More on NASCAR TV shows: Rumors include the end of the Trackside series on SPEED which was drastically changed last season into an unwatchable mess. Shows like RaceDay, RaceHub and Victory Lane are set to return. Bob Varsha is stepping into the former Leigh Diffey role and handling sports cars on SPEED beginning with the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Diffey departed SPEED for NBCSN where he will handle Formula One and IndyCar telecasts. There have been no announcements on the TNT and ESPN portions of the Sprint Cup Series TV package changing hands. Rumors include FOX wanting the six TNT races and NBC perhaps interested in the ESPN package. You may remember that ESPN also televises the entire Nationwide Series. The current TV deal expires after the 2014 season.(Daly Planet)(12-27-2012)
NBC expected to make push for NASCAR rights: The shift to a less passive audience that would rather interrelate with a race telecast than just watch comes as NASCAR negotiates its next television contract. The current deal expires after the 2014 season and by the time '15 rolls around the TV landscape could look very different. FOX has already renewed its agreement through 2022 to the tune of $300 million per year, or $2.4 billion over the eight years. That's a significant bump up from the $220 million Fox is currently paying for a package of races that includes the Daytona 500. Despite a drop in ratings, an increase is also expected from other television entities for the remaining components of the contract, which include 23 other Sprint Cup races, ten inside the Chase, and the entire Nationwide Series schedule. Incumbents TNT and ABC/ESPN are expected to again jump back into negotiations but a wild card has come to the table in the form of NBC. Desperate for quality and popular live sports programming for its NBC Sports Channel, the Peacock Network is expected to make a substantial play for a big piece of the NASCAR pie. But while the dollars may turn out to be greater in the NBC proposal, at this point the network could not match the exposure and publicity NASCAR receives from the "World Wide Leader" in sports. As part of the mighty ESPN machine, NASCAR enjoys a hefty amount of promotion on not just auto racing-related programming but a wide range of content across a variety of television, radio and online platforms.(Motor Racing Network)(12-24-2012)
SPEED to have live coverage of Daytona testing: In just three short weeks, SPEED and SPEED.com will be live from the high banks of Daytona International Speedway when Preseason Thunder kicks off the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season. SPEED and SPEED.com offer live coverage of the Jan. 10-12 test session in its entirety with SPEED live from all afternoon sessions and SPEED.com streaming all morning sessions.
John Roberts, Jeff Hammond and Matt Clark host SPEED's on-air coverage from the studio above pit road at the start/finish line at Daytona. Steve Byrnes calls the on-track action during the morning sessions (9 am to 12 pm/et) on SPEED.com alongside analysts Kyle Petty and Kenny Wallace, while Hermie Sadler and Wendy Venturini handle reporting duties. Rick Allen assumes the play-by-play chair for the afternoon sessions (1-3 pm/et and 3-5 pm/et) while the NASCAR on FOX and SPEED crew of Waltrip and Larry McReynolds take over the TV booth duties. Bob Dillner and Matt Yocum report from pit road and the garage. SPEED.com NASCAR Editor Mike Hembree will be on site to provide coverage and perspective as well.
Special editions of NASCAR Race Hub will air Jan. 10-11 at 6 pm/et from Daytona to recap all the on- and off-track action. Furthermore, NASCAR Race Hub offers new episodes from the SPEED Studios Jan. 21-24 at 6 p.m. ET during the week of the Charlotte Motor Speedway Sprint Media Tour. The program's 2013 season premiere is slated for Feb. 4 at 6 pm/et (Monday-Thursdays at 6 pm/et). Additionally, SPEED Center, hosted by Adam Alexander, continues to keep fans updated on all things across the motor sports world, beginning with its 2013 premiere on Jan. 6 at 7 pm/et.(SPEED)(12-22-212)
"Inside NASCAR" dropped by Showtime: The behind-the-scenes look at the nation's largest motorsports series -- Inside NASCAR -- won't return for a fourth season on the Showtime premium cable channel. "Showtime said it wasn't in their programming plans," says Tally Hair, NASCAR managing director/productions. "Showtime was an outstanding partner. We'll be actively shopping the show. We're really proud of it and looking forward to taking it to a new audience." Chris Myers serves as its host, and he is flanked by eight-time Sprint Cup series race winner Kyle Petty and two-time Daytona 500 winner and team owner Michael Waltrip. The NASCAR-produced show is one of the increasing number of behind-the-scenes shows -- for sports such as boxing, the NFL and NHL -- that have proliferated on various cable channels.(USA Today)(12-21-2012)
Waltrip on ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owner and part-time driver Michael Waltrip is scheduled to appear in the episode of the ABC-TV program Extreme Makeover Home Edition that airs Monday, Dec. 17, at 8:00pm/et. The Christmas-themed episode features a family that has fostered more than 30 children, including adopting a family of five siblings. The NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats’ female dance troupe also is featured.(ESPN)(12-15-2012)
Greatest Moments From 2012 NASCAR Season To Air On ESPN2: A recap of the greatest moments from the 2012 NASCAR season is scheduled to air Thursday, Dec. 13 on ESPN2 during the 2012 NASCAR Year in Review, produced by the Emmy Award-winning NASCAR Productions. Highlights from the season will be featured in a pair of half-hour programs beginning with the NASCAR Nationwide Series at 3:00 pm/et, followed by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at 3:30 pm/et. Each program includes the most thrilling, big-picture moments from both racing series throughout the 2012 season, including Brad Keselowski’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship win, and the NASCAR Nationwide Series season in which Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won his second consecutive championship.(12-12-2012)
Sponsor exposure values rise 7% in Cup over 2011: The total exposure value for all TV-visible sponsor brands in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2012 totaled over $1.2 billion across the 10-month season. Though the total number of logo detections, length of time on-screen and viewership were down slightly, media exposure values still saw gains based on higher cost of media and longer exposure during higher-rated races such as this year's extended Daytona 500. Demonstrating the importance of exposure during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, champion Brad Keselowski's primary sponsor Miller Lite received 55% of its exposures in the 10-race Chase alone, and nearly 20% of that exposure came from the final race. (Repucom)(12-6-2012)
Johnson mentioned most during TV coverage: According to research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc. -- which has monitored every NASCAR race telecast over the last 28 seasons, #48 Jimmie Johnson received the most attention during this year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series broadcasts. Statistics reflect all live race telecasts and replays of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season:
|Driver||# of interviews||Interview Time||Mentions|
|Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||54||0:54:11||3,422|
|Martin Truex, Jr.||24||0:26:15||2,444|
NASCAR signs FOX thru 2022: NASCAR and Fox announced an eight-year, $2.4 billion extension Monday that runs through 2022 and keeps the prestigious Daytona 500 and first third of the Sprint Cup Series on the network. The deal begins in 2015. The $300 million average annual fee is a 33% increase to what Fox had been currently paying. It includes TV Everywhere rights that allow Fox to live stream its races beginning with the 2013 season-opening Daytona 500. Fox gets the first 13 Sprint Cup Series races under the deal, and the entire Camping World Truck Series. ESPN and Turner hold the rights on the remainder of the schedule through 2014. Exclusive negotiations with NASCAR do not begin until next summer.(AP/ESPN)(10-15-2012)
NASCAR and FOX Sports Media Group Reach Expansive Multi-Year, Multi-Platform Rights Agreement: With two full seasons left on their current television contract, NASCAR and FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) announced today an extensive new eight-year, multiplatform media rights agreement that ensures FSMG’s broadcast of NASCAR racing through 2022. Under terms of the new agreement, FSMG also significantly increases its digital rights to include “TV Everywhere” live race streaming of its portion of the season for the first time ever beginning in 2013.
