NASCAR Televison News

Television Contracts:
FOX / FoxSports1 (13 races thru 2014; 16 races thru 2024): signed thru 2024
TNT/Turner (6 races): thru 2014 and leaves
ESPN/ABC (17 races): thru 2014 and leaves
NBC/NBCSN (20 races): 2015-2024

Other Jayski links to television / media news
NASCAR TV Listings
Television Broadcasters
TV Commercial News page
Jayski's ESPN News Page
TV Ratings Page
NASCAR Radio News & Links

Television Network Links:
ESPN - main
ESPN - NASCAR
ESPN Motorsports - Twitter

FoxSports NASCAR site
FoxSports 1 & 2
FOX Sports - Twitter
FOX Sports - Facebook
FOX Sports - Instagram

TNT - main website
NASCAR on TNT - Facebook
NASCAR on TNT - Twitter
Raceline Online with Joe Moore


  • Marty Smith to remain with ESPN: Marty Smith, who has been lead NASCAR reporter for SportsCenter and other ESPN platforms since 2007, has agreed to a new contract and will remain with ESPN as a bureau reporter. From his base in Charlotte, N.C., Smith will travel to cover a variety of sports for the network, including NASCAR, pro and college football and basketball, and other sports. He also will still write for ESPN.com on NASCAR and other topics and will continue the popular Marty & McGee podcast on ESPN.com, which he co-hosts with ESPN the Magazine senior writer Ryan McGee. Smith's new role officially begins January 1 but as he focuses on covering the final four weeks of the NASCAR season, he will be expanding his duties, including reporting on the Oct. 28 home opener for the NBA's Charlotte Hornets. ESPN is in its final year of televising live NASCAR racing. Prior to joining ESPN, Smith was a senior writer for NASCAR.com, an analyst and host on the former SPEED Channel and a NASCAR analyst on Fox Sports Net. A Radford University graduate, Smith covered sports for daily newspapers in Roanoke and Lynchburg, Va., before joining NASCAR.com. Over the past eight years, Smith has broken multiple big news stories from the NASCAR world on various ESPN platforms. In addition to reporting for SportsCenter and writing news and features for ESPN.com, Smith also has contributed to ESPN's NASCAR event television coverage with numerous unique features and extensive, in-depth and revealing interviews with nearly every top driver in the sport.(ESPN PR)(10-23-2014)

  • ESPN employees visit Hendrick Motorsports: Five years ago, Rich Feinberg - ESPN vice president, motorsports, production - came up with an idea. "At ESPN, we cover all sports, but it's a very stick-and-ball culture," Feinberg explained. So he brought a concept to ESPN management and eventually NASCAR management. Why not gather a group of ESPN employees and bring them inside the world of NASCAR? "By immersing people in it, they learn about it, they have a new respect for it, and when it comes down to working on it, they do better," he said. ESPN and NASCAR loved the idea, and for five years, Feinberg has hand-picked a group to make the trek to Hendrick Motorsports headquarters in Concord, North Carolina. In the 2014 version of the immersion program, that certainly proved true. In addition to NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports employees, among the participants were SportsCenter anchors Jay Harris, Chris Hassel, Darren Haynes, Lisa Kerney and Jaymee Sire in addition to ESPN Radio host Freddie Coleman, executive producers Mike Shiffman and Andy Tennant, senior news editor Jodi Herbert and Director of Talent, Planning and Development Chris Duffy. Included in the immersion was an overview of the human performance element of the race teams, featuring a tour of the training field, gym and pit pad. At the pit pad, the group got a chance to take a shot at changing a tire, splitting into two teams racing against the clock for the win. After the competition, the group went on to tour the engine shop and the race shops for the #5, 24, 48 and 88 teams. Finally, the group got to take an exclusive tour of Hendrick Motorsports Owner Rick Hendrick's Heritage Center, featuring his extensive car collection. It was just part of their immersion, as the group later got the chance to take in the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(Hendrick Motorsports)(10-15-2014)

  • Three Sprint Cup Races to Air Live in Spanish: ESPN Deportes will air live telecasts in Spanish of three of the last five races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup starting with the race at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, Oct. 19, at 2:00pm/et. ESPN Deportes also will air live telecasts of the Oct. 26 event at Martinsville, Va., and the Nov. 9 event in Phoenix. The network airs all NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races but normally on a delayed basis. The leading multimedia, Spanish-language sports brand dedicated to providing the widest variety of sports to the U.S. Hispanic sports fan, ESPN Deportes is the highest rated and most watched Spanish-language sports cable network, currently available in 6.1 million Hispanic households. Featuring more than 2,500 live and/or original hours of sports programming, the network is also available via WatchESPN. Andres Agulla and Alex Pombo will call the NASCAR action on ESPN Deportes.(ESPN)(10-14-2014)



  • Steve Byrnes' cancer has returned UPDATES: Longtime NASCAR on FOX on-air personality Steve Byrnes is taking an indefinite medical leave of absence, effectively immediately, to focus on his health after receiving news he has suffered a recurrence of cancer. Byrnes, who was diagnosed and successfully treated for head-and-neck cancer in late 2013, steps away from his NASCAR Race Hub co-hosting and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series play-by-play duties for FOX Sports 1 to concentrate on his upcoming medical treatment and time with his family. Any further updates on Byrnes will come at the discretion of the family.(FoxSports)(10-8-2014)
    UPDATE: Byrnes tweeted, "On behalf of my family, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the kind expressions. Starting chemo next week and I'm ready to fight!"(10-11-2014)
    UPDATE 2: Leavine Family Racing will be running a special decal on the #95 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Saturday night in support of Fox reporter Steve Byrnes.(LFR PR)(10-11-2014)

  • Jamie Little moves to Fox starting 2015: FOX Sports announced the addition of veteran motor sports reporter Jamie Little to the NASCAR on FOX family beginning in January 2015. Little will serve as a pit reporter for NASCAR on FOX's 15th season of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series coverage and its first year televising the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Her assignments also include select additional races and special events throughout the year. "Bringing Jamie into the NASCAR on FOX fold is a huge addition for FOX Sports," said John Entz, EVP, Production & Executive Producer, FOX Sports. "While her versatility is remarkable, her ability to think on her feet and report not only the news but also the sport's human-interest stories, with a down-to-earth presentation, makes her a perfect fit for FOX."
    The move to FOX after multiple years with ABC and ESPN represents a "homecoming" of sorts for Little. She covered a variety of motor sports events for FOX Sports' SPEED in 2002 and 2003, including the network's live coverage of Daytona Supercross. "Of all the racing events I've covered in my career, one of the most special was my first-ever live national broadcast in 2002 when I covered Daytona Supercross for SPEED," Little recalled. "At that time, most of the shows I worked were pre-packaged and tape-delayed, so being live on a national broadcast was a reporter's dream." More than 12 years later, Little remains equally grateful for the opportunity with the FOX Sports family.
    "Jumping over to FOX will be a big change for me, but this is the perfect time in my life and I welcome the challenge," Little said. "For some broadcasters, NASCAR often is a steppingstone to where they want to be in another sport or realm of entertainment. But NASCAR is my NFL, and the Daytona 500 is my Super Bowl. All I've ever wanted to do is cover racing, so the fact FOX approached me with the opportunity to continue covering the sport I love so much is a true honor. I've covered 11 Indy 500s and eight Brickyard 400s, and now I'll have the chance to cover my first Daytona 500 in February. That will be a huge feather in my cap."
    The versatile broadcaster has covered the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series for ESPN since 2007, and the IZOD IndyCar Series since 2004, in addition to extensive work with the Summer and Winter X Games. She was the first female pit reporter for the television broadcast of the prestigious Indianapolis 500, the first female to cover a televised Supercross and Motorcross event, and was one of the first female reporters in X Games history. Little, who has worked for ABC, ESPN, SPEED, NBC and TNN, has hosted non-racing sporting events ranging from Paintball Championships to the Great Outdoor Games.
    Little embarked on her broadcasting career in 2002 as a motocross and motorcycle reporter, and credits her passion for the sport and affinity for dirt bikes as the springboard for her entry into television. The Las Vegas resident is well-rounded outside the four corners of a race track, as well. In 2013, she released her first book, entitled Essential Car Care for Women, and has worked the red carpet for the ESPYs, in addition to hosting numerous NASCAR events away from the track. Furthermore, the popular racing video game "MX World Tour Featuring Jamie Little" bears her name and likeness. She also held a cameo role in the 2005 feature film, Fantastic Four, which included an X Games-themed scene.
    The San Diego State University graduate got her television start on ESPN2 reporting on various motor sports while interning at a local news station, in addition to live announce work for Supercross as a college student. In 2013, FOX Sports extended its media rights agreement with NASCAR, ensuring the FOX family of networks' broadcast of the first 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races each season beginning in 2015, as well as the first 14 NASCAR XFINITY Series races of the season and all NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events, through 2024. FOX Sports will announce its full 2015 NASCAR on FOX on-air lineup in the near future.(Fox Sports)(9-26-2014)

  • Complete Replays Of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Races Now Available: YouTube and NASCAR Digital Media have collaborated to give race fans the chance to relive every moment of NASCAR's completely revamped playoffs. For the remainder of NASCAR's postseason, fans will be able to view full-length replays of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races on NASCAR's official YouTube channel, free of charge. Complete race replays of each Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race broadcast will be available at www.youtube.com/NASCAR each week following the event. Fans may visit the playlist entitled, "Full NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Replays - 2014" on the channel's landing page to access the videos.(NASCAR)(9-23-2014)

  • "American Restoration" Features NASCAR Hall of Fame: A new episode of "American Restoration" titled "Dales of Thunder" is scheduled to air on the HISTORY Channel. The episode features the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Charlotte Motor Speedway and numerous NASCAR industry executives and drivers including NASCAR Hall of Fame Executive Director Winston Kelley, Charlotte Motor Speedway President Marcus Smith and NASCAR drivers Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle, Danica Patrick and Kyle Larson. In the episode, NASCAR driver Kyle Busch and Charlotte Motor Speedway's Marcus Smith commissioned "American Restoration" host Rick Dale to design a trophy inspired by NASCAR's history and heritage for the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series HISTORY 300 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Rick met up with Winston Kelley and NASCAR driver Greg Biffle at the NASCAR Hall of Fame for inspiration on the trophy design. The initial showing of the episode garnered 1.8 million viewers. The episode is scheduled to air on the HISTORY Channel on Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 2:00pm/et.(NHOF)(9-9-2014)

  • NBCSN's NASCAR America expands to an hour on Monday's: As the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season races to a dramatic finish this weekend at Richmond International Raceway, NBCSN's NASCAR AMERICA is gearing up for an expanded set of 60-minute Monday shows that begins on Monday, September 8 at 4:30pm/et, and will continue each week through the 2014 playoffs. In addition, NBCSN will present a 60-minute NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase special on Thursday, September 11. On July 23, 2013, NASCAR and NBC Sports Group reached a comprehensive agreement that grants NBCUniversal exclusive rights to the final 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, final 19 NASCAR XFINITY Series events, select NASCAR Regional & Touring Series events and other live content beginning in 2015.(NBC)(9-7-2014)

  • NASCAR's TV money split won't change for 2015: NASCAR won't change the formula for how it distributes television money from its current split among tracks, teams and the sanctioning body when its new television deal kicks in next year, a deal that likely will be worth nearly 4% more in 2015 than in 2014. In a news release to announce the impact of the schedule changes and the new 10-year television deal that goes into effect next season, track operator International Speedway Corp. said the split will remain at 65% to the tracks, 25% to the teams through the purse and 10% to NASCAR.
    ISC, a publicly traded company whose majority of voting stock is controlled by the NASCAR-owning France family, is obligated to tell investors some details about the deal because it is the biggest revenue stream for ISC. For 2015, ISC said it will take in 3.8% more than in 2014 from the NASCAR television package with the amount increasing 3-5% each year at an average of 3.9% per year. The new package reportedly is worth $8.2 billion over 10 years, up 46% from the eight-year, $4.5-billion deal that ends after this season.
    Purses will go up unless NASCAR requires less from the track for the purse. For its 21 Cup events (19 points races, Sprint Unlimited, Daytona 500 qualifying races), ISC said it will take in $316 million next year, including what it will then pay out as part of the purse. Using the NASCAR formula, it appears ISC will have $228 million in revenues in 2015 from the television deal.(in part from Sporting News)(8-28-2014)

  • Fox Sports 1 to air uncovered Tim Richmond Interview: To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the death of NASCAR driver Tim Richmond, NASCAR RACE HUB airs a newly unearthed interview with the former Hendrick Motorsports superstar on Wednesday, Aug. 13 at 5:00pm/et on FOX Sports 1. "At a Crossroads: The Lost Tim Richmond Interview" features lost footage from January 1987, when legendary broadcaster Ken Squier traveled to Richmond's hometown of Ashland, Ohio, for an interview regarding Richmond's medical condition and to inquire as to what the future might hold for his racing career. The interview was conducted soon after Richmond, one of the first open-wheel drivers to successfully cross over to stock cars, announced he would miss the 1987 Daytona 500 due to health issues, just weeks after winning a NASCAR Winston Cup Series-high seven races in 1986 and scoring a third-place points finish with Hendrick Motorsports. On Tuesday, Aug. 12, NASCAR RACE HUB begins its celebration of Richmond's life with a feature documenting his racing career.(FOX Sports)(8-11-2014)

