Speedway Digest Staff
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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.
“FOX Sports has been an outstanding partner for NASCAR and we could not be more pleased with the additional commitment they are making to our sport and the fans,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “FOX Sports has delivered for our fans a number of innovations that have changed how our sport is presented, and our entire industry has now come to expect excellence from NASCAR on FOX. We believe this new agreement underscores our shared commitment to the fans over the next decade.”
FOX Sports began broadcasting live NASCAR races in 2001 and will launch its new all-sports network, FOX Sports 1, on Aug. 17 with a live broadcast of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Michigan International Speedway as the network’s first-ever live event. NASCAR will be an anchor property for FOX Sports 1 and has been a large part of the promotional efforts to launch the new network. This new agreement marks the return of the NASCAR Nationwide Series to FOX Sports, a series it broadcast as part of its original package beginning in 2001.
“FOX Sports is now the exclusive home of NASCAR, the most popular racing series in America, for the first five months of every season through 2024,” said FOX Sports Co-Presidents and COOs Randy Freer and Eric Shanks. “The NASCAR Nationwide Series is second only to NASCAR Sprint Cup as the most-watched form of auto racing in the country. FOX Sports now owns the sport every weekend from Speedweeks and the Daytona 500 through June, and we expect these events to provide significant viewership for FOX Sports 1. The addition of Nationwide to the 1,100 hours of original motorsports programming already scheduled clearly puts FOX Sports at the front of the race to serve motorsports fans in the U.S.”
“We obviously are excited to extend our relationship with FOX Sports with a good balance of racing on the FOX Network,” said NASCAR VP of Broadcasting and Productions Steve Herbst. “NASCAR on FOX has been very popular with NASCAR fans everywhere and we believe its expanded schedule will strengthen its relationship with the fans and provide the sport with many opportunities to cross-promote and grow our combined audiences.”
Summary of FOX Sports’ Exclusive Rights (2015-2024):
· First 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races of each season, including the Daytona 500
o Nine on FOX Sports and seven on FOX Sports 1
· First 14 NASCAR Nationwide Series points races of each season
o Fourteen races on FOX Sports 1
· NASCAR Sprint Unlimited, Budweiser Duel and NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race
· All NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races
The NASCAR Nationwide Series is on a Midwestern swing and that will continue this weekend as the series descends on Iowa Speedway for the second stop at "America's Place to Race". All of our drivers and teams saw success the last time we were in "America's Heartland", therefore standards and spirits are high for this weekend's US Cellular 250.
Bliss to Make Eighth Start at 7/8th Mile Oval (@MikeBliss19)
Saturday's US Cellular 250 will be Mike Bliss' eighth career start at the 7/8th mile track. Bliss earned his season best finish of 10th in Iowa's June race.
"I enjoy racing at Iowa," said Bliss. "I think this track fits my driving style really well. After the disappointing weekend we had last weekend in Indy, I'm optimistic about this weekend's race and how strong we can be."
Hanging on to 13th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Driver Point Standings, Bliss will make his 299th career Nationwide Series start in Iowa.
Jeff Green to Make Sixth Start in the Hawkeye State
Two time NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion Jeff Green will make his sixth start at Iowa Speedway in this weekend's US Cellular 250.
"Iowa has a lot of passionate NASCAR fans," said Green. "I'm looking forward to going out there; it's a great track with a class-A facility."
McClure Looking to Capitalize on Track-Best (@ericmcclure)
Eric McClure will pilot chassis No. 7 for this weekend's US Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway. Chassis No. 7 was the same chassis used when McClure earned his best finish of 18th at Iowa Speedway during the Spring event in "America's Heartland".
In five previous starts at Iowa, the Virginia driver has completed 97% of the total laps attempted and has an average finish of 23.6.
McClure is currently 17th in the Nationwide Series Driver Point Standings and will make his 219th career start as the series races in prime time Saturday night.
"We are bringing the same car we ran in the Spring," said Whitt, who finished 16th at Iowa in June, after rain postponed the race to Sunday. "Unfortunately, the weather conditions didn't help us last time with car set-up. This time I think we have better working knowledge of what to expect with this particular car."
Whitt will make his eighth start for TriStar Motorsports in the No. 44 Toyota Camry with sponsorship from Ferguson.