“NASCAR has been in very good hands and has enjoyed tremendous success the last 12 years in large part because of our fantastic partnership with FOX and FOX Sports Media Group,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “We are thrilled to be able to extend our relationship in such a significant way for our track partners, race teams, and most importantly, our millions of loyal and passionate fans. This extension with FOX Sports Media Group helps position the sport for future growth as NASCAR continues to be an anchor with one of the world’s largest and most influential media companies.”
As part of the new agreement, which takes effect in 2015, FSMG retains the television rights to 13 consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races beginning each year with the prestigious Daytona 500. In addition, FSMG retains the rights to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, the Daytona Shootout, the Duel at Daytona, the entire NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season and practice and qualifying for both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races that FSMG broadcasts. FOX also remains the exclusive home of The Great American Race through 2022, a title it has proudly held for the last six years and nine of the last 12.
“We’re extremely happy to have worked closely with Brian and his team at NASCAR over the last few months to expand and extend our relationship for what is without question the most popular motorsport in the country,” said FSMG Co-Presidents and CEOs Eric Shanks and Randy Freer. “NASCAR has been a staple at FOX for more than a decade and we consider it one of the signature sports we cover. With our commitment renewed, we look forward to presenting NASCAR thoroughly, professionally and creatively for many years to come.”
On the digital front, FSMG gains “TV Everywhere” rights starting next season to live stream all FSMG races, along with pre- and post-race coverage, race highlights and in-progress race highlights to events it televises. This portion of the deal was made possible by NASCAR’s reacquisition of operational, business and editorial control of its digital platform, a move that takes effect on Jan. 1, 2013.
“NASCAR fans’ demand and desire for NASCAR content stretches across all platforms and distribution channels,” France said. “As we’ve done with this FSMG extension, we will continue to take the appropriate measures to ensure our fans have access to the sport wherever they are and through all available devices. NASCAR is one of the most accessible sports in the world and this new deal builds upon that in a very significant way.”
FSMG’s new and expanded television and digital media rights agreement with NASCAR includes, but is not limited to:
- An eight-year term from 2015 to 2022. The current FSMG/NASCAR rights agreement began in 2006 and runs through 2014
- Thirteen (13) consecutive points races beginning with the Daytona 500 on FOX
- The Daytona Shootout; Duel at Daytona; NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race; and Daytona 500 Qualifying
- Full NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season
- Right to televise all practice and qualifying sessions for FSMG races
- Ability to re-telecast races on a FOX network and via video-on-demand (VOD) for 24 hours
- Right to ancillary programming including, but not limited to, a nightly NASCAR news and information show as well as weekend at-track shows
- Right to NASCAR branded pre- and post-race shows
- Extensive digital rights beginning in 2013, including:
- TV Everywhere – live digital distribution of all races FSMG has rights to broadcast
- Pre- and post-race coverage
- Race highlights
- In-progress race highlights
- Replays of FOX-televised races
Today’s announcement comes less than two months after NASCAR and FOX announced they are teaming up to provide the sport’s most expansive Spanish-language broadcast offering ever with FOX Deportes’ coverage of 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races starting in 2013. Of the 15 race broadcasts, FOX Deportes, the No. 1 U.S. Latino Sports network, will carry six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races live, including, for the first time ever, a Spanish-language broadcast of the Daytona 500 (Sunday, Feb. 24).(NASCAR)(10-15-2012)
"Turtle Powered" Family Broadcast at 7:00pm/et: Race fans young and old can listen to a "Turtle Powered" family broadcast of the Bank of America 500 from Charlotte Motor Speedway beginning at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13. A team of prominent NASCAR broadcasters will share the announcing duties with their sons and daughters for a one-of-a-kind production that families are sure to enjoy. In addition to all of the on-track action of the Bank of America 500, fans will get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Nickelodeon’s animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles television show through interviews with the actors behind the famous turtle voices and more.
Special Guest Commentators
• Scott Joy, son of Gaye and Mike Joy and driver of the #17 Sunoco Bandolero in the Outlaw class at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Summer Shootout Series. Scott will join his father Mike, lead anchor for Fox Sports’ NASCAR broadcast team, to kick things off.
• Then it’s former NASCAR crew chief and current Fox Sports race analyst Larry McReynolds and his daughters Brooke and Kendall McReynolds.
• SPEED Channel pit reporter Bob Dillner and his son, up-and-coming Bandolero racer, Blaise Dillner and daughter Meghan Dillner, experienced driver and Appalachian State University student will be next in the booth.