  • NASCAR selects IMG as international broadcast agency partner: Having recently solidified the sport's domestic television future as part of record-breaking media rights partnerships with the FOX Sports and NBC Sports groups, NASCAR announced that it has selected IMG to assist the sanctioning body in establishing a long-term and sustainable global commercial broadcast media distribution strategy. As NASCAR's international media representative, IMG will be responsible for helping the sport increase its footprint, audience base and revenues outside of North America and South America. In addition to leveraging the popularity of motorsports in key international territories like Western Europe and Australia, IMG will further develop NASCAR television rights commercially in markets where motorsports are less widely known such as Southeast Asia, China and Eastern Europe. Currently, NASCAR races are broadcast in more than 175 countries through more than 20 broadcast partners worldwide. All of NASCAR's current international broadcast rights will expire at the end of the 2014 season and IMG will begin assisting NASCAR with creating and executing a new international media strategy for 2015 and beyond. As its agent, IMG will work with NASCAR to secure broadcast exposure for NASCAR's national series as well as other NASCAR series in hundreds of countries across the globe beginning in 2015, including expanding into countries which have not broadcast NASCAR content in the past.(NASCAR)(8-5-2014)

  • No NASCAR in top 50 watched sporting events this year: At the unofficial halfway point of the sports calendar, here is a look at the most-watched sporting events of the year so far. Click here to jump straight to the list. The first half of 2014 was a bit atypical thanks to the Winter Olympics and World Cup. Those two events accounted for exactly half of the 50 most-watched sports telecasts this year - eighteen for the Olympics and seven for the World Cup - and 11 of the top 12 non-NFL events. The Opening Ceremony of the Olympics (31.7M) and the Germany/Argentina World Cup final (26.5M) rank as the two most-watched non-NFL sporting events of the year. There have been other oddities. Horse racing placed higher on this year's list than the NBA Finals, as The Belmont Stakes drew 20.4 million viewers (#26) and Spurs/Heat topped out at 18.0 million (#33). NASCAR and golf both plummeted out of the top 50 as the Daytona 500 (9.3M) and The Masters (11.0M) suffered sizable declines. The NFL Draft - not even an actual sporting event - managed to crack the list with 12.4 million viewers on ESPN and NFL Network. Even in an atypical year, the NFL was still dominant. NFL games took up the top eight spots on the list, led by the Seahawks/Broncos Super Bowl - the most-watched program in U.S. television history. Every NFL game played in 2014 had more viewers than the most-watched World Cup match. See the full list at Sports Media Watch.(7-21-2014)

  • Turner Sports could disappear in potential media mergers: The latest machinations of the corporate media giants could result in the end of one of sports broadcasting's great brands. According to multiple reports, 21st Century Fox is pushing to acquire rival giant Time Warner. Even after an initial $80 billion bid was rebuffed, Fox and its leader Rupert Murdoch are said to be "determined and unlikely to walk away anytime soon". Much of the talk surrounding a potential Fox acquisition of Time Warner has focused on sports and with good reason. Through Turner Sports, Time Warner has one of the most impressive sets of sports rights on cable television. Adding Turner Sports' haul to the existing Fox Sports line-up - the rest of the MLB playoffs, the NFL, NASCAR and college football - would turn the latter into the dominant player in TV sports. ESPN would still be the leader in many ways, but FOX and Fox Sports 1 would have a virtually unmatched portfolio. Such a move would be a boon to 21st Century Fox and a major loss for sports television. Turner Sports has been one of the most successful alternatives to ESPN and is generally well-regarded. Despite being unaffiliated with any of the Big Four broadcast networks, Turner Sports has managed for decades to acquire some of the biggest blue-chip properties in sports (even the NFL in the 1990s). A potential merger would wipe out both a competitor for Fox and an alternative for viewers, making the sports TV business a little less risky for the remaining giants. Fox would not be the only one happy to see Turner Sports go - ESPN would be happy to no longer see comparisons between its NBA studio show and Inside the NBA, and all the networks would presumably be glad to have one less rival driving up rights fees. Now, the threat exists of the big five turning into the big four. CBS and NBC would still be formidable, but the industry would primarily turn into a battle of Goliaths between ESPN and FOX.(Sports Media Watch)(7-20-2014)

  • NASCAR And Turner Sports Culminate 32-Year Broadcast Partnership at NHMS: For more than three decades, NASCAR and Turner Sports have partnered to tell the stories of stock car racing - longer than many of the drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have been alive. On Sunday when the checkered flag flies at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, it will mark the conclusion of a long and prosperous partnership between NASCAR and Turner Sports.
    "There is no question that the folks at Turner have been fantastic partners for the past 32 years, and we can't thank them enough for everything they've done to grow the sport during that time frame," said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and chief executive officer. "Their dedication to producing first-class, innovative NASCAR broadcasts has never wavered, and this weekend's race from New Hampshire should bring an exciting yet bittersweet conclusion to TNT's NASCAR Summer Series."
    Turner has been instrumental in helping grow the sport through innovative and creative NASCAR coverage and promotions. Some highlights in the history of the partnership include:
    - 1983 - 2001: TBS was the longtime home for select races in all three national series, including events from Richmond, Atlanta, Rockingham, Riverside, Charlotte and Pocono; Ken Squier, Buddy Baker and Dick Berggren made up the broadcast team for the majority of races.
    - July 2001: The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was aired on TNT from New Hampshire Motor Speedway; Allen Bestwick, Benny Parsons and Wally Dallenbach manned the broadcast booth.
    - September 2004: TNT presented its first race in HDTV, the Rock and Roll 400 from Richmond International Raceway.
    - December 2004: TNT announced it would carry their entire portion of the 2005 season in 1080i high definition.
    - May 2011: Turner implemented new "directional audio" marketing technology in public areas of Charlotte, North Carolina, allowing visitors to hear engines revving and race tune-in information when stepping on TNT logos.
    - June 2012: NASCAR and Twitter launched a first-of-its-kind editorial partnership for the first TNT race from Pocono Raceway, creating a unique complementary second screen experience to enhance TNT's broadcast of the race.
    - June 2013: TNT introduced "all-access coverage" during the Countdown to Green prerace show, a feature where the network follows a different driver throughout the week to document how they prepare for the race.
    Finally, there are countless memorable moments on the track that Turner has covered over the last three-plus decades. But most notably, TBS will always be known as the network that carried the first-ever race in which Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. competed against each other. In a 300-mile exhibition race at Twin Ring Motegi in Motegi, Japan in 1998, Earnhardt Jr. ran the No. 1 car while his father was in the iconic No. 3. What was the result? Son bested Dad by two positions, as the pair finished sixth and eighth, respectively. Turner Sports will continue to oversee advertising sales and sponsorships across NASCAR-branded digital platforms. The 2014 NASCAR Summer Series on TNT officially concludes with the Camping World RV Sales 301 live from New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 13.(NASCAR)(7-13-2014)

  • ESPN cancels "NASCAR Now".: The popular daily news show which launched in 2007 and was the first program on ESPN devoted strictly to NASCAR has been on hiatus since the start of World Cup Soccer started last week Network spokesperson Andy Hall said ESPN "just decided to make a change in the programming schedule." And although ESPN will not be an official broadcast partner beyond 2014 as FOX and NBC takeover the entire schedule Hall added the move was "totally unrelated to our telecast of NASCAR races. "We will continue to present the race telecasts at the same high level fans expect from ESPN for the remainder of our final season," Hall said. ""We will continue to aggressively cover NASCAR across our news platforms, including SportsCenter, ESPN.com and others" (like Jayski.com).(Motorsport)(6-23-2014)

  • Steve Byrnes to serve as keynote speaker at Relay for Life: NASCAR on FOX host and reporter Steve Byrnes, a cancer survivor, will be the keynote speaker at the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life on Saturday, June 7, in Charlotte, NC. Byrnes, who was successfully treated for head-and-neck cancer late last year, will share his story with hundreds of cancer survivors, caregivers, families, volunteers and other participants in the Luminaria Ceremony following the Relay for Life at 9:00pm/et at Little Sugar Creek Greenway in Charlotte. The Luminaria Ceremony, a candlelight vigil, is one of the highlights of the event.(FOX)(6-7-2014)

  • See Gen 6 Chevy SS race car fabricated on TV Show tonight: Science Channel's fan favorite How It's Made is teaming up with NASCAR to give viewers an inside look at how NASCAR's new Gen-6 race car bodies are made. On Thursday, June 5 at 9:00pm et/pt, How It's Made visits Hendrick Motorsports in Concord, NC. as the 11-time Sprint Cup Series champions build out a Chevrolet SS designed to compete at NASCAR's top level. For 12 seasons and more than 300 episodes viewers have flocked to Science Channel's How It's Made to explore how many of the everyday objects or products we seldom stop to think about are made (Team Chevy), see the Science Channel How It's Made Schedule.(6-5-2014)

  • Fox's Artie Kempner to wave green flag at Dover: Wilmington [Delaware] resident Artie Kempner will take brief a break from directing FOX's telecast of Sunday's NASCAR race to wave the starting flag for the Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 benefitting Autism Speaks. It's an appropriate honor for Kempner, the founding president of Autism Delaware who has been driven by son Ethan's life with autism. Kempner credited Dover Downs and FedEx for their enthusiasm in partnering with Autism Speaks, where he is a board member, and striving to bring awareness to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Mark Rossi, Dover Downs vice president for sales and marketing, said there was a quest to create "something bigger than just a race." The link with Autism Speaks did just that, transforming it into a "lighthouse event" that draws attention toward an important cause.(Delaware News Journal)(6-1-2014)

  • TNT Revs Up for NASCAR Coverage: TNT's presentation of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will feature all-access coverage throughout the six-week NASCAR Summer Series. TNT's coverage will start Sunday, June 8, at Pocono, continuing throughout the summer with behind-the-scenes content featuring a select driver and their team, along with special "off the track" segments and more.
    The Toyota Camry Test Car, a new addition for this year's race coverage, will take viewers inside the car and bring them closer to the action. TNT analysts Kyle Petty and Wally Dallenbach will use the car for pre-race driving segments on the track, taking viewers into the turns and down the straightaways before the green flag drops each week. Additionally, the car will be a resource for analyst Larry McReynolds during the race as the former crew chief will outline key performance features and mechanical challenges during the race.
    TNT will once again follow a driver and their team over the course of the entire week as they travel and prepare for the upcoming race, with coverage beginning when the driver leaves the previous track and continuing throughout the network's next NASCAR Summer Series telecast. Featured drivers will include #42-Kyle Larson (Pocono), #3-Austin Dillon (Michigan) and #47-AJ Allmendinger (Daytona), among others. The all-access pieces will air during the pre-race Countdown to Green served by Sonic show.
    The network will return its marquee commentator crew with analysts Petty, Dallenbach and McReynolds joining play-by-play announcer Adam Alexander for each race. Alexander will also host the network's 60-minute Countdown to Green served by Sonic pre-race show with Petty, Dallenbach and McReynolds. In addition, veteran reporters Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider, Matt Yocum and Chris Neville will patrol pit road to bring viewers comprehensive coverage and access prior to and during each race.(Turner Sports)(5-29-2014)

  • Waltrip - Hammond: daughters getting married on same day: NASCAR on FOX's "old married couple" are marrying off their daughters on the same day this weekend, and true to the stereotype that married folks don't communicate, neither Darrell Waltrip nor Jeff Hammond realized their girls had chosen the same wedding date until a few weeks prior to the big day. Waltrip and Hammond, longtime NASCAR on FOX teammates, will be absent from Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday this weekend in order to give their daughters away -- on the same day and at their respective family homes in Tennessee and North Carolina. However, both analysts return from the festivities in time for FOX's live broadcast of Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 from Charlotte Motor Speedway. The men, who paired for the 1982 and 1985 Sprint Cup Series championships and 43 wins, spin their calendar oversights as evidence of them "being on the same page" as opposed to failure to communicate regarding one of the most significant moments of their parenting lives.
    "We had no idea they were getting married on the same day," Waltrip explained. "Who would have thought that out of the 365 days a year, our daughters would have chosen the same one? Hammond didn't tell me and I didn't tell him. We sent out invitations and still didn't catch it. He was talking to me about a wedding recently, and I thought he was talking about ours. At some point in time, Hammond said something about a tent, and I said, 'We're not having a tent.' He said, 'I'm going to have a tent,' and I asked, 'What do you need a tent for?' He said, 'For the wedding!' I asked, 'What wedding?'
    "We then figured out they were getting married on the same day," Waltrip continued. "Hammond said Heather (Hammond) had chosen that date because it's a day he could get off of work for NASCAR on FOX, which is the same reason Sarah (daughter), Stevie (Waltrip) and I had chosen it. There is no on-track activity Friday, and Saturday is a light day on the track for FOX. For my family, Saturday was the only day that worked well for the kids and enabled me to be in town for the reception, rehearsal dinner and so forth. Hammond chose this weekend for the exact same reason."
    Oddly enough, the date of the weddings, May 24, is the same day Hammond's son, Colt, was born in 1988 after his wife was induced in order to allow Hammond to be back atop the pit box for Waltrip for the May 29 Coca-Cola 600. Waltrip won the race that weekend and dedicated the victory to Colt.(FoxSports)(5-24-2014)

