://espn.go.com/racing/ and http://www.nhra.com.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN To Air NASCAR SCS, NNS Finales This Weekend

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

And then there was one.  This weekend, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ 2013 series comes down to a winner take all race that will decide who takes the Sprint Cup Championship.  Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson have been locked in a head to head battle since the start of the annual “Chase for the Championship.”  But Kenseth has fallen off track in recent weeks.  He trails Jimmie Johnson by almost thirty points as the series heads into its season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend.  Allen Bestwick will anchor this weekend’s broadcast.  He will be joined by analysts and NASCAR veterans Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree.  Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch, and Vince Welch will have all the latest in-race news live from the pits.  ESPN’s NASCAR Countdown will be anchored by Mike Massaro.  He will be joined by NASCAR veteran Rusty Wallace, former crew chief and Evernham Racing head Ray Evernham, as well as team owner Brad Daughtery for analysis.

The Ford Econoboost 400 closes out the Sprint Cup Series’ 2013 season.  It will be broadcast live this Sunday beginning with a special two-hour edition of NASCAR Countdown beginning at 1pm ET.  The green flag is currently scheduled to drop at 3:15pm ET.  ESPN will have also air practice and qualifying live this Friday at 1:30pm and 6pm ET respectively.

Along with its broadcast of the Sprint Cup Series season finale, ESPN will also have full coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series’ finale Saturday afternoon.  Austin Dillon and Sam Hornish, Jr. will take it right down to the wire Saturday for the series’ championship in the Ford Econoboost 300.  Broadcast of the race begins with NASCAR Countdown live at 4pm.  The green flag is expected to drop at 4:46pm ET.

ESPN will build up to this weekend’s championship battle by embedding reporters Ryan McGee and Shannon Spake with Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth’s teams respectively today and tomorrow, November 12th and 13th.  They will bring reports from both camps on ESPN’s flagship show, SportsCenter.  NASCAR fans can also tune in to ESPNEWS this Thursday, November 14th for a special hour-long program that will come live from the NASCAR Championship Contenders news conference.  That broadcast will kick off live at 12pm ET from Miami.

More information on this weekend’s races is available online at http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar/.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Offers Audiences Extensive Coverage Of NASCAR’s “Chase For The Sprint Cup Championship”

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN is sure to have quite a lot of eyes this weekend as it steps up its coverage of NASCAR.  NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series enters the first round of its “second season” this weekend.  NASCAR’s legions of fans are sure to be watching especially after the controversy of last week’s race at Richmond International Raceway.  It was in that race that Clint Bowyer, driver of MWR’s #15 Toyota Camry was alleged to have intentionally spun out so as to help his team mate, Martin Truex, Jr. get into the “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.”  That wasn’t the only controversy of the night.  It was alleged also that Roush Racing driver Carl Edwards jumped the start with three laps to go coming off of a late caution, leading to his controversial win.

These storylines alone are sure to generate some interest as ESPN steps up its coverage beginning this weekend in the first of the Chase’s ten race “post season.”  Round One takes the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to Chicagoland Speedway this weekend for the Geico 400.  Just as it did with its broadcasts of the Izod IndyCar Series, ESPN will carry the ten-race postseason with its “NASCAR Nonstop” format.  The side-by-side format will start up near the halfway point of each of the season’s final ten races, with the scoring ticker running along the top of the screen throughout commercial breaks.  It will allow audiences to keep watching the race without interruption whenever it’s time for a commercial break.

ESPN’s NASCAR coverage doesn’t end with coverage of the final ten races.  “The Worldwide Leader in Sports” will follow up each race with bonus post-race content on its flagship show, SportsCenter.  ESPN NASCAR analyst and former NASCAR driver Ricky Craven will be on hand for SportsCenter’s post-race coverage.  He will be joined by Carl Edwards live from each track following each race with the driver’s point of view.  And ESPN lead NASCAR reporter Marty Smith will be on-site all weekend along with others for full coverage of each round of the “Chase.”  Fans will also get extended coverage of each week’s race on ESPN’s weekend wrap-up show, NASCAR Now.  Broadcasts of NASCAR Now will air ach Sunday night after the first nine afternoon “Chase” races.  NASCAR Now will also offer NASCAR fans an hour-long “Chase” preview show on Thursday, September 12th at 7pm, along with coverage on ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN, and ESPN International.

Along with extended and bonus coverage of the “Chase” from ESPN and the ESPN family of networks, ESPN has also enlisted the aid of country superstar Gretchen Wilson for its broadcasts.  Wilson will make appearances in the opening broadcast of each of the “Chase’s” final ten races and narrate them.  Her music will be featured throughout each broadcast’s track specific opening tease, too.

