ESPN Takes Over NASCAR Broadcasts Beginning This Weekend

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

NASCAR shifts gears again this weekend, literally.  Its top series, the Sprint Cup Series, will shift coverage of its races to ESPN beginning with coverage of the annual Brickyard 400 Sunday, July 28th.  Sunday’s telecast is sponsored by Golden Corral.  It all kicks off with the NASCAR Countdown pre-race show at noon ET.  The pre-race show will broadcast live from the IMS’ legendary Pagoda.  It all leads up to the drop of the green flag, which is expected at 1:19pm ET.

Along with Sunday’s broadcast, ESPN will also handle coverage of Brickyard qualifying Saturday, July 27th at 2pm ET.  ESPN2 will carry Sprint Cup practice at 9am. 

ESPN also has live coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race this weekend beginning with pre-race coverage on NASCAR Countdown at 4p.m. ET.  The green flag for the Nationwide Series race is expected to drop at 4:50pm ET.  Sprint Cup Series driver and 5-time Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson will be in the broadcast booth for part of the Nationwide Series race.

ESPN will have a number of cameras covering what is one of the biggest of NASCAR’s biggest races each season.  It will have a camera mounted on a helicopter to get aerial shots.  There will also be eight in-car cameras that will give viewers at home an “inside” look at the race.  In all, ESPN will have a total of seventy-two high definition cameras position around Indianapolis Motor Speedway for this weekend’s coverage of the Brickyard 400.  That number includes four Ultra Hi Motion cameras for replays and other unique shots.  Another will be mounted on pit wall near the “Yard of Bricks” at the track’s Start/Finish line.  And another robotic Ultra Hi Motion camera will be mounted to show a low shot in Turn One.  Turns two and four will also have cameras mounted. 

Recently enshrined NASCAR Hall of Fame driver and 1999 Winston Cup Champion Dale Jarrett will be joined by two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree and lap-by-lap announcer Allen Bestwick in the booth during the race.  Marty Reid will take over calling lap-by-lap action for ESPN’s broadcasts of the NASCAR Nationwide Series.  Nicole Briscoe will be joined by 1989 Winston Cup Series Champion and fellow NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Rusty Wallace, three-time champion crew chief Ray Evernham, and team owner Brad Daughtery for ESPN’s NASCAR Countdown pre-race broadcast.  Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch, and Vince Welch will all be in the pits for all of the action trackside. 

During pre-race coverage, ESPN will take a look at a handful of notable drivers at this year’s Brickyard 400.  Those drivers are Juan Montoya, Danica Patrick, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Tony Stewart.  Each driver will have a special feature that focuses specifically on them during ESPN’s NASCAR Countdown.

NASCAR fans can catch up on all of the latest on this weekend’s race online at

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Indianapolis 500 Returns To ABC This Weekend For 49th Consecutive Year

Courtesy:  Izod Indycar Series

Courtesy: Izod Indycar Series

Memorial Day and Memorial Day weekend will be a big one for fans of basketball.  The WNBA kicks up its 2013-2014 season in a big way across ABC and the ESPN family of networks.  Fans of auto racing get to celebrate the weekend with the annual celebration of the Indianapolis 500, live from Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS).  ABC will broadcast the annual race this Sunday, May 26th live for the forty-ninth consecutive year.  The race will be preceded by a one-hour pre-race telecast at 11am ET presented by Go Daddy.  The green flag is expected to drop at 12:15pm ET.

The broadcast of the race will incorporate eighty-four different cameras including three each on board twelve of the thirty-three cars entered for the Izod Indy Car Series premier race.  Those drivers who will be carrying in car cameras will be: Defending race winner Dario Franchitti and defending IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay. Others will be Charlie Kimball, JR Hildebrand, James Hinchcliffe, Townsend Bell, Will Power, Helio Castroneves, Marco Andretti, Graham Rahal and Tristan Vautier.  Veteran racer Ed Carpenter will also carry one of the in-car cameras.

Audiences can also get a view of pit road and the front stretch thanks to the enhanced “Batcam” (skycam).  The “Batcam” runs on a wire overhead pit road and the front stretch at IMS.  The “Batcam” has been used by ESPN for many years.  But with its new enhancements, it can now fly over the track at speeds upwards of ninety-five miles per hour.  Four Ultra Hi Motion cameras placed around the track will give viewers an amazing view of the race.  The cameras, which will be used for the second consecutive year, will be placed in the short chutes at each end of the two and a half mile track.  There will also be a camera in the fourth turn exit, and one robotic camera placed at the entrance to turn one.  Along with the cameras, which can shoot at a rate of up to 1,200 frames per second, each turn will also have a Super Slo Motion camera.