  • Petty and Almirola to appear on CMT Hot 20 Countdown: Recently, Aric Almirola and Richard Petty joined CMT and Eckrich filmed in their first special "Operation Inspiration" CMT Hot 20 Countdown show with hosts Cody Allen and Alecia Davis. The show was filmed with over 100 military members and their families from Ft. Campbell in Tenn. as guests of Eckrich and featured one family, The Nuckoles family from nearby Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. Sergeant Ray Nuckoles III and his wife Amanda got a special surprise from Eckrich spokespeople, Aric and Richard. The surprise will be unveiled during the show debut on Saturday, May 17th at 11am/10c with an encore on Sunday, May 18th at 11am/10c.(PR)(5-16-2014)

  • FOX moves Talladega qualifying to FOX: NASCAR ramped up its pre-race excitement level for the 2014 season, making qualifying more relevant and much more entertaining by introducing a highly competitive "knockout" system, beginning with 43-plus race cars on the track at the same time at tracks 1.25 miles or longer. NASCAR on FOX, which covers the first 13 NASCAR Sprint Cups Series of the season, is showing its enthusiasm for the new system, moving the (Saturday) May 3 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying at unpredictable Talladega Superspeedway from FOX Sports 2 to FOX, marking the first time a non-Daytona qualifying session has aired on FOX. "This move is a direct result of the double-digit ratings gains NASCAR's new knockout qualifying format is delivering every weekend," said Bill Wanger, EVP of Programming, Research & Content Strategy. "We are thrilled to be able to highlight this new format on FOX, and what more exciting place to do that than Talladega Superspeedway." The new qualifying system, which moves away from single-car qualifying and is supported by double-digit, year-to-year ratings growth, allows for all cars to qualify collectively for up to 25 minutes, with the top 24 based on fastest laps advancing for a subsequent 10-minute session. The top 12 from that group advance to the final, five-minute round. The 90-minute Talladega qualifying session begins on FOX on Saturday, May 3 at 1:30 pm/et(FOX).
    NOTE so far FoxSports has aired qualifying time delayed, 5-10 minutes behind live. Results will be posted LIVE on Jayski.com, and Jayski's Twitter & Facebook...so spoiler alert....(4-16-2014)

  • NASCAR ok with Fox moving Bristol race to FoxSports 1: Fox Sports didn't break any agreements with NASCAR in moving the rain-delayed race at Bristol to Fox Sports 1 Sunday night. Once the Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway went past 7:00pm/et, Fox had the option of moving the remainder of the event to Fox Sports 1, according to NASCAR. Fox elected to use that option instead of keeping the telecast on network television and pre-empting its Sunday night lineup. The race started about 90 minutes late because of rain and then had a delay of 3 hours, 18 minutes because of more rain that pushed the final 376 laps to after 7:00pm. According to the SportsBusiness Journal, the last three-quarters of the Bristol race on FS1 drew a 1.8 overnight rating. According to the website TV By The Numbers, Fox's rating for ages 18-49 were 1.1 for Bob's Burgers, 1.4 for American Dad, 1.9 for the The Simpsons, 2.3 for Family Guy, and 2.0 for Cosmos. "We would prefer to start and finish race coverage on Fox," Fox Sports spokesman Erik Arneson said in an e-mail Wednesday. "Moving an audience from one channel to another is a disruption to fans, which we take very seriously."
    "It's great to have broadcast partners who have multiple options so that we have a way to service the fans," NASCAR spokesman Scott Warfield said.(Sporting News)(3-20-2014)

  • NASCAR involved in new online network UPDATE: A new online-only network that will focus on some of NASCAR's lower-tier series, as well as similar series in sports car and motorcycle racing, will make its debut this Wednesday, March 12. FANSCHOICE.TV, whose motto is "My Series, My Track, My Choice," is partly owned by NASCAR and will feature live streaming of racing on the K&N Pro Series and Modifieds from across the country, as well as AMA Pro motorcycle racing and various sports car series. Right now, programming on the new website will be free for viewers, supported by advertising and sponsorship dollars. It will only be available online, although one has to wonder if it takes off the way its backers hope, whether it will eventually wind up on TV and be part of a subscription package.(NBC Sports)(3-9-2014)
    UPDATE: Motorcycle races at Daytona. Sports cars at Watkins Glen. Modifieds at Langley. For race fans, if they couldn't make it to the track and the event didn't have television coverage, there hasn't been an option to watch all the action. Until now. AMA Pro Racing, IMSA and NASCAR announced the launch of FansChoice.tv, a ground-breaking collaborative digital platform that will live stream various races not covered by broadcast television, giving fans new opportunities to follow their favorite series. It also will enhance fans viewing experience at the track with the ability to watch multiple cameras on their tablet or mobile device, and access archived broadcasts on demand. FansChoice.tv will be the official home for AMA Pro Road Racing and AMA Pro Flat Track events in 2014. The site also will provide coverage of selected IMSA and NASCAR's touring and weekly series events.
    Several NASCAR Whelen All-American Series tracks already have committed to live streaming their weekly events, including Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va., Lake County Speedway in Painesville, Ohio, and Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash. Fans will have the ability to select from multiple cameras positioned around the tracks during these events. FansChoice.tv will also carry select NASCAR K&N Pro Series, NASCAR Whelen and Whelen Southern Modified Tour races, as well as off-track events such as the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards and NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Series Awards in December. More tracks and events are expected to be announced at a later date.(NASCAR)(3-12-2014)

  • USA Today's Nate Ryan joins NBC NASCAR AMERICA: Amid final preparations for Monday's launch of NASCAR AMERICA on NBCSN, NBC Sports welcomes USA TODAY Sports auto racing writer Nate Ryan to the Group's expanding roster of on-air talent. Ryan, who will cover his ninth Daytona 500 for USA TODAY Sports on Sunday, is set to join NASCAR AMERICA host Rick Allen, fellow reporters Kelli Stavast, Marty Snider, and a rotating panel of guest analysts when the show premieres on Monday, February 24 at 5:00pm/et. The announcement was made today by Jeff Behnke, Vice President of NASCAR Production, NBC Sports Group.
    "Nate's work ethic, relationships throughout the sport and sharp journalistic instincts have earned him an elite position within NASCAR over the last decade," said Behnke. "He is a terrific addition to the NBC Sports family and will add a lot to NASCAR AMERICA."
    Ryan's contributions to NASCAR AMERICA will include interaction with NBCSN's new daily NASCAR show via reports from NASCAR venues nationwide and regular visits to NBC Sports' studio locations in Charlotte, N.C. and Stamford, Conn. Ryan's work will surround breaking news as well as feature stories, which melds nicely with his continuing role at USA TODAY Sports.
    "The first NASCAR race I covered was also the first that I attended, and it bred an insatiable curiosity about a sport that is fueled by so many moving parts, both literally and figuratively," Ryan said. "I've tried to remain true to exploring the myriad storylines with a fresh and unique perspective, and I'm enthused and humbled to be afforded such a terrific platform with NBC Sports."
    Ryan joined USA TODAY Sports in January 2006 as an auto racing writer and recently completed his 11th full season of covering the Sprint Cup Series. He has covered more than 300 races in NASCAR's premier series, beginning with the June 22, 1997 opening of California Speedway as a writer with the San Bernardino County Sun. He moved to the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch as a backup NASCAR writer in 1998 and took over the full-time beat in May 2002.
    Ryan is a four-time winner of the Russ Catlin Motorsports Journalism Award of Excellence and was named a two-time writer of the year by the National Motorsports Press Association. He has held a weekly Thursday morning spot on Sirius Satellite Radio's "The Morning Drive" since 2007 and has been a regular fill-in for the hosts and other programs since 2008, co-hosting several dozen times. He was a guest panelist on ESPN's "NASCAR Now" several times from 2009-11 and was a regular weekly contributor to Fox Sports One's "Race Hub" from 2012-13. Ryan graduated from Northwestern University in June 1995 with a bachelor's degree in journalism.(NBC Sports)(2-20-2014)

  • Fox making tweaks to revamped NASCAR scoreboard: Fox Sports' attempt to modernize the scoring crawl is going back in for repairs. The network ditched the usual rolling leaderboard at the top of the screen for a rectangular box on the right side of the TV screen. Eric Shanks, Fox Sports chief operating officer and executive producer, says changes are coming after fans complained the new scoring screen blocked a portion of on-track action. He says the network has "some tweaks" that will adjust the layout for Sunday's Daytona 500. Fox ditched the traditional crawl because it took too long for the entire field to come around. The modernized screen gets fans the running order they want in a faster, more readable layout. The leaderboard changes by lap. For Daytona 500 qualifying, the scoreboard only listed names and running order, not speeds. Fans complained on social media about the scoreboard during the exhibition Sprint Unlimited.(Associated Press)(2-20-2014)

  • Get Well DW UPDATE2: NASCAR Hall of Famer and Fox broadcaster Darrell Waltrip is having gall bladder surgery today (Feb 13th) in Nashville, TN.(2-13-2014)
    UPDATE: Waltrip was released from the hospital Saturday [Feb 15]. DW will not be in Daytona for the Sprint Unlimited or Daytona 500 qualifying on Sunday, but plans to be back at the track on Monday. Michael Waltrip will replace his brother Darrell in the booth for the Sprint Unlimited.
    FOX Statement: "Darrell Waltrip underwent a minor surgical procedure today [Thursday] near his home in Tennessee and is resting comfortably. We wish him a speedy recovery and his on-air status is day to day."(Charlotte Observer)(2-15-2014)
    UPDATE2 Darrell Waltrip is back in Daytona just in time for his Fox broadcasting duties and to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his Daytona 500 win. Waltrip missed last weekend's Sprint Unlimited and Sprint Cup qualifying because of emergency gallbladder surgery. "I feel great,'' Waltrip said. "I had no idea I had anything wrong. I just got sick all of a sudden. I was getting ready to leave to come down here. Next thing you know I was rushed into the emergency room and they took out my gallbladder. I should be good for Thursday and Sunday no problem. Being at home, watching the guys, watching somebody else do your job is like watching somebody else run your racecar. It wasn't any fun.''(Motor Racing Network)(2-19-2014)

  • NBCSN to launches new NASCAR Show: The day after the next Daytona 500 Champion is crowned, NBCSN introduces NASCAR AMERICA, a new 30-minute daily show dedicated to the nation's longstanding fascination with speed and stock car racing. Making its debut on NBCSN at 5:00pm/et on Monday, February 24, and returning each weekday at the same time and place, NASCAR AMERICA will cover the sport from all angles, delivering news, highlights and access to NASCAR's dynamic stars and personalities. Originating from NBC Sports Group's International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn., as well as a new NBC Sports' studio located in Charlotte, N.C., NASCAR AMERICA's primary host is Rick Allen. Allen, who will usher in NBC Sports' live coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series racing as lead announcer in July 2015, will interact daily with NBC Sports motorsports reporters Marty Snider and Kelly Stavast. Snider and Stavast, both based in Charlotte, N.C., will operate on location throughout the country to deliver the latest news and features on NASCAR's drivers and race teams. NBC Sports Group's IndyCar and Formula One play-by-play voice Leigh Diffey will also serve as host of NASCAR AMERICA.
    Alongside Allen in the studio will be a constant rotation of guest analysts offering fresh perspectives and insights. Guest analysts who will join NASCAR AMERICA throughout February and March include NBC Sports NASCAR analyst Jeff Burton, Sprint Cup Champion Bobby Labonte, Kyle Petty, Ken Schrader, and crew chief Frank Stoddard. Future guest analysts, which will include former and current drivers and crew chiefs, NASCAR executives, and even prominent fans such as NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, will be announced at a later date.(NBC)(2-11-2014)

  • Steve Byrnes back with new perspective: You hear it often from cancer patients about the diagnosis: The word stings. In an instant, mortality is very real and oddly tangible, and priorities shift instantly. Steve Byrnes [of FoxSports1, formerly SPEED] was no different. It was early August 2013 when Byrnes' doctor called with the news: throat cancer, which had spread to a lymph node. Byrnes wasn't panicked, especially. But his life rushed at him like a freight train, thoughts of and fears for his family, not so much himself. "When you hear that word -- I'm not going to lie -- I had uncomfortable moments," said Byrnes, 54, a veteran Fox Sports motorsports broadcaster. "'Will I see my son grow up?' He's 11 now. 'What's going to happen to my family?' You think all those deep thoughts that we don't really ever want to deal with." Treatment began immediately. Doctors told Byrnes to prepare for a difficult 10-week span. He chose to take chemotherapy and radiation simultaneously; a very aggressive treatment protocol. The first day of chemo was Sept. 11, at Levine Hospital in Pineville, N.C.
    When news of Byrnes' illness filtered through the sport, the resulting support from folks he'd touched was overwhelming to him. Dale Earnhardt Jr. called to offer well-wishes, and noted that if Byrnes needed plane rides or doctor appointments, whatever, it would be arranged. Just call. Jimmie Johnson sent Byrnes a text message from the championship banquet. Just this week, with Byrnes back on the set of Fox Sports 1's "NASCAR Race Hub" program, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. gave Byrnes a bear hug and a "glad you're back." That matters to Byrnes deeply.(see full article by Marty Smith at ESPN.com)(2-7-2014)

