With the NASCAR season getting underway at Daytona International Speedway this week, ESPN’s multimedia platforms will have two weeks of comprehensive coverage of events surrounding the Feb. 26 running of the Daytona 500.
Television coverage, highlighted by Daytona locations for ESPN’s flagship program SportsCenter and ESPN2’s daily news program NASCAR Now, coverage of NASCAR Media Day on ESPNEWS and NASCAR Nationwide Series practice and qualifying, will culminate with the NASCAR Nationwide Series 300-mile race on ESPN on Saturday, Feb. 25.
Other TV highlights include NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series preview shows on ESPN2 and the airing of more than 46 hours of past Daytona 500 races and NASCAR programming on ESPN Classic. And for the first time, all NASCAR programming airing on ESPN and ESPN2 from Daytona will be available on computers, smartphones and tablets with WatchESPN.
Extensive Daytona coverage also will appear on ESPN digital platforms including ESPN.com, espnW.com and ESPN Mobile, as well as on ESPN Radio. In addition, the winner of the Daytona 500 will be at ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Ct., on Monday, Feb. 27, the day after the race, and will appear on numerous ESPN platforms throughout the day.
SportsCenter at the Daytona 500 airs Sunday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. on ESPN2, originating from the Fan Zone at Daytona International Speedway. The program will have extensive highlights, interviews and analysis from the “Great American Race.” In addition to the special program, ESPN’s reporters and analysts will appear on regular editions of SportsCenter throughout Daytona SpeedWeeks.
Daytona NASCAR Nationwide Series Race Telecast
Allen Bestwick will be the lead announcer for the Daytona race telecast on Feb. 25, joined in the booth for analysis by 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Dale Jarrett and two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion crew chief Andy Petree. Pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch. Two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Tech Garage.
Prior to the 1:15 p.m. ET race telecast, Nicole Briscoe will host NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio at noon, with analysis by 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty, a team owner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
ESPN2 also airs coverage of NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying on Friday, Feb. 24, at 2 p.m., as well as NASCAR Nationwide Series practice coverage on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 10 a.m.
All 33 NASCAR Nationwide Series races will air on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC this season. ESPN also will televise 14 of the final 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races of the season, with the other three airing on ABC.
NASCAR Now at Daytona
NASCAR Now, ESPN2’s daily news and information show totally dedicated to NASCAR, originates from Daytona for three programs the week of the Daytona 500. Briscoe hosts the Thursday, Feb. 23, program at 5:30 p.m. and the Friday, Feb. 24, program at 1:30 p.m. The edition on the morning of the Feb. 26 Daytona 500 airs at 9 a.m. with Bestwick hosting and analysts Jarrett and Wallace.
Mike Massaro and Briscoe will co-host ESPNEWS’ coverage of NASCAR Media Day on Thursday, Feb. 17, at noon, and conduct exclusive driver interviews from Daytona for the three-hour telecast. They’ll be joined for analysis by former NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie of the year Ricky Craven.
Feature Content for Daytona SpeedWeeks
Among the features planned for airings across various ESPN platforms during Daytona SpeedWeeks are:
Tony Stewart Conversation – Stewart discusses his 2011 championship run with Smith.
Kurt Busch – In a hard-hitting interview with Smith, Kurt Busch discusses the trials and tribulations from the 2011 season and how he plans to bounce back to championship form with his new team Phoenix Racing.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Earnhardt talks about his confidence and goals heading into the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season with ESPN’s Dale Jarrett.
Jimmie Johnson – Johnson reflects on not winning a sixth straight championship last year and how the team will rebound in 2012 with ESPN’s Shannon Spake.
Carl Edwards -- Edwards speaks with ESPN’s Nicole Briscoe about finishing in second place in the Chase and his quest for a championship in 2012.
Kasey Kahne – The newest driver for Hendrick Motorsports, Kahne discusses his goals and expectations for the upcoming season with Smith.
Silly Season – With all the changes in the off-season, Smith details from point to point who went where. Smith draws diagrams on everything from paper to windows to fully explain all aspects of the silly season.
Cheers to Daytona – An essay from Smith that celebrates the racing roots, legends and beauty that is all Daytona.
Austin Dillon #3 Car – NASCAR Nationwide Series rookie Austin Dillon discusses his family lineage and driving the iconic #3 car for Richard Childress Racing.
