With the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 just around the corner, ESPN2 is gearing up for the season with the return of its NASCAR Now daily news program covering stock car racing. The series returns Feb. 13 and airs Monday-Friday at 3pm ET, plus a one-hour weekend edition on the morning of race day. New this year, Sprint Cup driver AJ Allmendinger serves as a guest reporter on weekend NASCAR Now editions and his “Daily Dinger” segments will feature interviews with NASCAR insiders about the day’s race. Press release and more details from ESPN:
NASCAR Now Returns to ESPN2 Feb. 13; Allmendinger Joins as Reporter
ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now returns for its sixth season on Monday, Feb. 13, at 3 p.m. ET, coinciding with the week activities begin for NASCAR’s season-opening Daytona 500.
NASCAR Now will air Monday-Friday with half-hour episodes originating from ESPN’s studios in Bristol, Ct. A one-hour weekend edition will air on the morning of each NASCAR Sprint Cup race and NASCAR Now will air a weekend wrap-up edition starting with the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the Shell-Pennzoil Dodge for Penske Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, joins NASCAR Now this season as a guest reporter for the weekend edition programs. “The Daily Dinger” segment will feature Allmendinger in off-beat interviews around the racetracks with drivers, crew chiefs, fans and others or reporting on a unique aspect of that day’s race.
Mike Massaro will continue as the primary host of NASCAR Now with ongoing hosts Allen Bestwick, Nicole Briscoe, Marty Reid and Shannon Spake. ESPN SportsCenter anchors Lindsay Czarniak, Michael Yam and Michelle Bonner also will fill in as occasional NASCAR Now hosts. Marty Smith will again be the lead reporter for the program while Briscoe, Massaro and Spake will also serve as reporters.
Former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie of the year Ricky Craven will continue as an analyst for NASCAR Now and other ESPN studio programs such as SportsCenter. ESPN NASCAR analysts Dale Jarrett, Rusty Wallace, Andy Petree, Tim Brewer and Brad Daugherty also will contribute to NASCAR Now as will ESPN pit reporters Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch. NASCAR Now also will continue to have contributions from ESPN.com motorsports writers Ed Hinton, Terry Blount and David Newton along with ESPN the Magazine senior writer Ryan McGee and former NASCAR pit crew member D.J. Copp.
The program will originate from Daytona International Speedway for three shows surrounding the Daytona 500. In past years, NASCAR Now also has originated from remote locations including the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the White House, Chicago’s Navy Pier and other racetracks.
NASCAR Now and 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.