2014 is a big year for ABC. That’s because this year marks the 50th anniversary of the network broadcasting what has become the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
ABC started airing highlights of the annual race in 1965 on its then black-and-white Wide World Of Sports telecast. It has now become one of the longest running partnerships between a television network and sporting event. To put things into perspective, CBS has carried weekend coverage of the PGA’s Masters Tournament since 1965 as well. And ABC has carried the Little League World Series since 1963.
Allen Bestwick will make his debut anchoring the broadcast this year. He will join a very short list of individuals to ever call the race in its now ninety-eight year history. Only nine others have ever called the race in its rich history. Bestwick said of being tapped to helm this year’s broadcast that hearing the broadcast of the Indy 500 was his inspiration for getting into broadcasting when he was younger and that he is rather excited to be helming it this year. “One of the things that sparked my fascination with broadcasting was that appointment viewing of the broadcast of the Indianapolis 500 with Jim McKay behind the microphone,” he said. “It’s one of those things that attracted me and inspired me to get into the business and to think that I’m going to have the opportunity to sit in that chair – THAT chair – is mind-blowing.” Bestwick will be joined for this year’s broadcast by analysts Eddie Cheever and Scott Goodyear, both of whom competed in the Indy 500. SportsCenter anchor Lindsay Czarniak will host the broadcast from IMS’ iconic Pagoda. Rick DeBruhl, Jamie Little, Vince Welch, and Dr. Jerry Punch will all be in the pits.
This year’s festivities are expected to begin with pre-race coverage at 11am ET. The green flag is expected to wave at 12:12pm ET. Viewers can get a whole different angle on the race through ESPN’s in-car cameras. The view from those cameras will stream on ESPN3 through WatchESPN and the official Verizon Indycar Series website, http://www.indycar.com. More information on coverage of this year’s race is available online at http://espn.go.com/racing and http://www.indycar.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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.