• Pit reporters for the broadcast will be Ford Martin, son of NASCAR crew chief Gil Martin, and 14-year-old Pro All-Star Series driver Gray Gaulding.
• From WDEV in Vermont, Amy McGovern will be joining.
This "Turtle Powered" special presentation will also be available on track scanner frequency 454.500. For fans at the track, Charlotte Motor Speedway is offering special Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles race scanner rentals for just $19.95. Call 1-800-455-FANS (3267) for more information.(CMS), to listen, go to the link at charlottemotorspeedway.com/family_broadcast/(10-13-2012)
NASCAR close to TV deal with Fox: UPDATE: NASCAR is close to finalizing a new TV deal with Fox for the first half of the Sprint Cup season, but a deal for the second half will not be wrapped up until next summer at the earliest, according to several sources. Fox started negotiations for its package earlier this spring and has agreed on the broad terms of a new deal to continue in the sport, sources said. An announcement is likely to come in the weeks after the broadcaster's media rights deal with Major League Baseball is announced officially. But the remaining inventory of NASCAR's media package will be in question for the next year. That's because ESPN and Turner Sports executives told NASCAR that they are not willing to start negotiations on their media contracts early. NASCAR approached both networks earlier this summer about new deals, but both chose to wait until their exclusive negotiating windows kick in next summer. Typically, negotiating windows last around a month. Despite declining ratings, particularly in the younger demographics, NASCAR stands to bring in more money from its next media deals. The addition of NBC Sports as a serious new bidder could create a bidding battle that could help push rights fees higher than many expect. ESPN, which carries the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, is interested in renewing its deal. Turner, which carries six midseason races, is interested in adding more races to its schedule. Sources familiar with NASCAR's plans said the organization hasn't decided whether it will sell its entire package of rights to one partner, two partners or three, as it has in its current deal. That decision won't be finalized until after it's held initial conversations with ESPN and Turner. See more at Sports business Journal.(10-1-2012)
UPDATE: The curveball in a new FOX deal is the impact the network's change of SPEED into Fox Sports One, a new all sports channel that will carry Major League Baseball, college football and basketball and other sports in addition to NASCAR programming. Hoping to keep up with the likes of the ABC/ESPN, NBC/NBC Sports Network as well as CBS/CBS Sports Network pairings, FOX plans to flip the current motorsports and automotive channel into its own general sports cable network. As of now ancillary NASCAR programming such as practice, qualifying and support events like the Camping World Truck Series would be mixed into the revamped channel's content line-up. There is word FOX will also stream NASCAR programming beginning next season, ala the "Watch ESPN" initiative that will allow mobile device access for thousands of viewers. Assuming FOX comes to terms, the remainder of the new NASCAR television package is a bit fuzzier. While it appears ABC/ESPN and TNT will return to the negotiating table, the NBC's interest is a wild card. Desperate for content to help build its fledging sports net, the Peacock folks are eyeballing a return to the business of stock car racing. The Nationwide Series, currently an ABC/ESPN property, could be in play for NBC as well as the Truck Series should FOX decide to back off the amount of NASCAR programming for its cable sports network or the "World Wide Leader" scale back its stock car investment. CBS or perhaps niche outlets like "The History Channel" might also dip their toes into the negotiations.(CBS Sports)(10-3-2012)
NASCAR, Sprint and Turner Sports Introduce NASCAR App for iPhone and iPod: As the action on-track heats up with NASCAR's postseason set to begin, NASCAR, Sprint and Turner Sports announced the launch of the sport's first official app for iPhone and iPod Touch. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile App allows fans to follow their favorite drivers and stay on top of all the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race action, including access to race day content, schedules, standings, breaking news and more. iPhone customers with a Sprint Unlimited Data Plan will have access to extra features, including:
• Live MRN and PRN race radio broadcasts
• Live in-car audio for all 43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers
• Live RaceBuddy in-car video and track camera views
• Live NASCAR on SPEED broadcasts including live Qualifying, Practice and favorite trackside shows such as NASCAR RaceDay
• Live in-race highlights and alerts
• Live post-race press conferences
• Real-time leaderboards and Pit Pass telemetry data
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone and iPod Touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore.(NASCAR)(9-14-2012)
NASCAR-themed reality TV show planned: The VH1 cable network has recruited a number of current and former NASCAR wives to talk about their husbands, lives and careers as part of a new, NASCAR-themed reality TV show. While divulging few actual details of the project, Influence Entertainment Group producer LT Tottle confirmed today that her company is working on a new, NASCAR-themed reality program. "On the record, all I can tell you is that there is a project in the works," said Tottle today, adding that negotiations are ongoing with the VH-1 to select a title and decide how many episodes will be produced. "We have about eight different (show) names to choose from," she said. "We think one thing and the network thinks another. As of now, we're calling it, `Women Filming.' We want to have the show up and airing -- if not this fall -- by the beginning of 2013." She declined to name any of the show's subjects, but said she has, "approximately 10 women" committed to the project, including some current wives of NASCAR drivers. She confirmed that scenes have already been shot at an undisclosed location outside the Charlotte, NC, area. "I'd call (our roster) a combination of current and former spouses of NASCAR drivers," said VH1's Tottle. "I have a lot of friends from the sport, and we got together to put together a reality show and see how it works." While she has not spoken with NASCAR or informed them of the project, Tottle said she expects the sanctioning body's reaction to be "really good. I have no intention of painting anything other than the positives of the sport," she said. "I don't think it's going to portray anything other than that. I know it'll be very positive."(Godfather Motorsports)(9-4-2012)
FOX Deportes to broadcast 15 Cup races in 2013: Two of the biggest brands in all of sports, NASCAR and FOX Deportes, announced they are teaming up to provide the sport's most expansive Spanish-language broadcast offering ever with coverage of 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races as well as original programming, daily news segments and weekly updates starting in 2013. Of the 15 race broadcasts, FOX Deportes, the No. 1 U.S. Latino Sports network, will carry live six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, including, for the first time ever, a Spanish-language broadcast of NASCAR's biggest race, the Daytona 500. In addition to the 15 Spanish-language race broadcasts, FOX Deportes will also produce and air a series of original NASCAR programs focused on engaging the Latino fan base. This series will be complemented by daily NASCAR news segments in the No. 1 rated U.S. Latino sports news franchise, Central FOX. FOX Deportes coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing gets underway Saturday, Feb. 16 with coverage of the Daytona Shootout. In addition to the Daytona 500 a week later, FOX Deportes will also broadcast live in Spanish four additional races from Auto Club Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.(NASCAR)(8-21-2012)