Danica Patrick – As she starts her journey racing fulltime in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Patrick focuses on the next chapter of her racing career.
ESPN’S Multimedia Platforms Surround Daytona
In addition to the live telecasts on ESPN and ESPN2, NASCAR’s Daytona SpeedWeeks will be covered on other ESPN multimedia outlets:
WatchESPN – All of ESPN’s NASCAR television content is also viewable digitally through WatchESPN and WatchESPN.com, the groundbreaking online-accessible authenticated version of ESPN. WatchESPN is available on computers, smartphones and tablets through WatchESPN.com and the free WatchESPN app, which are accessible to fans who receive their video service from an affiliated provider.
SportsCenter at Daytona -- SportsCenter will present a one-hour special from Daytona International Speedway on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, following the Daytona 500. Hosted by Allen Bestwick, with analysts Dale Jarrett and Rusty Wallace, SportsCenter at Daytona will review the Great American Race with highlights, analysis, opinion, and interviews. Regular editions of ESPN’s flagship news and information program will include regular updates from Daytona.
ESPN Deportes -- ESPN’s Spanish-language television, radio and Internet in the U.S. will televise the NASCAR Nationwide Series race from Daytona on a tape-delayed basis at 4 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26. ESPN Deportes’ NASCAR commentator team will feature Andrés Agulla (play-by-play) and Alex Pombo (analysis). In addition to the telecast of the race, ESPN Deportes will have segments for its edition of SportsCenter.
ESPN.com -- Extensive coverage will originate from Daytona. Award-winning motorsports journalists Ed Hinton,Terry Blount and David Newton and ESPN.com motorsports editors K. Lee Davis and Joe Breeze will lead the reporting team, with additional contributions from NASCAR Insider Marty Smith as well as ESPN The Magazine’sRyan McGee. Hinton, Blount, Newton and other ESPN reporters and personalities maintain and regularly update blogs with their insights, perspectives and more. ESPN.com, along with Jayski.com, will feature extensive video, audio and editorial coverage of the 2012 NASCAR season, as well as providing multiple ESPN Fantasy games and content distributed to other platforms such as Apple’s iTunes Store and Microsoft’s X Box Live.
ESPN.com RaceCast, ESPN.com’s enhanced, live race-day application features a live animated graphic display, track information, lap leaders, race leaders, driver information and live in-race chat with ESPN announcers and reporters. NASCAR fans looking for an online gathering during telecasts of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as well as the Nationwide Series opener at Daytona have a place to go on ESPN.com. Racing Live! on ESPN.com is a live blog where fans can engage in debate and discussion with ESPN.com writers and editors during the races. Fans can join ESPN.com’s NASCAR experts in dissecting every aspect of the race live athttp://espn.go.com/racing/nascar/. As part of ESPN.com’s integration with Jayski.com, veteran racing voice Mark Garrow returns as a frequent contributor this year, producing podcasts and hosting regular chats on ESPN.com.
espnW.com – espnW’s mission is to connect female fans with the sports they love and follow, and with Danica Patrick making her NASCAR Sprint Cup debut in the Daytona 500, espnW.com will have on-site coverage, including blogs and video analysis. espnW.com provides an engaging environment where women are an integral part of the sports conversation, share their perspective on men’s and women’s sports and find the motivation and support for their athletic goals and interests.
ESPNEWS – Coverage of NASCAR Media Day at Daytona from noon - 3 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, hosted byMike Massaro and analyst Ricky Craven with reporter Nicole Briscoe on-site in Daytona. ESPNEWS also will air extensive NASCAR reports and interviews during regular programming throughout Daytona SpeedWeeks.
ESPN Radio – The Raceday program airs from 6 - 7 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, and Sunday, Feb. 19, and then again on Saturday, Feb. 25, and Sunday, Feb. 26. Programs will originate from Daytona with host Pat Pattersonand include news, interviews and reports. In addition, ESPN Radio will have daily reports and interviews during other programming in the week leading up to the race. RaceDay airs 52 weeks a year and will originate from the site of every NASCAR Sprint Cup race this season.
ESPN International – ESPN International is one of the world’s leading syndicators of sports programming and its relationship with NASCAR is helping maximize coverage of NASCAR and providing a solid base of distribution. Through a combination of sales and network programming, the 38 NASCAR Sprint Cup races (including the Bud Shootout and Sprint All-Star Race) and 33 NASCAR Nationwide Series races are available to 112 countries and territories around the world. In addition, U.S. troops and their families serving around the world and Navy vessels at sea can watch the season through American Forces Network.