Just four years ago, Ricky Ehrgott suffered life-threatening injuries while driving a midget at Kokomo Speedway in Indiana, during his months of recovery, the Florida native was not sure if he would every return to the sport he was passionate about. After successful surgery, Ricky utilized his recovery time by finishing his college degree. In December of 2012, he graduated from Fordham University in New York City.
Economics degree in-hand Ehrgott set out to get behind the wheel again, driving in two ARCA races last fall.
This season Ricky has two top-ten finishes in the ARCA series including an impressive third place run at the season opener at Daytona, followed by a ninth place finish at Talladega. This Saturday Ehrgott will take the next step in his racing career, getting behind the wheel of the SS Green Light Racing No. 81 Toyota in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountains 125 at the Pocono Raceway.
Platinum Wealth Partners and Rev1 Power Services will be backing Ehrgott’s foray into the world of NASCAR racing.
Ehrgott began his racing career in 2005 in the United States Auto Club (USAC) running in Focus Midgets, by the time he graduated high school, he was running full-time competing for wins weekly at the national level before the fated flip sidetracked racing for his education.
“This year is kind of my rebuilding year after I got hurt in 2009 and had to have surgery, so I took some time off to finish school so I’m coming back and trying to get back into it. I guess you could say it’s my comeback year,” Ehrgott said. “It was kind of a blessing in disguise as it forced me to get my education and I am learning to use it to help develop relationships with sponsors. It has helped me to develop my relationship with Dave Potter at Platinum Wealth Partners as an advisor and brand ambassador for Platinum.”
“I’m excited because this is my first truck race, it’s the next step for me,” he continued. “We are going to try to do a few more this year with a focus on running full-time next year.”
“My first race was actually the 1999 Indianapolis 500. That was when I realized what I really wanted to do. That was the year Tony Stewart ran the double-duty, I was just blown away by what I saw.”
“This will be my first trip to Pocono, but I have run at Kansas, Daytona and Talladega so I have some experience on the larger tracks,” Ehrgott concluded. “My goal for this week is keep the truck in one piece, to learn as much as I possibly can and to try to salvage a top-ten finish.”
The Pocono Mountains 125 is the 303rd consecutive NCWTS start for the SS Green Light Racing team and the 1st career start for Ehrgott in the Truck Series. Veteran crew chief Brian Berry will oversee Ehrgott’s debut in the NCWTS from atop the SS Green Light Racing pit box.
Practice for the Pocono Mountains 125 will be Friday, August 2nd from 9:00 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. On Sautrday, August 3rd. there will be two laps of qualifying at 10:00 a.m. with the green flag flying for the Pocono Mountains 125 at 1:00 p.m. All times Eastern. The race will be shown live on SPEED TV and will also be broadcast live via on the Motor Racing Network and on SIRIUSXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
SS Green Light Racing PR
Summer is almost over. Fall is around the corner. Before we know it, the Goody’s™Headache Relief Shot™500 Powered by Kroger will be roaring into view.
The Goody’s™Headache Relief Shot™ 500 Powered by Kroger is a Chase race, but not just any Chase race. It’s the seventh race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup and it is the only short-track stop in the Chase. The October 27 showdown will offer the type of action that only a short-track can produce … 500 laps of beating and banging on the historic half-mile oval.
“The Goody’s™Headache Relief Shot™ 500 Powered by Kroger can be a Chase changer,” said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. “You never know what will happen here. Just look what happened two years ago when Tony Stewart won the race and went on to win the championship.”
In that race in the fall of 2011, Stewart took advantage of a late caution to pass leader Jimmie Johnson on a restart with three laps remaining. It was a bold power move to the outside of Johnson going into the first turn. Stewart and Johnson ran side-by-side down the backstretch and Stewart made the outside pass leaving the fourth turn and held off Johnson for the final two circuits.
The win moved Stewart from fourth to second in the standings with three races remaining and eventually led to his third NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.
It was the kind of Chase action that only Martinsville Speedway can produce. Don’t miss out on all of the action in this fall’s Goody’s™Headache Relief Shot™ 500 Powered by Kroger.
Tickets in all areas of the grandstands are now on sale for the Goody’s™Headache Relief Shot™ 500 Powered by Kroger and there are some great deals available.