  • Evernham leaves ESPN: Former crew chief Ray Evernham, who created one of NASCAR's most dominant teams in the 1990s with Jeff Gordon, will serve as a consultant to Hendrick Motorsports where he will be involved with the competition department. Evernham made the announcement Tuesday on "SiriusXM Speedway" with hosts Dave Moody and Angie Skinner. Evernham, who has served as a consultant for Hendrick Companies since 2011, also said that he no longer will be a part of ESPN's NASCAR broadcasts. "Now not doing the ESPN thing will allow me to be involved in some of the management and some of the things that they're doing at (Hendrick) Motorsports,'' Evernham told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "The best way to avoid a conflict of interest is to choose one or the other. I'm excited about being able to go and being involved in the management team on the motorsports side.'' Evernham told "SiriusXM Speedway" that he is not seeking to be a crew chief - something he's stated often in the past. He admits he will be on a pit box, though, but in a different capacity. "I'll be working with everybody at Hendrick Motorsports,'' Evernham told the show. "I've met with crew chiefs. I think I've got a good perspective as they face different challenges. I will be going to meetings and be involved in competition things that I've not been involved with in the past three years or so." Evernham said he plans to attend about 15 races - nearly the same total he worked for ESPN.(MRN)(2-5-2014)

  • Daytona 500 Can Be Viewed Live on Mobile Devices: For the first time ever, FOX Sports GO, the app that provides live streaming video of FOX Sports content, is set to offer live, streaming coverage of the DAYTONA 500 on Sunday, Feb. 23. FOX Sports GO features two separate live streams of the 56th running of the Great American Race: the customary FOX Sports broadcast in English and the FOX Deportes telecast in Spanish. Customers of participating video providers may access the live streams of the Daytona 500 through the FOX Sports GO app for iOS devices, as well as on desktops through FOXSportsGo.com.(FOXSports)(1-31-2014)

  • Dale Jarrett unsure of future plans: Dale Jarrett stepped right out of a racecar and into the ESPN broadcast both, having worked as ESPN's lead NASCAR analyst since 2008. He has one more year left on his contract before ESPN ends its NASCAR race telecast rights. The 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee isn't sure what he will do in 2015. "Obviously this sport of NASCAR has been my world and I don't know (about 2015), honestly," Jarrett said. "I don't have any feelings as to what may happen. I would love to (stay). I don't think I need to look at moving on and trying anything else." But what will he do? NBC already has announced its broadcast team and Fox seems fairly set with its group. "There doesn't look like there's going to be anything in the broadcast world," Jarrett said. "I'll have to figure something out. If it's going and working with a race team or something like that, that's something I'm going to have to start putting some feelers out there and talking to some of my friends and see what may be available."(Sporting News)(1-28-2014)

  • Ray Evernham to host TV show on automobiles: This January Velocity takes viewers on a tour through American culture through the lens of one its greatest inventions: the automobile. Three-time NASCAR champion Ray Evernham hosts this cross-country trek, chasing down the cars that had a profound impact on shaping our national identity. From the inception of American racing at the turn of 20th century, to the Woody wagons that defined California culture in the 50's and 60's, to the infamous drag strips of the 70's, automotive history has left an indelible imprint on the American experience. AMERICARNA lifts the hood on legendary four-wheeled treasures that continue to have a profound influence on our cultural DNA. AMERICARNA debuts Tuesday January 28 with a special double episode premiere at 8:00 and 8:30pm/et.
    The premiere episode brings Ray together with a surfing legend and revolutionary waterman, Laird Hamilton. The focus of the episode is the iconic Woody Wagon - a staple in the beach community - popularized by in the 50's and adopted by surfers nationwide as a fitting chariot to transport their gear. Additional episodes feature historical automotive insight from famed director Ron Howard (Arrested Development, The DaVinci Code, Apollo 13) , music legend Mike Love (The Beach Boys), Country superstar Brad Paisley, and Hot Rod racing guru Don Prudholme.(Victory Management Group)(1-24-2014)

  • Snider and Stavast join NBC Sports: NBC Sports Group has reached agreements with motorsports reporters Marty Snider and Kelli Stavast, who will contribute to NBC Sports' upcoming NASCAR studio and live race coverage on NBC and NBCSN. Snider and Stavast, each of whom have years of motorsports experience, will operate out of Charlotte, N.C., home to many of the sport's race teams and drivers. The appointments of Snider and Stavast follow previous NBC Sports NASCAR on-air announcements pertaining to new lead race announcer Rick Allen and analysts Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte. There are no further broadcaster-related announcements expected in the near term.
    In addition to his NASCAR duties, Snider will continue as lead pit reporter on NBC's IndyCar coverage. Snider's relationship with NBC Sports extends several years and covers multiple sports, including NASCAR, IndyCar, Football Night in America, the Beijing Olympic Games and Professional Bull Riding. Snider has been a pit reporter for TNT's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series coverage since 1998. In addition to his NASCAR duties, he also contributes to Turner's NCAA Men's Division 1 Championship and NBA Playoff coverage. Snider co-produced HBO's 24/7 series featuring Jimmie Johnson and co-hosted The Morning Drive on SiriusXM's NASCAR channel. Snider was raised in High Point, N.C. and currently lives in Charlotte.
    Stavast started her broadcasting career as a sports anchor at an NBC affiliate in Colorado before shifting to the field as a TV reporter. Her first motorsports assignment surrounded Championship Off Road Racing for NBC and SPEED. Over the last several years, Kelli has covered NASCAR's GRAND-AM and Whelen Modified Tour, the Baja 1000, Red Bull Air Race and Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series. Previously, she served as a reporter for ABC/ESPN and FOX, covering American Le Mans Series and Stadium Super Trucks. Stavast is also a reporter for NBC's auto show coverage from Los Angeles, New York and Detroit. Originally from Colorado, Stavast now resides in Charlotte, N.C.(NBC Sports)(1-22-2014)

  • Update on Steve Byrnes: RaceHub co-host/longtime NASCAR on Fox personality Steve Byrnes tweeted Monday afternoon, "My Radiologist called this afternoon. Great news...scans look good! Thank you all for you support, prayers and kindness. We are humbled!!!". Byrnes took a medical leave of absence in September of 2013 to battle cancer. He will return to RaceHub next week and plans to be back at Daytona.(1-21-2014)

  • More on NBC's broadcast team: The team which will bring NASCAR telecasts back to NBC in 2015 is close to being finalized. Dave Burns and Mike Massaro - both members of ESPN/ABC's NASCAR broadcast team - will make the move to NBC Sports in time for the deal. Burns is expected to become part of NBC's pit road reporting team in NASCAR, while Massaro is expected to become an in-studio host, sources said. Burns currently serves in a similar role with ESPN as does Massaro, who has hosted the show "NASCAR Now" and worked pit road during race telecasts. Earlier this week, NBC completed its broadcast booth lineup with the announcement that current crew chief Steve Letarte will join driver-turned-analyst Jeff Burton and play-by-play announcer Rick Allen. Spokespersons for ESPN and NBC declined comment.(Charlotte Observer)(1-12-2014)

  • NBC Sports Group adds Crew Chief Steve Letarte to NASCAR Broadcast Team: NBC Sports Group's upcoming NASCAR coverage continues to take shape as another prominent figure from the sanctioning body's elite series joins NBC and NBCSN's expanding broadcast team. Current Hendrick Motorsports crew chief Steve Letarte, who once stood at the helm of Jeff Gordon's famed #24 race team, and now leads the crew behind the ultra-popular #88 car driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr., has reached an agreement to join NBC's multi-platform NASCAR coverage beginning in 2015. The announcement was made today by Sam Flood, Executive Producer, NBC Sports and NBCSN, and will be discussed in further detail at a Media Conference scheduled for 8:30am/et tomorrow [Jan 10, 2014] at Daytona International Speedway. "I've always been impressed with Steve Letarte's interviews, and feel smarter after hearing him break down the crucial elements of each race," said Flood. "It wasn't long into our first meeting about this potential role on our broadcast team when I realized that Steve is going to be 'Must See TV.'" Letarte will join fellow analyst Jeff Burton and race announcer Rick Allen across NBC Sports Group's exclusive coverage of NASCAR's Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series action on NBC and NBCSN, which includes races, pre- and post-race shows, qualifying, and studio programming.
    "As soon as I met with Sam Flood and his team at NBC Sports it became obvious to me how excited they are to be covering NASCAR in 2015 and beyond. Their excitement, along with my love for racing, solidified my decision to move away from the pit box and into the broadcast booth," said Letarte. "I want to thank Rick Hendrick and everyone at Hendrick Motorsports for the opportunities they have given me over the last 18 years, and I want to reaffirm my commitment to Dale Jr. and the entire 88 team to go win races and challenge for the championship in 2014."
    Letarte has worked for Hendrick Motorsports since he was just 16 years old. In 1996, after graduating from high school early, Steve started traveling with the No. 24 race team, driven by Jeff Gordon, as a full-time mechanic and tire specialist. His impressive work ethic moved him up the ranks quickly, assuming the role of car chief in 2002, and then crew chief for the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion in 2005 when Steve was 26. After five successful seasons with the No. 24 team and Gordon, Letarte embarked on a new challenge and joined Hendrick's No. 88 team driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Letarte and the No. 88 team started the 2011 season strong by capturing the pole at the Daytona 500, and went on to qualify for the Chase, the first time for Earnhardt since 2008. In 2012, Letarte and Earnhardt combined for their first win together, on Father's Day at Michigan International Speedway. Throughout the 2013 season, the No. 88 team solidly remained in the Top 10 in points and made the Chase for the Sprint Cup yet again. Steve and his wife, Tricia, live in North Carolina with their two children.
    On July 23, 2013, NASCAR and NBC Sports Group reached a comprehensive agreement that grants NBCUniversal exclusive rights to the final 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, final 19 NASCAR Nationwide Series events, select NASCAR Regional & Touring Series events and other live content beginning in 2015.
    With this partnership, NBC's 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race schedule includes a designation as the exclusive home to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, when the elite national series races through its final 10 events of the season. The Chase culminates with the season-ending championship event, which returns to network television in 2015 for the first time since 2009. Of NBC Sports Group's 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, seven will be carried on NBC annually, with 13 airing on NBCSN. Four of NBC Sports Group's 19 NASCAR Nationwide Series races will air on NBC, with 15 airing on NBCSN.
    In addition to NASCAR's Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races, NBC also obtained exclusive rights to practice and qualifying sessions for NBC's national series events during their portion of the season, as well as rights to broadcast the NASCAR K&N Series, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR Toyota (Mexico) Series, the NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony and NASCAR's season-ending banquets. Further, NBC is granted Spanish-language rights, certain video-on-demand rights and exclusive TV Everywhere rights for its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series events.(NBC)(1-9-2014)

  • Statement from Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports: "You never want to see a talented and all-around quality person like Steve (Letarte) move on, but we understand this is an exciting opportunity for him and his family. He has all the tools to be a terrific broadcaster, and I know our fans will enjoy hearing his perspective. We're looking forward to a successful year in 2014 with Steve and Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) leading the #88 together. They have some of the best chemistry in the garage, and we know they'll build on last season and continue to be a championship-contending team. We don't expect to address the crew chief position until after the season. Everyone with the team is focused on 2014 and committed to having another great year."(Hendrick Motorsports)(1-9-2014)

  • Letarte Heading For TV Booth In 2015 UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will have a new crew chief in 2015. GodfatherMotorsports.com has learned that crew chief Steve Letarte will relinquish his spot atop the #88 team's pit box at season's end to accept a new position as a television analyst with NBC and NBC Sports Network, beginning in 2015. Multiple sources say Letarte will join Rick Allen and driver Jeff Burton in the broadcast booth for the final 20 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, as well as the final 19 NASCAR Nationwide Series events. The network also holds rights to select NASCAR Regional Racing Series events, Mexico's NASCAR Toyota Series, the annual NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony and various post-season awards banquets. Letarte has served as crew chief for NASCAR's Most Popular Driver since 2011, with one win, 24 Top-5 and 54 Top-10 finishes in 106 starts. Earnhardt finished fifth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship standings last season, despite failing to win a race. He recorded Top-5 finishes in five of the final eight races and is expected to challenge for the 2014 title. An official announcement of Letarte's new position is expected this week in Daytona Beach. Reached for comment, Letarte said, "I will be the crew chief for the #88 Chevrolet in in 2014. That's all I know right now."(Godfather Motorsports)(1-9-2014)

  • Bestwick to move to IndyCar Series broadcasts: Sportscaster Allen Bestwick will remain with ESPN /ABC after it loses its NASCAR contract and work primarily as play-by-play announcer for the network's broadcasts of IndyCar Series events. Bestwick currently serves in the same role for network's NASCAR broadcasts but ESPN/ABC will lose broadcast rights to those races at the conclusion of the 2014 season. NBC and Fox and their respective sports networks will broadcast all NASCAR events beginning in 2015. Bestwick will do both IndyCar and NASCAR events this season for ESPN/ABC. In 2015, Bestwick will do IndyCar broadcasts and work in other sports. An ESPN spokesman declined to comment (Charlotte Observer).(1-3-2014)