Thanks to ESPN3, fans watching the race will get the option of streaming live video on a second screen.  The live streaming feeds will be available via ESPN’s WatchESPN and WatchESPN app.  ESPN3 is available online via  Viewers watching online via ESPN3’s second screen can cwitch between in-car cameras.  For the first time this year, fans watching online can also check out the live scoring ticker.  ESPN3 will also carry a rebroadcast of the race after it ends on ABC.

Marty Reid will have the lap-by-lap call, while ESPN SportsCenter anchor Lindsay Czarniak will serve as race host.  Former driver Scott Goodyear and 1998 Indy 500 winner Eddie Cheever will be on hand for analysis.  Rick DeBruhl, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch, and Vince Welch will report from the pits.

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Czarniak Tapped To Lead 2013 Indy 500 Broadcast

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s Lindsay Czarniak will host this year’s Indy 500.  The SportsCenter co-host’s appointment to the broadcast marks the first time ever that the race broadcast has ever been helmed by a female broadcaster.  Czarniak co-hosts ESPN’s SportsCenter alongside John Anderson.  Before taking on co-hosting duties with Anderson was a pit reporter and feature reporter for broadcasts of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races on TNT and NBC.  She also hosted ESPN’s NASCAR Now previously. 

Lindsay got her start in broadcasting at WRC-TV (NBC 4) in Washington, D.C.  She worked at WRC-TV from 2005 – 2011.  During her time there, she covered the 2006 Winter and 2008 Summer Olympic Games as well as NASCAR broadcasts. 

Courtesy:  ESPN/ABC

Courtesy: ESPN/ABC

The Indy 500 pre-race show is scheduled to run from 11am – 12pm on Sunday, May 26th.  Czarniak will head the pre-race broadcast from the IMS’ famed Pagoda.  She will also help contribute to the race broadcast itself.  Former Indy 500 winner Eddie Cheever will also take part in calling the race.  He will serve as an in-race analyst in the broadcast booth for the race, and for the remaining five races that ABC will carry.

Cheever is a former Formula One racer who won the Indy 500 in 1998.  He made 132 starts in Formula One from 1978 to 1989.  That is the most by any American driver in the history of Formula One racing.  He returned to the U.S. and joined the former CART Series in 1990 and then the IndyCar Series in 1996.  He claimed five wins in his time in the IRL, including his win in 1998.  Cheever last raced in the IndyCar series in 2006.   He will be joined by lap-by-lap announcer Marty Reid and fellow analyst Scott Goodyear to call all six Izod IndyCar Series races broadcast on ABC this season.  Also on hand for the broadcasts will be pit reporters: Rick DeBruhl, Jamie Little, and Vince Welch.  Dr. Jerry Punch will join the broadcast team in the pits for the Indy 500. 

The Indy 500 is the first of six races that will be broadcast on ABC this year.  Each race will be produced by ESPN and broadcast on ABC.  ABC’s other races include: a doubleheader from Detroit’s Belle Island on June 1st and 2nd, a primetime broadcast from Texas Motor Speedway on June 8th, the series’ race from Iowa Speedway on June 23rd, and its return to the hills of Pocono, PA on July 7th at Pocono Raceway. 

To get all the latest news from the Izod Indycar Series on ABC and ESPN, viewers can “Like” the ESPN Facebook page at and the ABC Facebook page at

To keep up with all the latest news from the Izod Indycar Series, fans can “Like” the official Izod Indycar Series Facebook page at

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Rieff Promoted To Anchor For NHRA Broadcasts

Courtesy:  ESPN/NHRA

Courtesy: ESPN/NHRA

The NHRA has announced a change in its on-air lineup for the upcoming season of the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.  Long-time pit reporter Dave Rieff has been named as the series newest anchor as it begins its thirteenth season on ESPN.  He will host both broadcasts of the newly re-named Mello Yello series and the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. 

The NHRA’s new season begins with the 53rd running of the O’Reilly Auto Parts Winter Nationals next Thursday, February 14th – Sunday, February 17th.  Qualifying will be aired same-day on ESPN2 at 10pm EST.  Eliminations will be run same-day February 17th at 8pm EST.  Those with ESPN3 will get to see qualifying and eliminations live via the network’s multi-screen live sports network.  And anyone with a smartphone and/or tablet wil be able to catch all the coverage too on WatchESPN and the network’s WatchESPN app.  Rieff will be joined in the broadcast by longtime NHRA analyst Mike Dunn, who is now in his twelfth year with ESPN.  Also returning this season are fellow NHRA veteran broadcasters Gary Gerould, John Kernan, and Jamie Howe.  Rieff commented on his new appointment, expressing his experience in working with his co-workers and with ESPN.  “I’ve been very lucky during the 17 years I’ve been involved with the NHRA to be around many of the greats of the sport, both television personalities and public address announcers,” he said.  “People like Dave McClelland, Steve Evans, Bob Frey, Marty Reid, and Paul Page.”