Hill leaving Fox Sports: News Corporation announced a restructuring of the senior leadership team that oversees the Company's media and entertainment properties. Peter Rice, who has served as Chairman of Entertainment for Fox Networks Group (FNG) since 2010, has been elevated to Chairman and CEO of FNG. David Hill, who has served as Chairman and CEO of Fox Sports since 1999, has been elevated to Senior Executive Vice President, News Corporation. In this new role Mr. Hill will focus on programming, digital initiatives and other opportunities spanning the breadth of the Company's operating units across Latin America, Asia, Australia, Europe and the U.S. Mr. Hill will be based in Los Angeles. David Hill has been Chairman and CEO of Fox Sports since 1999. Previously, Mr. Hill served as Chairman and CEO of Fox Broadcasting Company from 1997 to 1999.(News Corp)(7-24-2012)
TNT's NASCAR Summer Series Culminates at New Hampshire: TNT's six-race NASCAR Summer Series schedule will culminate this weekend with the New Hampshire 301 from Loudon, N.H., on Sunday, July 15, at 1:00pm/et. Adam Alexander will provide play-by-play for the race with analysts Kyle Petty and Wally Dallenbach and reporters Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider, Matt Yocum and Chris Neville. Larry McReynolds will continue to make frequent contributions during the race from his customized, unique broadcast unit that will house his own studio, as well as his base location where he'll provide analysis using a cut-away display car. Coverage from New Hampshire will begin with the Countdown to Green pre-race show – hosted by Alexander with analysts McReynolds and Petty – at 12noon/et. TNT's coverage from New Hampshire follows the network's telecast of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Powered by Coca-Cola (July 7), which included the first-ever simulcast on truTV and generated the highest-rated and most-viewed Daytona 400 since 2008.
Highlights from this week's race coverage:
TNT's Countdown to Green pre-race show will include a Ralph Sheheen interview with Rick Hendrick during a behind-the-scenes tour of the Hendrick Motorsports' Heritage Center and a rare look at Hendrick's collectible cars and memorabilia from his life in the sport.
#15 Clint Bowyer's crew will be miked up for TNT's Inside Trax.
TNT's Countdown to Green also will include a special guest appearance by Greg Biffle.
Countdown to Green will conclude its weekly feature segment titled "NASCAR Generations" – with Jimmie Johnson, Ned Jarrett and Bill Elliott, along with TNT analysts Petty and McReynolds.(TNT)(7-13-2012)
ISC hopes NBC Sports Network bids on NASCAR TV rights: Officials from the France-family controlled track-operating company International Speedway Corp. hope that the recent rebranding of Versus to the NBC Sports Network will drive up television rights fees by adding a potential additional bidder in the negotiating room. The current eight-year, $4.48 billion NASCAR television contract with FOX, TNT and ESPN/ABC runs through 2014, and negotiations have begun for 2015 and beyond. NASCAR chairman Brian France said in January that he hoped that all three of the current partners extend their deals. But with recent changes at NBC Sports Group, which is run by former Turner Sports president Mark Lazarus, there is a belief that it could be a bidder. Versus owner Comcast took over NBC Universal in 2011 and this year rebranded the network to the NBC Sports Network. NBC had televised NASCAR races from 2001-2006 as part of the first NASCAR-bargained television rights deals.(Sporting News)(7-6-2012)
TNT Wide Open coverage from Daytona: TNT's signature Wide Open television format will return for the sixth consecutive year during the network's exclusive coverage of the Coke Zero 400 at 7:30 pm/et Saturday. In addition to the TNT telecast, the Coke Zero 400 -- traditionally the network's highest-rated race from the NASCAR Summer Series -- will also be simulcast for the first time on truTV. Wide Open coverage debuted during the summer race at Daytona in 2007, providing continuous race coverage free of national commercial breaks. It offers more than 20 percent unobstructed race action than the standard telecast by using a letterbox widescreen format to allow for a continuous scroll of race information. National sponsors featured in this year's telecast include: AndroGel, Coke Zero, Dodge Ram, Geico, Goodyear, Sprint, Toyota, Twitter and Viagra.(TNT PR)(7-4-2012)
ESPN closes Tech Garage: Since 2007, younger NASCAR fans know Tim Brewer … stationed inside the ESPN Tech Garage at both Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series races carried by the network. ESPN made a larger commitment of resources to the Nationwide Series telecasts than any network before. That included Brewer's mobile garage and a full infield studio of three on-air personalities. ESPN … has confirmed that Brewer's recent hiatus from the Nationwide Series coverage will be permanent. ESPN returns to Sprint Cup Series coverage in July with the Brickyard 400. The Tech Garage will also not be part of that coverage. This year the final seventeen Cup Series races will be without Brewer on TV. "It has been a great feature of our NASCAR coverage," said a network spokesman. "We will continue to look for places to showcase the garage where appropriate." That means that while ESPN did not sell the Tech Garage, the unit is parked. Unfortunately this also affects more ESPN team members than just Brewer. In addition to the camera crew inside the studio, the Tech Garage also had "runners" who grabbed damaged pieces of cars during the race and brought them back for Brewer to explain.(Daly Planet)(6-27-2012)
FOX Looking to Extend NASCAR Deal: Fox has started serious negotiations with NASCAR about an early extension of its TV rights package, jump-starting a process that wasn't expected to begin until early next year, according to several sources. The early negotiations will allow FOX to avoid bidding for NASCAR rights in the open market, where potential suitor NBC is expected to drive up prices. According to the report, fellow incumbents ESPN and Turner Sports have not yet begun negotiating with NASCAR. FOX acquired NASCAR rights in 1999 and began airing races in 2001.(Sports Media Watch / Sports Business Journal)(6-18-2012)
TNT starts NASCAR coverage at Pocono: Turner Sports is geared up for its 30th year of NASCAR coverage with TNT's six-race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series set to begin Sunday, June 10, at noon ET from Pocono Raceway. TNT's NASCAR coverage will once again feature analysis by Kyle Petty and Wally Dallenbach with play-by-play commentator Adam Alexander expanding his role this season. Alexander will add pre-race hosting responsibilities this year, joined by analysts Petty and Larry McReynolds. TNT's reporters will include: Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider, Matt Yocum and Chris Neville.