ESPN the Magazine -- ESPN the Magazine's Rivalry Issue, on newsstands Feb. 10, contains a preview of the NASCAR season by senior writer Ryan McGee. Handshakes or fisticuffs? Choirboys or moonshiners? NASCAR has the dirtiest roots in sports—roots that fans still love and expect to see. But with sponsors and new markets wanting clean-cut images, NASCAR drivers are forced to ride the line. McGee also writes that in 2012, priority No. 1 for Jimmie Johnson will be improving the 48 pit crew, which was fired twice last season. The preview also has a rundown of each team in the garage.
ESPN Mobile Web – Live event reporter D’Arcy Maine will be in Daytona live chatting and blogging, delivering feature stories and bringing the taste of Daytona SpeedWeeks to fans. She also will focus on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut of Danica Patrick. The ESPN mobile Web site is available on all Internet accessible mobile and tablet devices.
ESPN Mobile -- ESPN’s multiple mobile platforms will give fans on-the-go access to all the racing action, news and developments. Fans can find coverage on the ESPN mobile Web site -- the leading mobile Web sports site and among the most-trafficked sites in the world – in a dedicated NASCAR section that includes special coverage around the biggest races, driver cards and more. Additionally, fans can access real-time results on the ESPN ScoreCenter mobile app and sign up to receive customizable alerts to follow their favorite drivers during the race.
ESPN Classic – To help get NASCAR fans fired up for the opening of the season, ESPN Classic is running a marathon of NASCAR-related programming during the week leading up to the Daytona 500. Included are episodes of the ESPN Classic signature series SportsCentury featuring some of history’s greatest drivers such as Richard Petty, Tim Flock, Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart and 1967 Daytona 500 winner Mario Andretti. The lineup will include highlights of many past Daytona 500 races. In addition, ESPN Classic will tribute Jeff Gordon on Friday, Feb. 17, at 5:30 p.m. with an airing of the 1997 Daytona 500, the 15th anniversary of when at 25 he at the time became the youngest-ever winner of NASCAR’s biggest race.
ESPN’S 2012 DAYTONA SPEEDWEEKS SCHEDULE
(all times Eastern)
|Monday, Feb. 13||3-3:30p||NASCAR Now||ESPN2|
|Tuesday, Feb. 14||2:30-3a||NASCAR Now (re-air)||ESPN2|
|Tuesday, Feb. 14||3-3:30p||NASCAR Now||ESPN2|
|Wednesday, Feb. 15||4:30-5a||NASCAR Now (re-air)||ESPN2|
|Wednesday, Feb. 15||3-3:30p||NASCAR Now||ESPN2|
|Thursday, Feb. 16||Noon-3p||NASCAR Now: Media Day Special||ESPNEWS|
|Thursday, Feb. 16||3-3:30p||NASCAR Now||ESPN2|
|Thursday, Feb. 16||5:30-7:30p||Jeff Gordon Tribute – 1997 Daytona 500||ESPN Classic|
|Thursday, Feb. 16||7:30-8p||SportsCentury: Jeff Gordon||ESPN Classic|
|Friday, Feb. 17||3-3:30p||NASCAR Now||ESPN2|
|Saturday, Feb. 18||6-7a||RaceDay||ESPN Radio|
|Sunday, Feb. 19||6-7a||RaceDay||ESPN Radio|
|Sunday, Feb. 19||Noon-1p||NASCAR Now||ESPN2|
|Monday, Feb. 20||9-10a||SportsCentury: Mario Andretti||ESPN Classic|
|Monday, Feb. 20||10-11a||1976 Daytona 500||ESPN Classic|