Tickets for the Goody’s™Headache Relief Shot™ 500 Powered by Kroger start at just $37.
There is also great family and youth pricing for the Goody’s™Headache Relief Shot™500 Powered by Kroger.
- $90 Family Four Pack, two adults, two youth 12 and under in the Clay Earles Tower, rows 6-14. The Clay Earles Tower is located above the second turn.
- $120 Family Four Pack, two adults, two youth 12 and under in the Sprint Tower, rows 6-12. The Sprint Tower is located above the first turn.
- Tickets for youth 12 and under are just $10 in the Clay Earles Tower, rows 15-52. Teen tickets (ages 13-17) in the same area are $25. Youth and teen ticket prices are good with the purchase of an adult ticket.
Tickets for the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday, Oct. 26 are just $30 in advance with youth 12 and under admitted free. Tickets for Pole Day, Friday, Oct. 25, are $15.
Martinsville Speedway PR
The Lakeshore High School band will perform the national anthem before the Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday, Aug. 18. The marching band will represent the state of Michigan at the 70th anniversary celebration of D-Day in Normandy, France in 2014.
“We are proud to have the Lakeshore Band perform our national anthem,” track president Roger Curtis said. “The band has proven to be one of the top bands in the state of Michigan. It will be a truly unique opportunity for our fans to hear the national anthem played.”
The Lakeshore High School band, which has won three Michigan Competing Band Association Flight III State Championships, will play a special tribute to the 419 soldiers of Michigan resting at the Normandy American Cemetery in Normandy, France.
The Stevensville, Mich. based band will collect sand from around the state and place the grains on the graves of the Michigan soldiers as a symbol of remembrance for their sacrifice. The sand will be collected from high schools in Michigan as an educational program and in return, sand from Omaha Beach will be carried back and presented to each school.
Marching students will also wear a ribbon in honor of the last living WWII veterans in the Wolverine State. After the ceremonies, each ribbon will be mailed to a veteran as a symbol of gratitude for service and sacrifice.
“We want to thank MIS for inviting us and giving us the opportunity to share our pride of representing Michigan at the 70th anniversary of D-Day next year,” band director Lori Von Koenig said. “We are grateful for their support as we prepare for D-Day 2014.”
Watkins Glen International and Budweiser have partnered to enhance the fan experience of the Turn 1 Tavern; merging two hospitality areas into the Budweiser Turn 1 Tavern. As part of the merger, Kevin Harvick will make an appearance in the Tavern prior to the Cheez-It™ 355 at The Glen on Sunday.
Watkins Glen introduced the Turn 1 Tavern in 2012 to provide fans in The Ninety, Seneca and Argetsinger grandstands a unique fan hospitality opportunity. Priced at just $75 for the weekend, the Budweiser Turn 1 Tavern includes buffet-style food service on Saturday and Sunday. A la carte food, at a discounted price, is available for purchase on Friday. Discounted beverages are available for purchase Friday through Sunday.
Fans who have already purchased their 2013 Cheez-It™ 355 at The Glen weekend general admission or weekend reserved ticket may add the Budweiser Turn 1 Tavern to their existing order by calling 866.461.RACE.
Mountain Dew today launched ‘Portraits.’ Featuring DEWfamily all-stars including race car driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., pro snowboarder Danny Davis and pro skateboarder Paul Rodriguez, the visually arresting ads are moving portraits that leverage trending technology to showcase some of the most unique and defining aspects of each individuals’ life.
“Mountain Dew has always been a brand that celebrates individuals who identify their passions and pursue them unconditionally,” said Greg Lyons, Vice President of Marketing, Mountain Dew. “For our new ‘Portraits’ ads, we collaborated with Dale Jr., Danny and Paul to create epic visual representations of all the things that they are most passionate about, done in a totally groundbreaking way that only DEW could do.”
Mountain Dew enlisted the animation experts at Psyop to push the spots into the social media and digital age. Weaving in each star’s personality, Psyop designed multiple looping content and complex visual effects to create a distinctly cohesive and dynamic scene while isolating each individual component to move at varying speeds.