TNT's coverage also will include several production enhancements this year including a weekly "NASCAR Generations" segment during the Countdown to Green pre-race show, a new on-set touch screen application, and broader social media integration. Additionally, McReynolds will roll out a customized, unique broadcast unit that will house his very own studio, as well as his base location to provide analysis using a cut-away display car.
TNT's "NASCAR Generations" is a segment which will air during the one-hour Countdown to Green each week featuring a panel discussion hosted by Alexander with five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, legendary NASCAR champions Ned Jarrett and Bill Elliott, as well as TNT NASCAR analysts McReynolds and Petty.(TNT Sports)(6-6-2012)
Dick Berggren celebrates 70th birthday, to retire after Dover: UPDATE: Next week's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover marks the end of an era for NASCAR's longest-serving TV pit reporter, who celebrates his 70th birthday during Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. After 12 years on NASCAR on FOX, Berggren will give his final pit report for the network at Dover in the same informative and passionate manner he has since first establishing himself in the role 31 years ago. Ironically, Berggren made his NASCAR broadcasting debut at Dover in 1981 alongside Mike Joy, his NASCAR on FOX and SPEED colleague, the only NASCAR broadcaster on-air longer than Berggren. "After the FOX portion of the year ends, I've always traveled to local tracks where I still enjoy sitting in the stands with a hot dog in one hand and a beer in the other, watching the local heroes," Berggren said. "I can't get enough of local-level racing so I'll do more of that now." The Speedway Illustrated founder says that in addition to contributing stories and columns to the publication, he very well may continue to pop up on pit road at NASCAR races periodically. But he also has set in motion lofty goals and projects to which he can dedicate his newfound extra time. The Massachusetts resident has founded a corporation with the intent of building an auto racing museum at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He already has acquired an agreement with the speedway, tax-exempt status from the IRS and the support of a powerful Board of Directors. "Life will be different without FOX," Berggren expressed. "I'm very proud of having been part of the NASCAR on FOX broadcasts from the beginning. I'm dreading the 2013 Daytona 500 because I won't be there on pit road as part of that team. That will be hard, but nothing is forever and I understand that. I'm looking forward to walking into the museum on the day it opens. That's a whole new challenge and one I fully expect to conquer. But it's time to move on. I'm ready. However, it would be nice to pick up a few TV things here and there. I'd really like that."(quotes and more at SPEED.com)(5-25-20102)
UPDATE: The checkered flag will wave not only for the winner of the FedEx 400 Sprint Cup race Sunday afternoon, it will also signal the end of Dick Berggren's 32 years as a TV pit reporter. Berggren, 70, worked his first NASCAR telecast in 1981 - also at Dover - and has spent more than 40 years writing and reporting on motorsports, including the last 12 with the Fox television network as its lead pit reporter. "I've done this for a very long time and it's hard to step away from it," Berggren said. "I'm just completely, completely overwhelmed by the response of competitors and fans and they've said such nice things to me." Berggren was humbled by the outpouring of appreciation while conducting interviews with drivers during the Sprint Cup practice sessions on Friday. Several race cars even featured decals saluting "Bergie for 32 years!" Drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch and Carl Edwards thanked Berggren on-air for his contributions to motorsports on Friday."Dick Berggren, he's had an incredible career, and he's put a lot of his heart and soul into the sport," Earnhardt said. "He's well respected and will be missed not just personally, but because of his skill and ability. They just don't seem to make announcers and radio personalities like that anymore." Away from the track, Berggren was a psychology professor at Emmanuel College in Boston for nine years and also founded Speedway Illustrated magazine. Berggren said he'll especially miss being a pit reporter during Speedweeks at Daytona in February. "Now I'll have time to go skiing in the winter. It's going to be a very big change for me. I'm probably going to drive my wife [Kathy] nuts, but the dog will like it."(Delaware News-Journal)(6-3-2012)
Jeff Hammond reports break in: NASCAR broadcaster and former championship winning crew chief has reported a break in, larceny, and vandalism to a truck at his shop in western Rowan County. According to a report at the sheriff's office, Jeff Hammond, who works as part of the Fox Network crew covering NASCAR races, reported that a 1988 truck at his shop on Phifer Road in Cleveland was broken into at some point over the last couple of weeks. Among the items reported missing was a hydraulic tank valued at $300, and one set of copper lines valued at $100. Another set of copper lines and a set of hoses were damaged. Vandalism to the Ford truck was also reported. The sheriff's office is investigating.(WBTV)(5-7-2012)
Economaki named new NCMA Executive Director: In the continuing evolution of the North Carolina Motorsports Association, the NCMA Board of Directors announced it has hired Corinne Economaki as executive director while interim executive director Andy Papathanassiou has accepted a seat on the board of directors. Having served as publisher of the stalwart motorsports publication, National Speed Sport News, for almost two decades, Economaki is no stranger to motorsports.(more info at NCMA)(4-20-2012)
Top Gear Goes Behind The Scenes Of NASCAR on BBC America: Top Gear, the world's biggest car show, sends host Richard Hammond to Texas, fully immersing the native-Brit in the world of NASCAR. During his visit to Texas Motor Speedway, Hammond explores the history of NASCAR and discovers how the sport evolved into the spectacle that it is today. He also discusses American motorsport culture and learns what it's like to be behind the wheel of a machine running 800-850 horsepower from those who know best, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Juan Pablo Montoya. Hammond even gets a driving lesson from Kyle Petty, former NASCAR driver and son of NASCAR legend Richard Petty. NASCAR fans and petrol-heads alike can catch all the action from race weekend when this episode of Top Gear premieres on BBC AMERICA Monday, April 30 at 8:30pm et/pt (NASCAR)(4-18-2012)
Fox to begin contract negotiations with NASCAR: NASCAR's current television contract runs through 2014, but Fox Sports chairman David Hill said the network will begin its negotiations on an extension this season. "You never stop negotiating," Hill told The Associated Press this week. "But, it will start to get hot in the next three or four months." Fox shares the Sprint Cup Series schedule with TNT and ESPN. The network partnered with NASCAR in 2001 on a six-year deal, and extended once, by eight years, through 2014. Fox broadcasts 13 points races on NASCAR's 36-race schedule. The 2011 NASCAR season on Fox averaged a three-year high of 8.6 million viewers, up 9%. It was the largest one-year audience increase in the 11-year history of NASCAR on Fox.(Associated Press)(2-28-2012)
Ten Years in the Tunnel: Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain celebrates its 10th anniversary on SPEED in 2012, ushering in the new season with its 535th episode Sunday live at 8 pm/et. "I really didn't have any expectations when we started Wind Tunnel," Despain reflected. "The show had a very experimental feel in the beginning and I don't think anyone knew quite what to expect. But it caught on very quickly and developed a fan following, which in turn gives the host a nice, secure feeling about the future. There are always doubts -- it's television after all -- but I've always felt we were filling a niche."