|Monday, Feb. 20||11a-1p||1984 Daytona 500||ESPN Classic|
|Monday, Feb. 20||1-3p||1985 Daytona 500||ESPN Classic|
|Monday, Feb. 20||3-4p||1979 Daytona 500||ESPN Classic|
|Monday, Feb. 20||3-3:30p||NASCAR Now||ESPN2|
|Monday, Feb. 20||5-6p||SportsCentury: Richard Petty||ESPN Classic|
|Monday, Feb. 20||6-8p||1981 Daytona 500||ESPN Classic|
|Tuesday, Feb. 21||1-3a||1981 Daytona 500||ESPN Classic|
|Tuesday, Feb. 21||3-4a||SportsCentury: Richard Petty||ESPN Classic|
|Tuesday, Feb. 21||11a-noon||SportsCentury: Dale Earnhardt||ESPN Classic|
|Tuesday, Feb. 21||Noon-2p||1991 Daytona 500||ESPN Classic|
|Tuesday, Feb. 21||2-4p||1988 Daytona 500||ESPN Classic|
|Tuesday, Feb. 21||2-2:30p||2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Preview||ESPN2|
|Tuesday, Feb. 21||2:30-3p||2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series Preview||ESPN2|
|Tuesday, Feb. 21||4-6p||1993 Daytona 500||ESPN Classic|
|Tuesday, Feb. 21||3-330p||NASCAR Now||ESPN2|
|Tuesday, Feb. 21||6-8p||1996 Daytona 500||ESPN Classic|
|Wednesday, Feb. 22||1-3a||1998 Daytona 500||ESPN Classic|
|Wednesday, Feb. 22||3-4a||SportsCentury: Dale Earnhardt||ESPN Classic|
|Wednesday, Feb. 22||4-4:30a||NASCAR Now (re-air)||ESPN2|
|Wednesday, Feb. 22||Noon-1p||SportsCentury: Tim Flock||ESPN Classic|
|Wednesday, Feb. 22||1-2p||SportsCentury: Dale Earnhardt Jr.||ESPN Classic|
|Wednesday, Feb. 22||2-4p||1989 Daytona 500||ESPN Classic|
|Wednesday, Feb. 22||2-2:30p||NASCAR Now||ESPN2|
|Wednesday, Feb. 22||4-6p||1999 Daytona 500||ESPN Classic|
|Wednesday, Feb. 22||6-6:30p||SportsCentury: Jeff Gordon||ESPN Classic|
|Wednesday, Feb. 22||6:30-8:30p||1997 Daytona 500||ESPN Classic|
|Wednesday, Feb. 22||8:30-9p||SportsCentury: Jeff Gordon||ESPN Classic|
|Thursday, Feb. 23||1-3a||1997 Daytona 500||ESPN Classic|
|Thursday, Feb. 23||3-4a||SportsCentury: Tony Stewart||ESPN Classic|
|Thursday, Feb. 23||4-4:30a||SportsCentury: Jeff Gordon||ESPN Classic|
|Thursday, Feb. 23||10a-noon||NASCAR Nationwide Series practice||ESPN2|
|Thursday, Feb. 23||11a-1p||1990 Daytona 500||ESPN Classic|
|Thursday, Feb. 23||1-3p||200 Daytona 500||ESPN Classic|
|Thursday, Feb. 23||3-4p||SportsCentury: Dale Earnhardt||ESPN Classic|
|Thursday, Feb. 23||4-6p||1998 Daytona 500||ESPN Classic|
|Thursday, Feb. 23||5:30-6p||NASCAR Now||ESPN2|
|Thursday, Feb. 23||6-7p||SportsCentury: Tony Stewart||ESPN Classic|
|Friday, Feb. 24||3:30-4a||NASCAR Now (re-air)||ESPN2|
|Friday, Feb. 24||1:30-2p||NASCAR Now||ESPN2|
|Friday, Feb. 24||2-4p||NASCAR Nationwide Series Qualifying||ESPN2|
|Saturday, Feb. 25||6-7a||RaceDay||ESPN Radio|
|Saturday, Feb. 25||Noon-115p||NASCAR Countdown||ESPN|
|Saturday, Feb. 25||1:15-4p||NASCAR Nationwide Series race, telecast presented by GoDaddy.com||ESPN|
|Sunday, Feb. 26||4-6a||NASCAR Nationwide Series race (re-air)||ESPN2|
|Sunday, Feb. 26||4-6a||NASCAR Nationwide Series race||ESPN Deportes|
|Sunday, Feb. 26||6-7a||RaceDay||ESPN Radio|
|Sunday, Feb. 26||9-10a||NASCAR Now presented by 5-Hour Energy||ESPN2|
|Sunday, Feb. 26||7-8p||SportsCenter at the Daytona 500||ESPN2|
|Monday, Feb. 27||3-3:30p||NASCAR Now||ESPN2|
|Monday, Feb. 27||TBA||Daytona 500 winner at ESPN||Various outlets|