  • Dave Despain back on TV: Renowned motor racing broadcaster Dave Despain {formerly of SPEED's Wind Tunnel show] has signed a two-year contract with MAVTV American Real to host the network's five live events, beginning with the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire on Jan. 18, and a series of 30-minute, one-on-one programs interviewing drivers and other personalities from across the diverse American racing landscape. The 67-year old Despain was attracted to joining the burgeoning independent network owned by Forrest Lucas by the opportunity to return to working at the race track and hosting the "Dave Despain Show."
    "I'm really excited to get back to the grass roots of racing," Despain said. "And I'm also excited about being able to do a series of long-form interviews, the majority of which will feature the legends of grass-roots racing. We'll try to mix it up and have an interesting variety of personalities from all over the racing world.(AutoWeek)(1-2-2014)

  • Some Daytona Testing to be Televised: the 2014 version of NASCAR cars and trucks take to the track at Daytona for preseason test sessions, with FOX Sports 1 providing 12 hours of coverage over three days from Jan. 9-11. The NASCAR on FOX team of Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds and Mike Joy call the action while NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars are on the track Jan. 9-10 (1:00 pm/et to 5:00 pm/et, Live), with Bob Dillner and Matt Yocum reporting from the pits and Jeff Hammond reporting from the garage. Setting up camp in the garage area, host Rick Allen and analyst Hermie Sadler offer a location for drivers, crew chiefs and other personalities to talk over the day's storylines. NASCAR Nationwide Series tests air on FOX Sports 1 from 3:00pm/et to 7:00pm/et on Saturday, Jan. 11, with Allen, Hammond and Phil Parsons in the booth, and Sadler, Dillner and Ray Dunlap reporting from the pits.(FOX)(1-1-2014)

  • MRN's Steve Post to appear on Food Network TODAY: Motor Racing Network pit reporter Steve Post, also the co-host of MRN.com's weekly "Fast Food" program during the NASCAR season, will be featured in an upcoming episode of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" on the Food Network. The show, titled "Soup, Salad and Seafood," is hosted by Guy Fieri and will air Monday, Dec. 30, at 10:00pm/et. It was taped in October at "PotPie," a home-style restaurant in Kansas City, MO.(Motor Racing Network)(12-26-2013)

  • IndyCar TV ratings and the impact from NASCAR: IndyCars' popularity on television displays a downward trend for much of its history, while the last four seasons with ABC and NBC Sports Network have been relatively flat. Some key findings:
    • Races earn household audiences that are roughly 6% larger when airing on networks that hold a major contract with NASCAR. As such, IndyCar should expect an augmented number of viewers when NASCAR enters NBCSN's line-up in 2015. Interestingly enough, however, when an IndyCar race airs directly opposite of a Cup Series event; the open-wheel series loses a quarter of its typical audience. Events also suffer significantly when competing for viewers with the NFL and college football (30% and 17%, respectively).
    • Oval facilities listed as one-mile or greater in length earn the highest television ratings among track configurations, all other variables held constant. Shorter ovals draw a similar audience, while street and road courses result in ratings reductions of 10% and 18%, respectively. An event held on a street circuit that draws a 0.2 television rating, for example, would increase to 0.3 (depending on rounding) if the race were held on a large oval.
    • IndyCar events on NBCSN result in a 38% decrease in television ratings compared to a similar race on ESPN (an open-wheel partner from 1997 through 2008). To examine the relationship between current partners, a similar race on NBCSN reduces ratings by 70% compared to ABC.
    • Danica Patrick's presence in the IndyCar Series was meaningful. Her participation garnered home audiences that were 13% greater than events in which she did not appear. Ms. Patrick's finishing in the top 5 resulted in a ratings boost of 25% for the following race, all other terms held equal.
    See much more at NASCARnomics.(12-23-2013)

  • Rick Allen named lead announcer for NBC Sports: NBC Sports Group announced that Rick Allen has signed a multi-year agreement to serve as the lead race announcer for NBC's upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series coverage, beginning in 2015. Alongside Allen in the NBC Sports Broadcast booth will be current driver Jeff Burton, who announced yesterday that he also will be joining NBC's multi-platform NASCAR coverage. For more information on Jeff Burton, click here. "I met Rick early on in his career and it has been fun to watch him develop into one of the most talented voices in motorsports," said Sam Flood, Executive Producer, NBC Sports and NBCSN. "His energetic delivery, great voice, and ability to bring the best out of his analysts have led him to this well-earned position of covering NASCAR's most-watched events." Allen's sports background is wide-ranging, and includes his own impressive run as a decathlete, which sent him to the 1992 USA Olympic Trials. As a broadcaster, he currently serves as Fox Sports' race announcer for NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the ARCA Racing Series. In addition to his on-camera television work, Allen is widely recognized as a top voice-over talent. Allen's voice has been utilized for narrations and national campaigns for companies including Goodyear, Sears, Alltel and Toyota. Allen has hosted multiple motorsports studio shows on SPEED, has presided over several post season awards banquets, and has served on the Voting Panel for the NASCAR Hall of Fame since its inception in 2010. A native of Grand Island, Neb, Allen began his career in 1994 as the public address announcer at Memorial Stadium during University of Nebraska football games.(NBC Sports)(12-4-2013

  • NBC hires Jeff Burton as NASCAR analyst UPDATE: NBC Sports Group has reached a multi-year agreement with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Burton, who will transition out of full-time driving and into the role of NASCAR analyst when the green flag waves over NBC Sports and NBCSN's upcoming slate of NASCAR coverage. The addition of Burton, who has already won 48 times on NASCAR's national circuits over an exciting 25-year career, places one of the most respected and passionate voices in motorsports into the center of NBC's soon-to-be-introduced NASCAR broadcast team. The announcement was made by Sam Flood, Executive Producer, NBC Sports and NBCSN.
    "Jeff Burton was always the first person we would seek out when there was breaking news or an issue that needed to be covered throughout our previous contract with NASCAR, so he was the first person we called for this role," said Flood. "His insights, keen observations and many trophies have earned the respect of everyone involved with the sport. He will be an outstanding analyst, and has everyone here looking even more forward to getting started."
    Burton will assume double duties throughout the 2014 season, racing a schedule of select Sprint Cup Series races while also contributing to NASCAR programming on NBCSN. When NBC Sports Group's exclusive coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series racing begins in 2015, Burton will serve as a full-time analyst on NBC and NBCSN.
    "This is an exciting new challenge and I am thrilled to be joining the NBC Sports family," said Burton. "I will prepare for each race as if I were driving in it, and I look forward to sharing my experience, views and insights with all the dedicated and passionate NASCAR fans."(NBC Sports)(12-3-2013)
    UPDATE: Burton said Tuesday his [race] schedule would probably be between six and 14 races [in 2014]. His deal with MWR is for one year, while he characterized his agreement with NBC as long term. Although he may continue to test or even compete occasionally beyond next season, Burton said once the NBC broadcast season begins, he's committed to the booth. "I am 100 percent committed to being in the booth and doing my job for NBC. ... It would be unfair for me to treat this as a part-time gig," Burton said. "... It's a job, and it's going to take effort and it's going to take work. And you can't do that as effectively as you need to if you have too many other things going on. You just can't do it. The job deserves more effort than that." Burton will begin to appear on NBC's networks in 2014, as a regular guest on a daily NASCAR program on NBC Sports Network. NBC on Monday named Jeff Behnke as its vice president of NASCAR production, and will base the former Turner Sports producer out of Charlotte, N.C. Flood said more talent announcements are still to come, with one anticipated as early as Wednesday. The network has not yet revealed whether it will use a two- or three-person booth during races.(NASCAR.com)(12-4-2013)

  • Behnke to head NBC's NASCAR production: NBC Sports Group has reached an agreement with Emmy Award-winning sports television producer and executive, Jeff Behnke, who joins NBC and NBCSN in January as Vice President of NASCAR Production. Operating out of Charlotte, N.C., Behnke will serve as the day-to-day leader in all areas, marking the first time that the head of a network NASCAR production team will be based in the racing hotbed that is home to many of the sport's most prominent figures. The announcement was made by Sam Flood, Executive Producer, NBC Sports and NBCSN.
    Behnke's expertise covers all aspects of production, including live remotes, studio broadcasts and on-air talent acquisitions. Behnke, who has amassed an impressive record of leading production teams covering NASCAR, NBA, MLB and more, will work closely with Flood during the lead-up to NBC Sports Group's highly anticipated return to NASCAR.
    Prior to joining NBC Sports Group, Behnke served as Executive Producer of Turner Sports for seven years, where he coordinated and provided strategic direction for all productions and personnel covering NASCAR, NBA, MLB and several of golf's Major Championships.(NBC Sports)(12-3-2013)

  • NASCAR Raceday features segment about bond between fallen MIT Officer Sean Collier and brother: While Boston and much of the country celebrate the Boston Red Sox World Series championship this week, reflection simultaneously turns to the city's "Boston Strong" resiliency following the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing. Sean Collier was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) police officer killed April 18 in the aftermath of the marathon tragedy. He was gunned down that evening while on duty in his patrol car -- allegedly by the bombing suspects. Sean's brother, Andrew Collier, and his family recently sat down for their first in-depth, on-camera interview since the tragedy. Andrew Collier is a machinist in the engine department of 10-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports. Narrated by actor/singer and Boston native Donnie Wahlberg, the feature premieres Sunday, Nov. 3 at 1:00pm/et on NASCAR Raceday on Fox Sports 1. "Collier Strong" re-airs Sunday night on Fox Sports Live on Fox Sports 1 at 11:00pm/et. Andrew Collier has worked tirelessly since his brother's death to lobby Congress to designate a federal holiday honoring America's first responders, creating a petition toward this goal. For more information on Collier's initiative, please visit change.org.(Fox)(11-3-2013)

  • TNT & ESPN will finish out TV contracts: Statement from Steve Herbst, NASCAR Vice President of Broadcasting and Production: "Despite speculation over the last month that NASCAR's new television agreement could be pushed up to the start of the 2014 season, NASCAR has informed our broadcast partners today that FOX, Turner and ESPN will finish the current term as originally planned. While we were humbled by the desire of NBC and FOX to start 12 months early, we now consider this matter closed and look forward to finishing our current agreement in 2014 with our great partners at FOX, Turner and ESPN."(NASCAR)(10-6-2013)

  • Get Well Steve Byrnes: RaceHub co-host/longtime NASCAR on Fox personality Steve Byrnes will take a medical leave of absence for the remainder of the 2013 NASCAR season, effective immediately. Adam Alexander, one of the show's original hosts, will fill in for Byrnes alongside Danielle Trotta. Any updates on Byrnes will come at the discretion of the family.(Fox Sports)(9-23-2013)

  • ESPN, TNT could exit NASCAR early UPDATE: ESPN and Turner Sports are talking with NASCAR about getting out of their broadcast rights agreement a year early, a move that could allow Fox Sports and NBC Sports Group to become the sport's broadcasters next year. It's unlikely that the four TV companies will be able to reach a deal, sources say. But the fact that these types of talks are occurring is precedent-setting in an industry where live sports rights are held sacred. For at least the past decade, no rights holder has exited a major media agreement with a property early. ESPN and Turner executives told the series that they are interested in forgoing the final year of their contract. Fox and NBC executives told NASCAR that they are interested in picking up those rights. And sources say NASCAR executives are open to the switch. But any deal faces significant hurdles. Sources said it would have to be a complete switch, not a partial one in which Turner exits its six Sprint Cup races or ESPN exits part of its Nationwide Series season. That means it would require an agreement between four competitors - ESPN, Turner, Fox and NBC - and one property, which would be difficult to structure. ESPN and Turner Sports are willing to sell their rights back to NASCAR for some sort of compensation. Fox Sports and NBC Sports Group are willing to buy the rights from NASCAR, but they feel they should be compensated for letting ESPN and Turner Sports out of their deals early. As the middleman, NASCAR would have to navigate those opposing interests. Representatives from the four media companies, as well as NASCAR, declined comment. ESPN and Turner Sports have told NASCAR they are prepared to carry the races next year, but both would prefer avoiding that lame-duck status. Both opted not to submit final bids to retain NASCAR rights when the sport held TV negotiations last month, and they see upside in exiting their deals a year early.(full story at the Sports Business Daily)(8-26-2013)
    UPDATE: Statement From NASCAR Vice President Of Broadcasting And Production Steve Herbst On 2014 Broadcast Partners: "Despite recent reports to the contrary, nothing substantive has been presented to NASCAR regarding broadcast partners' plans to alter our TV agreement in 2014. We're very happy with our current broadcast partners and fully expect and are excited to be back with FOX, Turner and ESPN next year. These types of discussions happen regularly across the sports television landscape, very rarely resulting in changes to a media rights agreement."(NASCAR)(8-28-2013)

