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)
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|
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