Rieff went on to describe his appreciation and respect for those with whom he has worked.  “Little did I know all those years ago I’d end up getting to know these great people and would get to work with them and glean as much knowledge as I could.  I’m very grateful for this opportunity and hope to be able to take the best of the best from each of these men and bring it to the forefront,” he said of his co-workers.  He went on to comment on fellow broadcaster Mike Dunn saying, “It’s always a great opportunity just to get to sit next to Mike and talk about drag racing”, he said.  “It’s like one of those sitting around at home on the sofa situations, two guys that really love their sport and come at it from different sides of the fence, so to speak, and we’re able to bring that energy and passion to the viewers.”

A full listing of this season’s NHRA Mello Yello schedule is listed below.

2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Schedule on ESPN

(all times Eastern)


Date                 Event                                                   Time                Network

Feb. 16 Pomona Qualifying 10 p.m. ESPN2
Feb. 17 Pomona Eliminations 8 p.m. ESPN2
Feb. 24 Phoenix Qualifying 1 a.m. ESPN2
Feb. 24 Phoenix Qualifying (re-air) 8 a.m. ESPN2
Feb. 24 Phoenix Eliminations 8 p.m. ESPN2
March 17 Gainesville Qualifying 1:30 a.m. ESPN2
March 17 Gainesville Qualifying (re-air) 8 a.m. ESPN2
March 17 Gainesville Eliminations 7 p.m. ESPN2
April 6 Las Vegas Qualifying 10 p.m. ESPN2
April 7 Las Vegas Eliminations 11 p.m. ESPN2
April 20 Charlotte Qualifying 5 p.m. ESPN2
April 21 Charlotte Eliminations 7 p.m. ESPN2
April 27 Houston Qualifying 3 p.m. ESPN2
April 28 Houston Eliminations 2 p.m. ESPN2
May 4 Atlanta Qualifying 8 p.m. ESPN2
May 5 Atlanta Eliminations 6:30 p.m. ESPN2
May 18 Topeka Qualifying 5 p.m. ESPN2
May 19 Topeka Eliminations 8 p.m. ESPN2
June 1 Englishtown Qualifying (Part 1) 5 p.m. ESPN
June 2 Englishtown Qualifying (Part 2) 1 a.m. ESPN2
June 2 Englishtown Eliminations 4:30 p.m. ESPN2
June 15 Bristol Qualifying 7 p.m. ESPN2
June 16 Bristol Eliminations (Part 1) 1 p.m. ESPN2
June 16 Bristol Eliminations (Part 2) 11 p.m. ESPN2
June 22 New England Qualifying 8 p.m. ESPN2
June 23 New England Eliminations 7 p.m. ESPN2
June 29 Chicago Qualifying (Part 1) 5 p.m. ESPN2
June 30 Chicago Qualifying (Part 2) 11 p.m. ESPN2
June 30 Chicago Eliminations 9 p.m. ESPN2
July 6 Norwalk Qualifying 6 p.m. ESPN2
July 7 Norwalk Eliminations 7 p.m. ESPN2
July 20 Denver Qualifying 10 p.m. ESPN2
July 21 Denver Eliminations 6 p.m. ESPN2
July 27 Sonoma Qualifying 7 p.m. ESPN
July 28 Sonoma Eliminations 8 p.m. ESPN2
Aug. 3 Seattle Qualifying 10:30 p.m. ESPN2
Aug. 4 Seattle Eliminations 8 p.m. ESPN2
Aug. 17 Brainerd Qualifying 11 p.m. ESPN2
Aug. 18 Brainerd Eliminations 9 p.m. ESPN2
Sept. 1 Indianapolis Qualifying (Part 1) 11 a.m. ESPN2
Sept. 1 Indianapolis Qualifying (Part 2) 5 p.m. ESPN2
Sept. 2 Indianapolis Eliminations Noon ESPN2
Sept. 14 Charlotte Qualifying TBD ESPN2
Sept. 15 Charlotte Eliminations 8:30 p.m. ESPN2
Sept. 21 Dallas Qualifying TBD ESPN2
Sept. 22 Dallas Eliminations 8:30 p.m. ESPN2
Sept. 28 St. Louis Qualifying TBD ESPN2
Sept. 29 St. Louis Eliminations 8 p.m. ESPN2
Oct. 5 Reading Qualifying TBD ESPN2
Oct. 6 Reading Eliminations 8 p.m. ESPN2
Oct. 26 Las Vegas Qualifying TBD ESPN2
Oct. 28 Las Vegas Eliminations 8 p.m. ESPN2
Nov. 9 Pomona Qualifying TBD ESPN2
Nov. 10 Pomona Eliminations 7 p.m. ESPN2


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