Wind Tunnel first premiered Feb. 23, 2003, as a half-hour show featuring Chip Ganassi as the first guest. Two weeks later, it expanded to an hour program, where it remains to this day, with in-studio guest Steve Matchett and Miguel Duhamel live from Daytona Bike Week. On Sunday's Wind Tunnel premiere, Despain welcomes the Daytona 500-winning car owner, FOX/SPEED analyst and 2012 Hall of Fame inductee, Darrell Waltrip, and SPEED open-wheel reporter Robin Miller, among other guests to be announced later in the week.(SPEED)(2-26-2012)
2012 NASCAR on FOX Season Goes Into High Gear with Daytona 500: FOX Sports proudly presents the 54th running of the Daytona 500. Coverage starts with the FOX NASCAR SUNDAY prerace show hosted by John Roberts, with up-to-the-minute reports, live interviews with drivers, crewmen and officials shaping the day's action and analysis from Darrell Waltrip and Michael Waltrip. In an innovative new role, veteran analyst Jeff Hammond takes his extensive experience as a former championship-winning crew chief to where the action is, in the garages and pit road.
Special FOX NASCAR SUNDAY Daytona 500 features:
• NASCAR's most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr. joins the FOX NASCAR SUNDAY outdoor prerace set to talk about his chances in the Daytona 500 and what he hopes to accomplish in the 2012 season.
• Stock car's biggest storyline and newest full-time addition, Danica Patrick, sits down with Hall of Fame Inductee and NASCAR on FOX analyst Darrell Waltrip to discuss her switch to stock car racing and how she expects to gain respect from her fellow competitors.
• A live performance by one of music's most decorated artists, and four-time Grammy Award-winner Lenny Kravitz.
• Grand Marshals for Sunday's race are Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model Kate Upton and talented actress in FOX's hit show GLEE, Jane Lynch.
• The youngest UFC Champion in the history of the sport, Jon "Bones" Jones serves as an honorary official.
Once the green flag drops, race announcer Mike Joy is alongside analysts Waltrip and Larry McReynolds to call all the twists and turns on the track while Dick Berggren, Steve Byrnes, Krista Voda and Matt Yocum patrol the pits for reports on teams and pit stops.
The Gopher Cam, introduced at the Daytona 500 in 2008, is a small, stationary high-definition point-of-view camera that lies buried underneath the asphalt track surface, inches below the yellow line at Daytona International Speedway. There are four Gopher Cams in-place for this year's Daytona 500. The cameras have been paired with high quality condenser microphones for an unbelievably realistic audio/video experience. New advances in the lens and materials have enabled FOX to reduce the size for the 2012 edition while providing a much wider and clearer field of view.
In 2012, FOX Sports introduces a new way to bring fans under the hood. The new virtual car using a high-tech touchscreen provides magnified looks at the smallest details of the high powered machines on the track. It gives viewers a clear and illustrative explanation of how the car works and performs through its components. With assistance from NASCAR on FOX analyst Jeff Hammond, the FOX Sports graphics team co-opted an incredibly detailed model with a built-in custom interface and telestrator.