  • Fox Sports 1 to Launch Saturday, August 17th UPDATE: DirecTV, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks are likely to carry Fox Sports 1 at its launch on Saturday, according to sources with direct knowledge of the deals. The three distributors still have not signed deals to carry the channel, but the sources expect all three providers to have it available on Saturday. Dish Network did not respond to email requests for comment. But sources said they expected Dish to carry the channel, as well. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Dish Network has agreed to carry FS1 at launch. Fox Sports executives have said that they expect FS1 to launch in 90 million homes. These deals are certain to get the channel to that number.(Sports Business Daily)
    UPDATE Fox's new national sports network, FOX Sports 1, will debut on Saturday, August 17th, with every major distributor on board, making this the biggest sports cable network launch in history, and one of the largest network launches ever. The announcement was made by Mike Hopkins, President, Distribution, Fox Networks. "We are thrilled that virtually all pay-television customers across America will have access to FOX Sports 1," said Mr. Hopkins. "This network launch is a major milestone for Fox and will alter the sports television landscape. We are grateful to our distribution partners for making this all possible." At the outset, FOX Sports 1 boasts nearly 5,000 hours of live event, news and original programming annually. A robust schedule of live events forms the backbone of FOX Sports 1's programming from Day 1, with college basketball, college football, NASCAR, soccer, boxing and UFC all on tap between launch and year's end. In fact, the schedule on August 17th features live events morning, noon and night including a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Michigan and UFC FIGHT NIGHT: SHOGUN VS. SONNEN in prime time. In 2014, FOX Sport's new rights agreement with MLB takes effect, bringing regular and postseason games to FOX Sports 1. Viewers can learn where to find FOX Sports 1 on their system by visiting FOXSports1.com.
    NASCAR Programming - Select NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races as soon as 2015; NASCAR Nationwide Series races; NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races; NASCAR Sprint All-Star race; all Speedweeks events leading up to the Daytona 500 including: Daytona 500 Qualifying, Sprint Unlimited at Daytona (2014, 2017-22) and the Budweiser Duel, now in prime time; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NCWTS Practice and Qualifying sessions; NASCAR RaceDay, providing pre- and post-race coverage; NASCAR Victory Lane, a post-race wrap-up for Sprint Cup races; and Race Hub, a daily mid-day studio show with the latest from drivers, owners and garages.(FOX)(8-15-2013)

  • Fox Sports reaches deal to broadcast United SportsCar: FOX Sports and IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) announced today a five-year multi-media rights deal that solidifies United SportsCar Racing's home on television through the 2018 season. Today's announcement, which comes on the heels of last week's news that FOX Sports will broadcast NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races through 2024, bolsters FOX's expansive motorsports coverage. The agreement also includes coverage of IMSA's Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge for five years. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. With the 2014 schedule still being finalized, exact distribution plans currently are being determined, but fans can expect to see a mix of races available on both FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2. Under the new arrangement, FOX Sports also has the right to stream all IMSA races as part of its FOX Sports GO product. IMSA retains additional digital rights including alternate camera angles and full race replays.(NASCAR)(8-10-2013)

  • Cable providers still negotiating with Fox over Fox Sports 1: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice sessions and the Camping World Truck Series race Aug. 17 from Michigan International Speedway will be among the live telecasts on the first day Fox Sports 1 goes on air in place of the Speed cable network. And that could be a problem. Among those still negotiating carriage fees with Fox Sports 1 are DirecTV, Dish and Time Warner Cable. Spokesmen for DirecTV and TWC said Thursday that discussions are ongoing and Dish also has not signed a deal, according to the SportsBusiness Daily. Speed is in nearly 86 million homes, but millions of its current subscribers won't be able to see Fox Sports 1 unless a carriage deal is finalized. According to the SportsBusiness Journal, Speed costs about 23 cents each month per subscriber, and Fox is looking to increase that to 80 cents per month. It's not surprising that these negotiations go down to the wire, but it's enough to make NASCAR fans nervous as the channel they know as Speed will cease to exist when Fox Sports 1 is launched in its place in about a week.(Sporting News)(8-9-2013)

  • FOX Sports extends and expands NASCAR agreement UPDATE: FOX Sports and NASCAR solidified their future together last October when they announced a multi-platform, multi-series media rights agreement through 2022. Today, less than 10 months later, the two organizations announced they have extended that agreement, which begins in 2015 and runs through 2024. In addition, FOX Sports has added exclusive rights to three additional NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events and the first 14 NASCAR Nationwide Series events of each season. FOX Sports secured exclusive rights to the entire NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season through 2022 last fall and that part of the agreement also has been extended through 2024. Financial terms of the extended agreement were not disclosed.
    NASCAR's media rights package for 2015 and beyond is now complete with FOX Sports holding rights to the first 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, first 14 NASCAR Nationwide Series races and entire NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. NBC, which last broadcast NASCAR events in 2006, will televise the final 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, final 19 NASCAR Nationwide Series races and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events beginning in 2015.
    In total, NASCAR will have the same number of NASCAR Sprint Cup races on network television - 16 - as it does in the current television package. FOX Sports will broadcast nine races and NBC will show seven.
    Summary of FOX Sports' Exclusive Rights (2015-2024):
    • First 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races of each season, including the Daytona 500
        • Nine on FOX Sports and seven on FOX Sports 1
    • First 14 NASCAR Nationwide Series points races of each season
        • Fourteen races on FOX Sports 1
    • NASCAR Sprint Unlimited, Budweiser Duel and NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race
    • All NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races
    (NASCAR)(8-1-2014)
    UPDATE: As expected, Fox Sports and its new Fox Sports 1 network announced Thursday they would broadcast three additional NASCAR Sprint Cup and 14 Nationwide Series races annually beginning in 2015. What was a surprise was Fox - which had already agreed to a contract extension through 2022 last fall - extended its newly expanded deal an additional two years through 2024. Industry sources told the Observer the total cost of the now 10-year Fox deal is $3.8 billion, slightly less than the 10-year, $4.4 billion deal announced last week by NBC, which will broadcast the second half of each season in Cup and Nationwide. Both networks' contracts will now expire at the same time. Beginning in 2015, NASCAR will reap an average of $820 million a year from its TV partners. By comparison, the NFL's current deal among four networks, which expires after this season, averages $3.085 billion a year.(Charlotte Observer)(8-2-2013)

  • NBC Acquires NASCAR Rights, ESPN/TNT Out UPDATE2 & Money: ESPN and Turner Sports will be out of the NASCAR business after next season, ending associations with the sport that go back three decades. NASCAR plans to announce this afternoon a new rights deal with NBC for the second half of the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series seasons -- a package that previously had been held by ESPN. Beginning in 2015, NBC will share NASCAR coverage with Fox, which signed an extension with NASCAR last year. Financial terms of NBC's deal were not available, but sources familiar with it said it was as much as a 50% increase from what ESPN paid for the Sprint Cup series and half of the Nationwide Series. Turner's package of six Sprint Cup races, as well as the first half of the Nationwide Series, remain available, according to sources. Fox is considered a likely bidder for both those packages. Turner and ESPN, which are in the seventh year of eight-year agreements valued at $2.74B overall, had an exclusive negotiating window with NASCAR that ended July 14. When they did not finalize extensions, NASCAR turned to NBC. ESPN and Turner both were interested in keeping the rights, but were not willing to pay as much as NBC was offering, sources said. (full story at the Sports Business Daily)
    UPDATE - announcement: NASCAR and NBC Sports Group announced today they have reached a comprehensive agreement that grants NBCUniversal exclusive rights to the final 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, final 19 NASCAR Nationwide Series events, select NASCAR Regional & Touring Series events and other live content beginning in 2015. Financial terms of the agreement, which runs through the 2024 season, were not disclosed.
    With this partnership, NBC's 20 Sprint Cup race schedule includes becoming the exclusive home to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR's final 10 races of the season, including its season-ending championship event which will return to network television in 2015 for the first time since 2009. Of NBC Sports Group's 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, seven will be carried on NBC annually, with 13 airing on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN). Four of NBC Sports Group's 19 NASCAR Nationwide Series races will air on NBC, with 15 airing on NBCSN.
    In addition to rights to NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series races, NBC has also obtained exclusive rights to practice and qualifying sessions for NBC's national series events during their portion of the season, as well as rights to broadcast the NASCAR K&N Series, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR Toyota (Mexico) Series, the NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony and NASCAR's season-ending banquets. Further, NBC has been granted Spanish-language rights, certain video-on-demand rights and exclusive TV Everywhere rights for its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series events.
    Summary of key NBC Sports Group Exclusive Rights - 2015-2024:
    · Final 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races (7 on NBC, 13 on NBCSN)
    · Final 19 NASCAR Nationwide Series races (4 on NBC, 15 on NBCSN)
    · NASCAR K&N Series and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events
    · NASCAR Toyota (Mexico) Series events
    · NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony and season-ending banquets
    · 'TV Everywhere' live-streaming rights for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series
    · Spanish-language broadcast rights on Telemundo and Mun2 for national series events and NASCAR Toyota (Mexico) Series.(NASCAR)
    ESPN Statement on NASCAR Statement from John Skipper, President of ESPN: "ESPN has enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial relationship with NASCAR. We have tremendous respect for the France family, the drivers and all in the sport and wish them well. We will continue to serve NASCAR fans through SportsCenter and our other news platforms as we continue to enhance our industry-leading collection of quality assets. We are looking forward to the start of our Sprint Cup season and will continue with our deep commitment to the highest quality coverage."(ESPN)(7-23-2013)
    UPDATE2: NBC will pay $4.4B over 10 years for rights to ESPN's entire NASCAR package, plus half of Turner's six races, according to sources familiar with the deal. That represents a significant media rights increase for NASCAR over the more than $2.28B paid by ESPN and Turner Sports combined for the same number of Sprint Cup and Nationwide races in their current 8-year agreements. This comes after NASCAR received a more than 30% increase in its earlier deal with Fox that covers the first half of its season.(Sports Business Daily)(7-24-2013)

  • NASCAR suspends use of aerial cameras by networks: Friday, NASCAR suspended the use aerial camera systems in response to the accident cause by a Fox camera at Charlotte Motor Speedway. NASCAR's statement: "Pending further investigation of the cable camera system incident during the NASCAR race in Concord, North Carolina in May, NASCAR has decided, in collaboration with its broadcast partners, to suspend all media partner usage of aerial camera systems that hang over race tracks during its sanctioned events. The safety of our competitors and our fans remains NASCAR's number one priority, and until total evaluation and analysis have been completed, usage of this particular technology enhancement and any similar enhancements, has been suspended."(NASCAR)(7-19-2013)

  • Fox asking for increased fees for Fox Sports 1: Sports Business Daily reported yesterday that FOX Networks will ask cable and satellite providers to pay 80 cents per month per subscriber for the newly rebranded Fox Sports 1, with carriage fees climbing to $1.50 monthly over the life of multi-year contracts. Affiliates currently pay approximately 23 cents per month for SPEED. FOX has already inked a new deal with Comcast Cable, but major carriers Time Warner Cable, DirecTV and Dish Network have reportedly balked at the price increase. Fox Sports 1 - formerly known as SPEED - will televise college football and basketball, NASCAR racing, UFC mixed martial arts events and sports news programs.(Godfather Motorsports)(7-17-2013)

  • A Tribute to Chris Economaki: The achievements of Chris Economaki, the late dean of American motorsports, will be celebrated on Saturday, June 15, at the International Motor Racing Research Center. The free talk, part of the on-going Center Conversations speaker series, will be at 1 p.m. at the Center located at 610 S. Decatur St., Watkins Glen, N.Y. It is open to all. "A Tribute to Chris Economaki" will be led by a panel composed of Corinne Economaki, Chris' daughter and motorsports insider; Leo Levine, retired automotive industry executive and author; and Judy Stropus, noted motorsports publicist. Economaki's 70-year career in motorsports spanned print reporting, track announcing, television commentating and book authorship. He wrote his popular National Speed Sports News weekly column, "The Editor's Notebook," for 60 of those years. Economaki died in September 2012 at the age of 91. After nearly 77 years of continuous publication, NSSN issued its final print edition in March 2011. The NSSN archives were donated to the Racing Research Center in August 2011, with funding from the Dyson Foundation. For more information about this event and the Center's work and its programs, visit www.racingarchives.org or call (607) 535-9044.(6-11-2013)

  • Fox apologizes to drivers, fans for camera cable: Fox officials made two public apologies Sunday in regard to last week's broken camera rope at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Artie Kempner, lead director for Fox network's coverage of NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, apologized to drivers and officials during Sunday's drivers' meeting at Dover international Speedway. During the network's pre-race show, host Chris Myers read a statement from the network, saying "Many of you saw last week's race at Charlotte, where a television camera cable dropped on to the track, interrupting the race, and unfortunately, injuring some race fans. At Fox Sports, we pride ourselves on bringing you the best race coverage and being a part of the NASCAR family. We regret what happened and we apologize to our partners at NASCAR, the drivers, our friends at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and most of all, the fans."(NASCAR.com)(6-3-2013)

