2012 NASCAR on ESPN schedule

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While ESPN won’t have coverage of the Sprint Cup Series until late July, ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC are the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season long. Coverage of the Nationwide Series begins on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 12pm ET with the Drive4COPD 300 from Daytona International Speedway. Highlights of the Sprint Cup Series schedule include the Brickyard 400 from Indianapolis Motor Speedway (July 29, ESPN), the Irwin Tools Night Race from Bristol Motor Speedway (Aug. 25, ABC), the Wonderful Pistachios 400 from Richmond International Raceway (Sept. 8, ABC), and all 10 races from the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup beginning Sept. 16 with the Geico 400 from Chicagoland Speedway on ESPN. 2012 NASCAR on ESPN press release and schedule below:

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ESPN’S NASCAR Coverage Set to Take Green Flag at Daytona

ESPN’s coverage of the 2012 NASCAR season launches with a live, flag-to-flag telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 25, on ESPN. The telecast is presented by GoDaddy.com and begins at noon ET with NASCAR Countdown. The 300-mile race’s green flag flies at 1:34 p.m.

All 33 races on the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule this season will appear on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC. ESPN also will televise the final 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races of the season, including all 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Fourteen of the 17 races will air on ESPN, with three Saturday night races appearing on ABC. ESPN’s NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage begins July 29 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway while the Chase begins Sept. 16 at Chicagoland Speedway.

In addition to race coverage for both series, the networks also will televise practice and qualifying from select races, season preview and review programs and a special Chase preview. Races include NASCAR Countdown, a dedicated pre-race program, and comprehensive coverage of NASCAR appears on ESPN2’s NASCAR news and information program, NASCAR Now.

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.

ESPN’s team of announcers has five former NASCAR Sprint Cup champions in analyst roles in 2012, including 1999 champion driver Dale Jarrett and 1989 champion Rusty Wallace. Two-time champion crew chiefs Tim Brewer and Andy Petree also will offer expert analysis during the season while three-time champion crew chief Ray Evernham returns to ESPN this season after taking the 2011 season off.

Lap-by-lap announcer Allen Bestwick will join Jarrett and Petree in the booth for race telecasts, with pit reporters Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch. From the ESPN Pit Studio, Nicole Briscoe will host NASCAR Countdown with analysts Wallace and Brad Daugherty, joined by Evernham for selected races, mostly in the second half of the season. Brewer will report from the Emmy-winning ESPN Tech Garage during race telecasts to help viewers better understand the technical and mechanical aspects of NASCAR racing.

Marty Reid will step into the lap-by-lap announcer position for NASCAR Nationwide Series telecasts once ESPN’s NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage begins, with Bestwick calling the Cup races. Reid also will call selected Nationwide Series races in the first half of the season while continuing his role as lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN on ABC’s telecasts of the IZOD IndyCar Series.

Wallace, Evernham and NASCAR Now analyst Ricky Craven also will help call some races from the booth as fill-ins for Jarrett and Petree. NASCAR Now co-hosts Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake will work as pit reporters for selected races as will Rick DeBruhl, a pit reporter on ESPN’s coverage of the IZOD IndyCar Series, and Jim Noble.

ESPN’s NASCAR race telecasts will be produced under the oversight of ESPN vice president, motorsports, Rich Feinberg and coordinating producer Kate Jackson. NASCAR Sprint Cup races and selected Nationwide Series races will be produced by Jamie Shiftan while Jim Gaiero will produce other Nationwide Series races. Richie Basile will be director.

ESPN’s multimedia approach to coverage of NASCAR touches multiple ESPN platforms, including ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN2, ESPN2 HD, ABC, ABC HD, WatchESPN, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, ESPNEWS, ESPN Radio, ESPN International, ESPN Mobile, espnW and Jayski.com.

NASCAR race schedules for the ESPN Networks in 2012 are as follows:

2012 NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES SCHEDULE ON ESPN NETWORKS

Date                 Site                                                                              Network            Time

July 29 Indianapolis Motor Speedway ESPN 1 p.m.
Aug. 5 Pocono Raceway ESPN 1 p.m.
Aug. 12 Watkins Glen International ESPN 1 p.m.
Aug. 19 Michigan International Speedway ESPN 1 p.m.
Aug. 25 Bristol Motor Speedway ABC 7:30 p.m.
Sep. 2 Atlanta Motor Speedway ESPN 7:30 p.m.
Sep. 8 Richmond International Raceway ABC 7:30 p.m.
Sep. 16 Chicagoland Speedway ESPN 2 p.m.
Sep. 23 New Hampshire Motor Speedway ESPN 2 p.m.
Sep. 30 Dover International Speedway ESPN 2 p.m.
Oct. 7 Talladega Superspeedway ESPN 2 p.m.
Oct. 13 Charlotte Motor Speedway ABC 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 21 Kansas Speedway ESPN 2 p.m.
Oct. 28 Martinsville Speedway ESPN 2 p.m.
Nov. 4 Texas Motor Speedway ESPN 3 p.m.
Nov. 11 Phoenix International Raceway ESPN 3 p.m.
Nov. 18 Homestead-Miami Speedway ESPN 3 p.m.

2012 NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES SCHEDULE

Date                 Site                                                                              Network            Time

Feb. 25 Daytona International Speedway ESPN 1:15 p.m.
March 3 Phoenix International Raceway ESPN2 4:30 p.m.
March 10 Las Vegas Motor Speedway ESPN2 5 p.m.
March 17 Bristol Motor Speedway ESPN 2 p.m.
March 24 Auto Club Speedway ESPN 5:30 p.m.
Apr. 13 Texas Motor Speedway ESPN2 8:30 p.m.
Apr. 27 Richmond International Raceway ESPN2 7:30 p.m.
May 5 Talladega Superspeedway ABC 3:15 p.m.
May 11 Darlington Raceway ESPN2 7 p.m.
May 20 Iowa Speedway ESPN 2 p.m.
May 26 Charlotte Motor Speedway ABC 2:45 p.m.
June 2 Dover International Speedway ESPN 2 p.m.
June 16 Michigan International Speedway ABC 3:45 p.m.
June 23 Road America ESPN 3:30 p.m.
June 29 Kentucky Speedway ESPN2 7:30 p.m.
July 6 Daytona International Speedway ESPN 7:30 p.m.
July 14 New Hampshire Motor Speedway ESPN 3:30 p.m.
July 22 Chicagoland Speedway ESPN 3 p.m.
July 28 Indianapolis Motor Speedway ESPN 4:30 p.m.
Aug. 4 Iowa Speedway ESPN2 8 p.m.
Aug. 11 Watkins Glen International ABC 2:15 p.m.
Aug. 18 Circuit Gilles Villeneuve ESPN 2:30 p.m.
Aug. 24 Bristol Motor Speedway ESPN 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 1 Atlanta Motor Speedway ESPN2 7 p.m.
Sept. 7 Richmond International Raceway ESPN 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 15 Chicagoland Speedway ESPN2 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 22 Kentucky Speedway ESPN 4 p.m.
Sept. 29 Dover International Speedway ESPN2 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 12 Charlotte Motor Speedway ESPN2 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 20 Kansas Speedway ESPN 3:30 p.m.
Nov. 3 Texas Motor Speedway ESPN 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 10 Phoenix International Raceway ESPN 4 p.m.
Nov. 17 Homestead-Miami Speedway ESPN2 4:30 p.m.

Photo: Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR

About Ryan Berenz

Star Wars nerd. Adult Fan of LEGO (AFOL). Father of two. Husband of one. I write about sports on TV because I am bad at sports in real life.
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