The Hollywood Hotel is all new for the 2012 season. First unveiled in 2007, NASCAR on FOX's traveling prerace studio is the most technologically advanced mobile unit ever employed to cover sporting events. It captures the charged atmosphere associated with on-location remote broadcasts. The 2012 version has been completely revamped to update the state-of-the-art premier network center. The background virtual "window" to the track uses three monitors (two 60 inch and one 103 inch) so the prerace set can be "transported" anywhere on the track. An inverted "Jitacam" crane hangs from the roof of the hotel and operates along a track, allowing floating and sweeping camera moves not possible in the network's old mobile trailer. Color mixing for the background on its flat screen monitors is manipulated using 1600 linear feet of RGB tape (LED lights) to illuminate the background in any color FOX chooses. These updates and modifications in power make it the greenest production truck on the planet.(FOX)(2-26-2012)
TSN to carry all NASCAR races: Canada's TSN [The Sports Network] announced Monday that every single NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series race, starting with the Daytona 500 a week from next Sunday (Feb. 26), will be televised this year on either TSN or TSN2.The first race to hit the airwaves, the Budweiser Shootout, will be televised this coming Saturday night at 8 p.m. on TSN2. The two qualifying races that set the field for the 500, called the Gatorade Duel at Daytona, will go to air a week from Thursday (Feb. 23) at 2 in the afternoon.(Toronto Star)(2-14-2012)
SPEED adds Rudd and Palumbo: Former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ricky Rudd signed with SPEED this week to be an analyst on the popular weekend motor sports news program, SPEED Center. Rudd, a winner of 23 Cup Series races, including the 1997 Brickyard 400, was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers. "Anytime you add someone with Ricky's credentials, you give the viewers a voice and a perspective that has real impact," said SPEED President Scott Ackerson. Scheduled to begin Feb. 12, Rudd could be in for a long run on the network. After all, his 788 consecutive starts are the most in Cup history, earning the Chesapeake, Va., native the honorary title of NASCAR's "Ironman." "I'm really looking forward to the next chapter," said Rudd, the 1977 Rookie of the Year. "It's going to be a lot of fun working with the gang at SPEED." Also added to the SPEED team this week, former Miss Sprint Cup Monica Palumbo joins the network as a Social Media Reporter. Palumbo, the longest-serving Miss Sprint Cup, held the position from 2008 through last season and appeared on NASCAR Race Hub and other SPEED programs in that role. As a Social Media Reporter, Palumbo works with producers, creating original SPEED content for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media outlets. In addition, she provides reports from various tracks and locations and serves as a broadcast contributor with social media updates from second-screen touch points.(SPEED)(2-8-2012)
FOX announces 2012 Broadcast Schedule: FOX Sports gears up for its 12th season of NASCAR coverage by unveiling the 2012 NASCAR on FOX broadcast schedule featuring 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup points races and 15 events total, highlighted by the 54th running of the Daytona 500, live on Sunday, Feb. 26 (1:00-5:30 pm/et) from Daytona International Speedway. Coverage of the "Great American Race" begins that day with a special one-hour pre-race program (12:00-1:00 pm/et) from the DIS infield and a completely remodeled Hollywood Hotel. The flag officially drops on FOX Sports' 2012 Speedweeks coverage with the Budweiser Shootout, live on Saturday, Feb. 18 in prime time (8:00-10:00 pm/et), followed by live coverage of Daytona 500 Qualifying on Sunday, Feb. 19 (1:00-4:00 pm/et).
Michael Waltrip, driver, owner and pitch-man extraordinaire, joins the FOX NASCAR SUNDAY prerace team, taking a seat in the famed Hollywood Hotel alongside big brother Darrell Waltrip and host Chris Myers. Darrell and former champion crew chief Larry McReynolds return to provide race analysis for all NASCAR on FOX Sprint Cup events, and Mike Joy returns as race announcer. Veteran analyst Jeff Hammond takes his extensive experience as a former championship-winning crew chief to the action in the garages and on pit road. Dick Berggren, Steve Byrnes, Matt Yocum and Krista Voda also return to cover pit road. NASCAR on FOX "storm scout" and meteorologist Rick Dickert of FOX-owned KTTV in Los Angeles rejoins the crew to provide weather updates to viewers on the FOX NASCAR SUNDAY prerace show as well as during race coverage.(FOX), see the full schedule on my 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule.(2-7-2012)
PBS to air "Racing Dreams" special: Award-winning fimmaker Marshall Curry returns to POV in 2012 with Racing Dreams, a chronicle of two boys and a girl who do something extraordinary: They fearlessly race extreme go-karts at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour in pursuit of trophies and, just maybe, careers as NASCAR drivers. And as the youngsters compete on the track, they also navigate the treacherous road from childhood to young adulthood. Racing Dreams, winner of the Best Documentary Feature Award at the Tribeca Film Festival and executive-produced by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, has its national broadcast premiere on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012, at 9 p.m., as a special broadcast on PBS's POV (Point of View) series. The film will also stream in its entirety on POV's website www.pbs.org/pov/racingdreams Feb. 24 - March 24. Fondly described as "talladega Nights meets Catcher in the Rye," Racing Dreams is a dramatic, funny and sometimes heartbreaking look at the world of NASCAR culture as lived by three young aspirants to race-car glory and their families. The film follows Annabeth Barnes (11 years old), Josh Hobson (12) and Brandon warren (13) as they compte in the Pavement Series, a yearlong national championship of five races around the country organized by the World Karting Association (WKA).(PBS)(2-6-2012)
National Speed Sport News to return: With an all-new monthly print publication launching in March and an aggressive plan for the future, Turn 3 Media, LLC, is bringing back the National Speed Sport News brand, identified for its namesake weekly newspaper that was widely recognized as the "Bible" of American auto racing news. Turn 3 Media, LLC, a North Carolina company founded by publishing veteran Curt Moon, former SPEED executive Joe Tripp, and motorsports television personality Ralph Sheheen, has acquired the exclusive rights to National Speed Sports News from The Kay Publishing Company. Founded in 1934 and edited by "The Dean of American Motorsports Journalism" Chris Economaki beginning in 1950, National Speed Sport News ceased publication of its venerable weekly newspaper following the March 23, 2011 issue. As Publisher, Sheheen will manage the editorial direction of the new SPEED SPORT Magazine and will help drive reach and brand awareness through his extensive television exposure. He will also lead efforts to expand the brand into video and television media. SPEED SPORT Magazine will debut with a March Season Preview issue, exactly one year after the original National Speed Sport News ceased publication.(NSSN)(2-3-2012)
NASCAR and Turner restructure and extend digital partnership: UPDATE: NASCAR and Turner Sports announced a restructuring and extension of their long-standing digital partnership. The new agreement takes the relationship through 2016, with NASCAR managing business and editorial operations for its digital platforms beginning in 2013 and Turner Sports continuing to oversee advertising sales and sponsorships across NASCAR-branded digital platforms. Under the new partnership, NASCAR will assume operational control in 2013 of all of its interactive, digital and social media rights including technical operations and infrastructure of all NASCAR digital platforms. Turner will continue to represent sponsorships and advertising for all NASCAR digital platforms, with the unique users from the NASCAR digital properties continuing to roll up to the Turner digital portfolio. NASCAR's comprehensive digital and social media portfolio includes NASCAR.COM. NASCAR.COM, and the sport's other digital and social media platforms, have been managed by Turner Sports since 2001.(NASCAR)(1-30-212)