  • TNT to provide "All-Access" pass to 2013 NASCAR Summer Series: The green flag is set to wave on TNT's 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series action with the network offering all-access coverage throughout the six-week NASCAR Summer Series beginning Sunday, June 9, at Pocono Raceway at 1:00pm/et. TNT's all-access pass will include behind-the-scenes content featuring a select driver and their team (one per week) throughout the NASCAR Summer Series along with special "off the track" segments and more.
    TNT will follow a driver and their team over the course of the entire week as they travel and prepare for the upcoming race, with coverage beginning when the driver leaves the previous track and continuing throughout the network's next NASCAR Summer Series telecast. Featured drivers will include #11-Denny Hamlin (Pocono), #2-Brad Keselowski (Michigan), #42-Juan Pablo Montoya (Sonoma) and #78-Kurt Busch (Kentucky), among others. The all-access pieces will air weekly during the pre-race Countdown to Green Presented by Kelley Blue Book show.
    Additionally, TNT will televise a special feature each week highlighting a select driver away from the track. During the Pocono telecast, TNT will focus the spotlight on Dale Earnhardt, Jr. TNT's Ralph Sheheen and Earnhardt will talk racing and life outside of NASCAR while visiting with Earnhardt at his "Whisky River" property including his "Car Graveyard."
    Inside Trax will also return for another season and will showcase audio and video from select crew chiefs and teams during each race telecast. The network will return its marquee commentator crew with analysts Kyle Petty, Wally Dallenbach and Larry McReynolds joining play-by-play announcer Adam Alexander for each race. Alexander will also host the network's 60-minute Countdown to Green presented by Kelley Blue Book pre-race show with Petty, Dallenbach and McReynolds. In addition, veteran reporters Sheheen, Marty Snider, Matt Yocum and Chris Neville will patrol pit road to bring viewers comprehensive coverage and access prior to and during each race.(Turner Sports PR)(5-31-2013)

  • Mechanical parts did not fail on cable cam: Officials could know Friday what caused a cable to snap on an overhead camera at last weekend's Coca-Cola 600, injuring at least 10 race fans. A spokesman for CAMCAT, an Austrian company that operated the aerial camera rig for Fox Sports, said it would know by Friday or next week at the latest what caused one of three cables attached to a TV camera to break during lap 121 of Sunday night's race. The incident caused cuts and abrasions to fans and sent three to the hospital. Workers dismantling the system at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday night determined none of the mechanical parts of the camera or pulley system caused the cable to break, CAMCAT chief executive officer Alexander Brozek said. Officials with CAMCAT and the manufacturer of the synthetic cable Dyneema are investigating.(Charlotte Observer)(5-31-2013)

  • FOX Sports Follow-up Statement - Camera rope: Everyone at FOX Sports is relieved and thankful to know that the injuries to fans caused when CAMCAT malfunctioned Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway were minor, and those who received hospital treatment were released last night. As stated previously, we regret that the race was affected, and we apologize to the racers whose cars were damaged, to everyone at CMS, NASCAR, and NASCAR fans, especially those who were hurt. At this time, we still do not have a cause for what happened, but a full investigation is underway, and use of the camera is suspended indefinitely. The rope is made of Dyneema, an ultra-strong synthetic that has the same approximate strength of a steel wire with the same diameter, and is less than a year old. According to the company, it had been factory-tested by the manufacturer and its breaking strength is certified before shipment. It was also inspected by CAMCAT upon receipt last June. The rope was certified to have a breaking strength of over 9,300 pounds. The force exerted during last night's race was less than 900 pounds. FOX Sports is reviewing with CAMCAT equipment maintenance records, history and installation information and will share those findings with NASCAR and CMS.(FOX Sports)(5-28-2013)

  • TV Camera cable breaks, damages cars, injures fans UPDATE: On lap 126 of the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, a cable for Fox's overhead camera broke and fell on to the track, #18-Busch, who was 3rd at the time, caught the cable and it tore up the right front fender. The red flag was issued and cars were parked on pit road while crews cleaning up the cable. #9-Ambrose also had brake line tore off from the rope/cable and stuck in the grill and some damage to the roof. Busch got a phone/camera and took pictures of the damage as the crew was not allowed on pit road to look at the car. Once the cable/rope was removed, the cars took a lap and were brought to pit road for 15 minutes. Each team was allowed to check their cars for any damage the cable/rope may have caused. The team for #18-Busch, replaced a lot of the right fender. #55-Martin ran over the cable/rope and had some front splitter damage, then the rope went over the #9 Ford and wrapped around the left rear wheel area and broke a brake line. #42-Montoya had some slight damage and the team made repairs. #11-Hamlin had some damage to a roof flap. The red flag lasted 26 minutes.
    FOX later reported that CMS announced that ten fans in the stands were injured by the cable and seven were treated and released, three were taken to the local hospital for observation.(5-26-2013)
    UPDATE: Charlotte Motor Speedway said 10 fans were injured Sunday at the Coca-Cola 600 and three of them were taken to the hospital after a nylon rope supporting a Fox Sports overhead television camera fell from the grandstands and landed on the track surface. CMS vice president of communications Scott Cooper said after the race that all three fans were treated and released from the hospital. He said he couldn't discuss the nature of their injuries due to privacy laws. Cooper said seven other people were treated with minor cuts and scrapes at the track and released.(Associated Press)(5-27-2013)

  • Official Statement from FOX Sports: "At this time, we do not have a cause for the failure of the camera drive line that interrupted tonight's Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and our immediate concern is with the injured fans. The camera system consists of three ropes -- a drive rope which moves the camera back and forth, and two guide ropes on either side. The drive rope failed near the Turn 1 connection and fell to the track. The camera itself did not come down because guide ropes acted as designed. A full investigation is planned, and use of the camera is suspended indefinitely.
    This camera system had been used successfully at this year's Daytona 500, last week's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and other major events around the world. We certainly regret that the system failure affected tonight's event, we apologize to the racers whose cars were damaged, and our immediate concern is for the race fans. We also offer a sincere 'thank you' to the staff at CMS for attending to the injuries and keeping us informed on this developing situation. When we have more information on the cause of the equipment failure, we will share it with you immediately."(FOX Sports)(5-26-2013)

  • NASCAR TV Negotiations update: NASCAR chairman Brian France said during a Saturday state-of-union address that negotiations for a new television contract that would go into effect in 2015 are "getting down to the last bit of it.'' France said his hope is to renew with the incumbents. Fox already has renewed from 2015-2022 for a reported $300 million a year. ESPN and TNT are the other current partners. NBC also is a player for a major portion of the 36-race schedule. "My hope is to remain where we are,'' France said. "But that's why you have negotiations and discussions. We'll have to see how that plays out.''(ESPN)(5-26-2013)

  • CAMCAT Returns for All-Star Race Saturday Night: For the first time since this year's Daytona 500, FOX Sports and SPEED bring CAMCAT back to the track, as the 85-mph, high-tech camera suspended above the race track by a pair of gigantic cranes positioned outside of Charlotte Motor Speedway adds a strong element to SPEED's signature coverage of the 29th NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 18 (7:00pm/et). With $1 million-to-win from Sprint, and another $1 million available to any driver that can win all five segments, this 'anything goes' event showcases the sport's biggest stars. A special three-hour All-Star edition of NASCAR RaceDay Fueled by Sunoco begins at 4:00 PM ET with hosts John Roberts, Kyle Petty and Larry McReynolds leading into live coverage of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. NASCAR Race Hub hosts Steve Byrnes and Danielle Trotta handles driver introductions.
    Mike Joy, NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip and McReynolds call the action once live racing begins with the Sprint Showdown, the final opportunity for drivers to race their way into the main event. SPEED's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on-air team also includes Chris Myers from the famed Hollywood Hotel, Jeff Hammond, Krista Voda, Byrnes and Matt Yocum. In addition, Hall of Fame broadcaster Keith Jackson narrates a pre-race All-Star retrospective. Jackson called NASCAR's first three All-Star events, including Dale Earnhardt's famous "Pass in the Grass" win in The Winston in 1987.(FOX)(5-17-2013)

  • NBC to pick up TNT's NASCAR races? ESPN to cut back?: NASCAR has signed one contract for 2015-2022, for the first 13 Cup races, with Fox Sports, which includes the new Fox Sports 1 that replaces Speed in August. Fox considered it a priority to get NASCAR as one of its anchor sports for its all-sports Fox Sports 1 network, so it already signed a deal for 2015-2022 (at a 36% rate increase). While the sport might have lost some of its buzz, Fox Sports recognized the loyalty of NASCAR fans to watch its programming. It will eventually put some Cup races on that cable network to boost its profile. The big question now turns to who will televise the remaining 23 races of the season. Right now, TNT has six and ESPN/ABC has 17. NBC is expected to make a run at NASCAR. It could replace TNT for those six races but there's also speculation it could take 12 or 13 races and ESPN/ABC gets the final 10 or 11 events. With Turner relinquishing NASCAR.com to NASCAR, it makes little sense for it to have the six races. It's not enough time to really get in a good flow. The TNT telecasts aren't bad at all, but it's just too short of a bridge from Fox to ESPN for any continuity or for the announcers to get into a groove. If NBC lands races, that would put more Cup events on network television, which is important considering the addition of cable races to the Fox portion of the schedule.(Sporting News)(5-15-2013)

  • NASCAR-Themed Novela Premieres on Sunday: "Arranque de Pasión, La Historia de Ela," the first-ever sports-themed original production for Univision, will make its primetime television debut when it airs as a special edited version on Sunday, May 5 at 10:15 pm/et. The NASCAR-themed drama is a co-production between Univision Studios and Kate del Castillo Productions, Inc., in association with NASCAR. It stars del Castillo, who served as Honorary Starter for the Auto Club 400 on March 24, as well as leading men Carlos Ponce and Christian Meier. Shot at Homestead-Miami Speedway, "Arranque de Pasión, La Historia de Ela" also is NASCAR's first-ever Spanish language original production. Beginning April 1, the drama aired every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in five-to-seven-minute segments on Univision.com/ArranquedePasion.(NASCAR)(5-5-2013)

  • NASCAR related TV specials: There will be a couple of opportunities for fans to catch a little NASCAR outside of the weekend competition when the sport appears on the Game Show Network and USA Network tonight, Thursday, April 18.
    First, at 9:00pm/et on "American Bible Challenge" on the GSN, #21-Trevor Bayne will appear from the Roush Fenway Racing museum to present the category "Biblical Bumper Stickers" on the faith-based game show hosted by Jeff Foxworthy.
    Immediately following at 10:00pm/et on USA Network, former NFL MVP Kurt Warner will get up close and personal with Richard Childress Racing (see story here) and NASCAR in an all-new episode of "The Moment." Kyle Shields, a once young, aspiring race car driver, had given up on his dream when Warner, who hosts the all-new show, surprises him with a special offer: a second opportunity at becoming a NASCAR driver. After studying with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series veteran Brendan Gaughan of Richard Childress Racing, Kyle must rise to the challenge and demonstrate he still has the necessary skills to land a seat with RCR.(NASCAR)(4-18-2013)

  • HBO's Real Sports profiles NASCAR Female Pit Crew Member: Now in its 19th season, Real Sports with Bryant Gumble, presents more enterprising features and reporting when its 193rd edition, available in HDTV, debuts Tuesday, April 16 (10:00-11:00 pm/et-pt), exclusively on HBO. One segment that may interest NASCAR fans: Christmas Time. Christmas Abbott is the first female to be part of a NASCAR pit crew and is poised to make history as the first woman on a Sprint Cup crew. At first glance, the petite 31-year-old doesn't seem like the type to do the laborious jobs required in the crew. Her strength and speed, however, make her a perfect fit for the pressure-filled job. At the height of the Iraq war, she visited the country with her mother, a contractor, and began a new workout regimen called CrossFit. A few years later, back in the States, she became a bona fide CrossFit star. In this REAL SPORTS/Sports Illustrated collaboration, Jon Frankel goes one-on-one with the Virginia native to learn more about her fast-rising star in NASCAR.(HBO)(4-16-2013)

  • 'NASCAR Live' Rolling into 30th season with new format: Since 1984, NASCAR fans have had a weekly visit with the biggest names and the brightest stars of stock car racing thanks to Motor Racing Network's "NASCAR Live." As the program rolls into its 30th season, host Eli Gold is steering it into a new format that includes discussion and opinions from NASCAR insiders on the issues of the day, and in-depth interviews with the sport's top drivers. Gold says the new format provides listeners with the best of both worlds, blending a contemporary approach to the NASCAR narrative with the fans' ability to call in and speak to their favorite drivers. "For 44 years, we've been 'The Voice of NASCAR' and for much of that time, 'NASCAR Live' has been a cornerstone of our programming lineup," said MRN President and Executive Producer David Hyatt. "The show's format has been consistent because it's been accommodating, for fans and drivers. Without engaging in a major makeover, we are incorporating some new elements that'll provide a more dynamic experience for listeners tuning in and those visiting our website."(MRN)(4-3-2013)