The complete ten-race “Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship” is listed below.

Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule on ESPN Networks

(all times Eastern)

                                                                                                NASCAR                                 Green

Date                        Location                                                 Countdown            Flag        Network

Sept. 15 Chicagoland Speedway       1 p.m.    2:16 p.m. ESPN
Sept. 22 New Hampshire Motor Speedway       1 p.m.    2:15 p.m. ESPN
Sept. 29 Dover International Speedway       1 p.m.    2:15 p.m. ESPN
Oct. 6 Kansas Speedway       1 p.m.    2:16 p.m. ESPN
Oct. 12 Charlotte Motor Speedway       7 p.m.    7:46 p.m. ABC
Oct. 20 Talladega Superspeedway       1 p.m.    2:19 p.m. ESPN
Oct. 27 Martinsville Speedway       1 p.m.    1:43 p.m. ESPN
Nov. 3 Texas Motor Speedway       2 p.m.    3:16 p.m. ESPN
Nov. 10 Phoenix International Raceway       2 p.m.    3:15 p.m. ESPN
Nov. 17 Homestead-Miami Speedway       2 p.m.    3:15 p.m. ESPN

 

More information on ESPN’s broadcast of the “Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship” is available online at http://www.facebook.com/ESPN and http://espn.go.com/racing.

For all of the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

NHRA Racing Onto ESPN Family Of Networks This Weekend

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

This coming weekend is going to be a very big one for racing fans.  NASCAR Nation has Sunday night’s Atlanta race to look forward to.  Fans of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series have reason to be excited, too.  That’s because this weekend, the NHRA will hold its biggest event of the season in the annual Chevrolet U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.  ESPN will have eleven hours of coverage of the event, and even more coverage online.  ESPN will have extended coverage of qualifying and eliminations.  It all culminates with six hours of coverage on Monday, September 2nd, the final day of eliminations on ESPN2.  ESPN3, ESPN’s live multi-screen live sports network, will have live qualifying coverage this Friday, August 30th and full coverage of Monday’s final eliminations.

Dave Rieff will anchor the weekend’s broadcasts.  He will be joined by analyst Mike Dunn and special guest analyst, four-time NHRA champion Gary Scelzi.  Gary Gerould, Jamie Howe, and John Kernan will have all of the latest news from the pits for this weekend’s broaddcast.  Paul Page will be on hand to provide a historical essay on the U.S. Nationals through the years.  Rieff shared his thoughts on the importance of the U.S. Nationals in an interview about the upcoming NHRA major.  “It’s The Big Go, the one race you just want to be a part of,” he said.  “It’s one of those deals where you’re just part of something special.”  He expanded on this thought, adding “It’s the one that if you can’t win the championship, you want to say you’ve won Indy.  “Simply by winning the U.S. Nationals, that makes you a part of drag racing history immediately.”

Along with the weekend’s extensive racing coverage, NHRA fans will also get to hear NHRA veterans Alan Johnson, John Force, and Tony Schumacher discuss their success at Indy and how they feel about this weekend’s events.  Along with this, Ron Capps and Antron Brown will both be on hand to discuss racing at Indy from two different angles.  Capps has never won at Indy, while Brown is the only driver to take wins at Lucas Oil Speedway both in Pro Stock and Nitro class.  So viewers will get to find out what these two drivers think about racing at Indy, and what a win would mean to them this weekend.  And for all the movie buffs out there, ESPN will offer viewers a sneak peek at the upcoming movie Snake and Mongoose as part of its extended coverage over the weekend.

All coverage on ESPN2 and ESPN3 will also be available online on WatchESPN through all mobile outlets as well as Xbox and Apple TV for those that get their video subscription from an affiliate provider including:  Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOS TV, Comcast Xfinity TV, Midcontinent Communications, Cablevision, Cox, Charter Communications and AT&T U-verse (coming soon to NRTC members’ customers).

The weekend’s full schedule is available below.

Date Time Event Network
Friday, Aug. 30 6 p.m. Qualifying ESPN3, WatchESPN
Sunday, Sept. 1 1 p.m. Qualifying ESPN2, WatchESPN
Monday, Sept. 2 11 a.m. Eliminations ESPN3, WatchESPN
Monday, Sept. 2 Noon Eliminations ESPN2, WatchESPN

 

To keep up with the latest racing news from ESPN, go online to http://www.facebook.com/ESPN and http://espn.go.com/racing.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.