UPDATE: In a phone interview Monday, NASCAR Vice President of Digital Media Marc Jenkins said NASCAR is at the "tail end" of the process of thinking of what it wants to do with its website. He said NASCAR is working toward having several camera angles for fans to watch a race on the website, like what was done during the Chase For The Sprint Cup on the current website. "That drives a better fan experience when watching the race," Jenkins said. "In my mind, more important than just a pure stream of the race broadcast is the alternate camera angles, it's the dynamic leaderboard, it's the [car] data, it's all those things that help people enjoy the race more." Jenkins said they also hope the NASCAR site will help drive traffic to the drivers' websites and could offer a content management system teams and drivers could use in production of their websites.(Scene Daily)
AND: The lack of an iPhone app for the sport has been a glaring, gaping hole in the interactive experience. "I can assure you it will be an important thing for us moving forward," NASCAR chief marketing officer Steve Phelps said last week. "Whether we have it for '12 or not, it's probably not something that's going to happen. But digital and social media is going to be a major plank for us as a sport. It's going to be a way for us to engage our fans, candidly, in a way we've never been able to before. We think our sport lends itself (to an app) as well as any sport - maybe better - because of the community nature and social nature of the sport. It clearly is coming." But fans may begin to see changes in the app world even earlier than expected. Tim Considine, Sprint's director of sports marketing, told SB Nation in a statement Monday: "Sprint is working with its internal partners to develop NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile for the iPhone, with an expected launch in the first half of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season."(SB Nation)(1-31-2012)
30-Year Media Tour Veterans Honored: In the 30-year history of the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, only seven people have taken part in every event. Those seven - Bill Funderud, Bruce Martin, Bryant McMurray, Bob Moore, Al Pearce, Thomas Pope and Deb Williams - were honored Tuesday morning during a special breakfast that included discussion of media Tour memories.(CMS Media Tour Notes)(1-25-2012)
SPEED Announces Changes to NASCAR Programs: Several NASCAR on SPEED programs take fresh approaches in 2012, with the network's longest-running NASCAR program, Trackside, frequently splitting into two 30-minute editions, one on Friday evenings and the second on Saturday. Krista Voda hosts with Kyle Petty, Rutledge Wood and Marianela Pereyra all returning to the show.
NASCAR RaceDay, which saw huge audience increases during last season's 10-race NASCAR Chase for the Championship, returns with John Roberts as host, Petty, Kenny Wallace and [Larry] McReynolds providing analysis and Wendy Venturini, Wood and Matt Clark [replacing Hermie Sadler] reporting from the garage.
Trotta adds to her responsibilities for 2012, taking on a host role for the popular tech show NASCAR Performance, working with McReynolds, Jeff Hammond and Chad Knaus from SPEED's Charlotte-based studio.
Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain, rolling into its 10th season on SPEED, gets a prime time television look, and the popular post-race show, NASCAR Victory Lane, also takes a new slant, immediately following NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races with a second airing in prime time.(SPEED)(1-24-2012)
NASCAR Sprint Media Tour this week: More than 230 motorsports journalists from around the globe will descend upon the heart of NASCAR country on Monday for the 30th annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway. What started as a 1983 "experiment" with a handful of media that struggled to fill one charter bus, the four-day Tour has evolved into the nation's premier preseason media event in professional sports. "The NASCAR Sprint Media Tour is four days of non-stop news and a great way for fans to hear the latest about their favorite teams just a few weeks before the start of the season," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "It's the Tour's 30th year and it's stronger than ever, with a record number of media coming to this year's event that features more than 20 stops throughout the four days. We're excited to host to such a fantastic and meaningful event." More than 20 stops will keep the participating media busy over the four-day tour including visits to Hendrick Motorsports, Michael Waltrip Racing, Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions Stewart-Haas Racing, plus Joe Gibbs Racing and Roush-Fenway Racing are among the many teams that will also be making announcements.(CMS)(1-23-2012)
Kyle Petty selling SC house: Kyle Petty aims to shift gears on his Isle of Palms, South Carolina property. The former NASCAR driver, who is the son of racing legend Richard Petty and grandson of stock car icon Lee Petty, is asking $4.5 million for the fully-furnished beachfront property. He currently works as a television racing analyst and co-host on the SPEED network's NASCAR RaceDay and NASCAR Smarts, and also as an occasional commentator for TNT.(Realtor.com)(1-5-2012)
Edwards to Co-Host "LIVE! with Kelly": #99-Carl Edwards will take a turn co-hosting the syndicated morning program "LIVE! with Kelly" on Tuesday, January 10, during a special themed week of sports co-hosts with Kelly Ripa. Edwards was selected along with Reggie Bush, Boomer Esiason, Jesse Palmer and Apolo Anton Oh# Actress Kate Beckinsale will be a guest on the show when Edwards co-hosts with Ripa. Edwards was a guest on the popular show last June after his win in the Sprint All-Star race, and has appeared in the past with the NASCAR Chase contenders. This will be his first stint as co-host. "LIVE! with Kelly" is distributed in national syndication by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. Produced by WABC-TV in New York and executive produced by Michael Gelman, "LIVE! with Kelly" airs in more than 200 markets across the U.S.(RFR)(1-3-2012)
NASCAR Targets New Audiences: After a few bumpy years marked by declining TV ratings and weakened traction in the vital 18- to 34-year-old male demographic, NASCAR regained some footing in 2011. TV viewership rose year-over-year in all three NASCAR [National] series, both overall and among the target group of young men. And the sport landed several key sponsorship renewals, including Sprint, UPS and Kraft Foods. But if NASCAR is to continue its assault on the professional team sports occupying much of the nation's bandwidth, it needs to reach new audiences in new places. With that in mind, it has embarked on a five-year plan with five key goals: Build the star power of individual drivers, increase engagement among children and college-age consumers, attract a multicultural fan base, craft more cohesive digital- and social-media strategies and improve the racetrack experience for fans. NASCAR CMO Steve Phelps is overseeing the execution. While some efforts kicked off in 2010, work over the next 18 months on the digital-media and multicultural-marketing fronts will be crucial. Mr. Phelps, star of a 2010 episode of "Undercover Boss," sat down with Ad Age to discuss the process of individual brand-building, the promise of a Hispanic fan base, and why the sport's legacy digital partnership won't work long term.(See full interview at AdAge.com)(1-2-2012)