  • SPEED to be rebranded as Fox Sports 1 UPDATE: FOX Sports Media Group officially unveiled plans to launch a new, national, multi-sport network called FOX Sports 1. The announcement was made by FSMG Co-Presidents and COOs Randy Freer and Eric Shanks. Set to debut on Saturday, Aug. 17, just as FOX Sports kicks-off its 20th anniversary year, FS1 is available in over 90 million homes, making this the biggest sports cable network launch in history, and one of the largest network launches ever. At the outset, FS1 boasts nearly 5,000 hours of live event, news and original programming annually. A robust schedule of live events forms the backbone of FOX Sports 1's programming from Day 1, with college basketball, college football, NASCAR, soccer and UFC all on tap between launch and year's end. In fact, the schedule on Aug. 17 features live events morning, noon and night including a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Michigan and "UFC on FS1 1" in prime time. In 2014, FSMG's new rights agreement with MLB takes effect, bringing regular and postseason games to FS1.
    NASCAR programming will include: Select NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races as soon as 2015; NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races; NASCAR Sprint All-Star race; all SpeedWeeks events leading up to the Daytona 500 including: Daytona 500 Qualifying, Sprint Unlimited at Daytona (2014, 2017-22) and the Budweiser Duel, now in prime time; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NCWTS Practice and Qualifying sessions; NASCAR RaceDay, providing pre- and post-race coverage; NASCAR Victory Lane, a weekly wrap-up show; and Race Hub, a daily mid-day studio show with the latest from drivers, owners and garages.
    FSMG's experimentation with the "double box" commercial format, intended to keep viewers engaged throughout breaks, is expected to be an FS1 staple.Fox PR)(3-5-2013)
    UPDATE: Select Sprint Cup Series races will be shown on the new Fox Sports 1 channel starting in 2015, the network announced. Fox Sports Media Group has the rights to [the season's first] 13 races, and the news release Tuesday did not indicate which of those races will move from network television to cable. NASCAR officials confirmed when the Fox 2015-2022 deal was announced last October that the Daytona 500 will remain on network television. Speed shows such as NASCAR RaceDay, NASCAR Victory Lane and Race Hub will be added to the Fox Sports 1 lineup. Race Hub, typically a 6:00pm/et show on Speed, will move to midday.(Sporting News)(3-6-2013)

  • No roof cams at Phoenix and other tracks: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars competing on the series' intermediate tracks this season will be doing so without the familiar roof camera, beginning with Sunday's Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. According to series director John Darby, the removal of the camera (for approximately two-thirds of this year's points races) is just one of several moves made during the offseason as officials worked through changes on the new Generation-6 car. Of primary concern was how to lessen the impact of turbulent air that previously hampered side-by-side competition at the series' intermediate tracks. Roof cameras will continue to be used at Daytona and Talladega, the road courses at Sonoma and Watkins Glen, as well as the series' smaller venues. According to Rich Feinberg, vice president of motorsports production for ESPN, the same company provides the in-car camera systems for ESPN, FOX and TNT. "And we are in the process now of developing new options to replace (the roof camera)," Feinberg said. "Perhaps behind the rear-view mirror, various places inside the car."(NASCAR.com)(3-3-2013)

  • SPEED rebranding likely soon: Fox Sports is expected to announce this month its plans for Charlotte-based SPEED channel. While motorsports will continue to be a big chunk of programming, the company is likely to retire the SPEED name late this summer and replace it with a channel called Fox Sports 1. This would provide Fox a platform to broaden the channel's focus into other sports, including content drawn from the network's NFL and Major League Baseball contracts. It is not clear what the impact will be on SPEED's modern production hub at Harris Boulevard and Interstate 85, but it will probably grow. A broader variety of programming should result in more production from the center.(Charlotte Observer)(3-3-2013)

  • Richard Petty special to air on SPEED: Richard Petty: A Racer's Life: Richard "The King" Petty shares the real truths behind this "simple man" and his family's impact on NASCAR as reported by Steve Byrnes. The Richard Petty Stories delivers the vanguard family of Nascar in a remarkably open manner that has never been documented before. At his request, The King, Richard Petty sat down with Steve Byrnes to share the real truths behind this "simple man" and his family's impact on NASCAR. The premiere is scheduled for Monday, February 18th at 8L30pm/et on SPEED with re-airs scheduled.(SPEED)(2-18-2013)

  • Travel Channel Seeking NASCAR fans for new show: Are you a die-hard fan of NASCAR and attending the Daytona 500? Travel Channel will be filming at this year's Daytona 500 and is seeking NASCAR superfans for a new series. More information on the Daytona International Speedway Facebook page.(2-17-2013)

  • New Fox camera's to debut at Daytona: As Speedweeks coverage begins this weekend, FOX Sports and SPEED announced plans to showcase exciting, never-before-seen looks of racing at Daytona International Speedway and the Great American Race, courtesy of newly deployed technologies. Coverage this year includes a collection of new cameras and graphics that are expected to add a dynamic new dimension to the viewing experience, including in-car Gyro-Cams, the FOX Super Zoom 4K camera, virtual 3D graphics and the return of a suspended cable camera over the length of pit road.
    Gyro-Cam: Gyro-Cam is a gyro stabilized, in-car camera mounted in the center of the cockpit that rotates as cars enter DIS's extreme 31-degree banked turns, keeping its view level with the horizon at all times. The resulting look demonstrates to viewers just how dramatic Daytona's turn angles are at race speed. Click here to see a simulation of Gyro-Cam in action.
    FOX Super Zoom 4K: Introduced last year during FOX Sports' coverage of MLB and the NFL, the 4K "Super Zoom" camera produces pictures with five times the resolution of normal HD cameras and captures the action at 300 frames per second. The resulting detail is remarkable and can zoom into an area of interest during the race with incredible detail.
    VIZ-RT Encoded Camera: The VIZ-RT encoded camera graphically places three-dimensional virtual objects on screen. These graphics include delineating the "restart box," where cars can accelerate toward the start/finish line during a restart and highlighting the entire track in yellow to emphasize that a race is under caution.
    CAMCAT: Supported by two gigantic cranes outside the track, CAMCAT is an advanced, two-point flying camera system developed in Austria that skies over the tri-oval along pit road. Previously used to cover F1 and certain Olympic events, the camera is suspended at a maximum 140 feet in the air and dips to 45 feet above the track at its midpoint. The cameras can speed up to 85 miles per hour along a 2,900 foot long cable to offer never-before-seen shots of Daytona. FOX first employed a four point cabled camera system over pit road from 2005 to 2007. All the cables were suspended within the track, and the camera traveled at 15 to 20 miles per hour 30 feet above ground.
    FOX Sports Media Group's new arsenal of enhancements is available and ready for coverage of Daytona Speedweeks this weekend.(Fox)(2-16-2013)

  • Race is on for NASCAR TV rights: The race is on to see which network fills the broadcast gaps of the next NASCAR Sprint Cup Series television deal. Fox Sports got the jump on its broadcast rivals by inking an eight-year extension, including the rights to the prestigious Daytona 500, worth $2.4 billion. The package includes rights to the first 13 Cup Series races of the season. It breaks down to approximately $300 million per season, up from the current $220 million a year deal. The current TV deal with all broadcast partners is worth $2.8 billion. The current NASCAR TV contract includes TNT, which lost its exclusive rights to NASCAR digital content on Jan. 1, and ESPN. TNT broadcasts six Cup Series races during the summer.(Daytona Beach News Journal), Fox's deal is thru 2022. ESPN's and TNT's is good thru the 2014 season.(2-16-2013)

  • Brad Keselowski Joins FOX for the Sprint Unlimited: the NASCAR season gets underway Saturday, Feb. 16 with The Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway. The network continues coverage Sunday, Feb. 17 with Daytona 500 Qualifying. The Sprint Unlimited marks the racing debut of the much-anticipated Gen-6 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car - the Chevrolet SS, Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry. Special guest and 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion #2-Brad Keselowski joins NASCAR on FOX host Chris Myers and Michael Waltrip during Saturday night's Sprint Unlimited from the Hollywood Hotel studio. Keselowski offers in-race analysis throughout the duration of Saturday's race giving viewers direct insight into what drivers on the track are experiencing. FOX Sports' Jeff Hammond serves as the network's roving analyst, taking fans from the garages to pit road and everywhere in between. Once the green flag drops, race announcer Mike Joy is alongside analysts Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds to call all the action on the track, while Steve Byrnes, Krista Voda and Matt Yocum patrol the pits for reports on teams and pit stops. FOX Sports' coverage of The Sprint Unlimited begins Saturday, Feb. 16, at 8:00pm/et.(FOX)(2-15-2013)

  • SPEED to broadcast 11 days of Daytona programming: Whatever news or headlines emerge during the NASCAR invasion of Daytona, during which SPEED presents 11 consecutive days of programming for the first time ever, the network has it covered with nearly 100 hours of programming from the legendary track beginning Feb. 14 at 6 pm/et with a special two-hour edition of NASCAR Race Hub from Media Day. The fan-voted-upon format for The Sprint Unlimited at Daytona (formerly the Budweiser Shootout) will be revealed Feb. 14 on Hub.
    A total of 25 SPEED on-air personalities present two weeks of on-track action to viewers beginning when Cup Series cars fire up Feb. 15 for the first The Sprint Unlimited practice session, carried live on SPEED at 5:00 pm/et
    NASCAR Race Hub returns to deliver all the days' happenings Feb. 18-20 at 6:00 pm/et, with Danielle Trotta hosting from the SPEED Studios and Byrnes and Ray Dunlap on-site at Daytona.
    SPEED is live from the Budweiser Duel at Daytona on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 2:00 pm/et as drivers battle for the final spots on the Daytona 500 starting grid.
    The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series opens its season under the lights Feb. 22 at 7:00pm/et with NCWTS Setup with Krista Voda setting the stage for the green flag at 7:30 pm/et. Rick Allen hosts with Michael Waltrip and Phil Parsons providing analysis and Dunlap, Hermie Sadler and Bob Dillner reporting from the pits.
    New to the SPEED docket from Daytona this year is live race coverage of three NASCAR Home Tracks races -- NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (Feb. 18 at 7:00 pm/et), the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (Feb. 19 at 7:00 pm/et) and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series (Feb. 19 at 8:30 pm/et).
    NASCAR RaceDay Fueled by Sunoco returns for three pre-race editions from Daytona with John Roberts hosting, Kyle Petty, Kenny Wallace, Larry McReynolds and Matt Clark providing analysis, complemented by Wendy Venturini and Rutledge Wood reporting from the garage. NASCAR RaceDay offers pre-race coverage of the Sprint Unlimited, Budweiser Duel at Daytona and an expanded three-hour show Feb. 24 (9:00 am -12:00pm/et) leading into FOX Sports and FOX Deportes' live coverage of the 55th running of the Daytona 500.
    Trackside, the network's longest-running NASCAR program, returns Feb. 22 at 5:30 pm/et for a live, 30-minute edition hosted by Voda, Petty, Wood and Kaitlyn Vincie. The gang hangs around the next day for another one-hour edition at 4:30 pm/et.
    Live coverage of Cup and Truck Series practice and qualifying sessions, as well as up-to-the-minute updates from NASCAR Live! and SPEED Center, hosted by Adam Alexander, round out the schedule, with Wind Tunnel and Dave Despain hopping back in his chair for an 11th season Feb. 24 at 8:00 pm/et live. NASCAR Victory Lane, SPEED's Cup Series post-race show, rolls into the famed Victory Lane at Daytona Feb. 21 and Feb. 24 at 5:30 pm/et live with hosts Roberts, Petty and Wallace and reporting by Dillner.(SPEED)(2-7-2013)

  • TMS's Gossage and Ricky Rudd to appear in TV show Dallas: Meet the new cast member of Dallas: Eddie Gossage. Actually, we overstate his role in TNT's hit prime-time soap. The president of Texas Motor Speedway has just two lines in the Season 2 premiere Monday, Jan. 28. In it, Gossage introduces Christopher Ewing (played by Jesse Metcalfe) to driver Ricky Rudd.(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(1-21-2013)

  • No DirecTV Hot Pass in 2013: DirecTV is doing away with its NASCAR Hot Pass programming this year. The decision brings an end to the five-year-old service that gave subscribers four channels of in-car-driver video and audio. The distributor opted to discontinue the service because of its cost. DirecTV also decided to end its sponsorship of NASCAR. It had been an official partner of the sport since '07. It is looking for other ways to stay involved in the sport and plans to set up displays at some racetracks this season. DirecTV Senior VP/PR Darris Gringeri said, "We tried to charge for the (Hot Pass) product a few years ago, but the demand for it was low. We decided to switch to a free service. It's been great and we've been happy with it. It's been a differentiator. But in the end, the production cost became too much to bear." The offering was expensive because DirecTV had to sublicense the video rights to in-car-camera footage from NASCAR rightsholders Fox, Turner and ESPN.(Sports Business Journal)(1-8-2013)


  • So why no 5-second time delay on race coverage? Some wondered why the "five-second rule", implemented after Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s slip last fall [at Talladega after winning], is not still in force [on Sunday at New Hampshire when #7-Robby Gordon said the 'S' word. That was not explained, although cable-vs.-network may have something to do with it. NASCAR vp/communications Jim Hunter said NASCAR had no plans to call for such a policy. "We're going to tell our athletes not to use bad language when talking on television, that's all," he said.(Speed Channel)
    NOTE: last October, NBC announced plans to use the 5 second rule for the rest of the season, and supposedly beyond, no idea if that was carried over to TNT, which is on cable. Fox never implemented the rule and when asked a few months ago, said they wanted to keep it live. MRN Radio and PRN Radio both have a 7-second delay. Also, since I get questions all the time on this when a driver says damn, hell or a*s, those words are not considered 'bad' by the FCC and are said daily on network TV during the day and primetime and have been for years.(9-19-2005)


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