VIDEO LINK: Behind-the-Scenes Commercial Shoot
It’s nearly impossible to catch all the unique elements of the ads during the first viewing so, fans can visit www.MountainDew.com/Portraits and delve deeper into the meaning of all the unique components of the ads. Footage taken from the various spots will also be available online as animated GIFs for fans to share through social networks.
All three of the :30-second ‘Portraits’ ads are scheduled to launch on August 3 and will air on national network and cable television throughout the summer.
Join the conversation at #HowWeDew.
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards will make its NBC Sports Network broadcast debut at 11 p.m. ET tonight. The Herr's Chase the Taste 200 from Winchester Speedway will kick off NBC's coverage of the ARCA Racing Series.
The race broadcast will feature the historic 79th career win for nine-time ARCA Champion Frank Kimmel.
"We're thrilled with the new affiliation we have with NBC Sports Network, and can't wait to see the Winchester race broadcast Thursday night," said Mark Gundrum, VP Business Development and Corporate Partnerships for ARCA.
Veteran announcers Rick Benjamin and Jim Tretow provide the commentary on the race broadcast from Winchester.
The four-race NBC Sports Network telecast schedule supplements the existing 10-race broadcast package ARCA has with Fox Sports Media Group.
Here's the complete ARCA lineup for the NBC Sports Network:
Herr's Chase the Taste 200 from Winchester Speedway - the Race was June 30, broadcast is 11 p.m. August 1.
Berlin ARCA 200 at Berlin Raceway - The race is August 10, broadcast is 11 p.m., August 15.
Allen Crowe 100 at Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, Ill. - The race is August 18, broadcast is 11 p.m. August 23.
Herr's Live Life With Flavor 200 at Madison International Speedway - The race is August 25, broadcast is 11 p.m. Aug. 29.
Kimmel's historic victory tied him with legendary ARCA driver Iggy Katona for the all-time series win record. Kimmel will attempt to break that record Friday in the ModSpace 125 at Pocono Raceway, a race that will be broadcast live on SPEED, beginning at 5 p.m. The Pocono event will mark the final time the ARCA Racing Series airs on the network currently known as SPEED, as parent company FOX will rebrand the network as FOX Sports 1 on August 17. ARCA's debut on Fox Sports 1 is scheduled for Saturday, September 7, from Iowa Speedway for the Prairie Meadows 150.
ARCA Racing PR
Fastenal, thelongtime sponsor of Carl Edwards in the No. 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion, will adorn the hood of both NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide cars this weekend. Fastenal will return to the track at Pocono Raceway with Edwards as the primary partner, while Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne will run the No. 6 Fastenal Mustang at the US Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway.
“Fastenal is a great partner with RFR and I'm excited to be part of a double Fastenal race weekend,” said Bayne. “Hopefully, Carl and I can bring two wins home for Fastenal this weekend."
Both Bayne and Edwards ran Fastenal paint schemes in the No. 16 and No. 60 cars in the Nationwide Series in 2011. Bayne’s best finish in the blue and white paint scheme was third place at Charlotte Motor Speedway. This will be his fifth time taking the wheel of a Fastenal Mustang.
"It's cool to be back in the Fastenal Ford this weekend,” Bayne continued. “It's one of my favorite paint schemes, as I've run Fastenal's colors a few times.”
This will be the second season Fastenal has run on both Sprint Cup and Nationwide cars in the same weekend. Last year, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ran in the No. 6 Fastenal Ford in Iowa, where he finished fifth.
“It’d be nice for Fastenal to get that victory,” said Edwards, commenting on this weekend’s Gowbowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway. “It’d be great to get those extra bonus points headed towards the stretch before the chase starts. At the end of the day it’s a fun race track so hopefully we can come out of there with a smile.”
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series returns to Iowa Speedway for the second combination race between the East and West divisions. For East series Rookie of the Year contender, Jesse Little, this weekend's race has he and his Coulter Motorsports team excited for the Midwestern showdown.
"Your always excited to go back to a track that you know you had speed at previously. (Crew chief) Kris (Bowen) and I feel that we have done nothing but improve the handling of the car going back to Iowa," Little said.
Returning to a track for the second time is a benefit in Little's eyes, he added. This will be his third career start at the .750-oval after posting a strong run back in May. With the opportunity to bring a stout NASCAR Technical Institute Chevrolet back to challenge for a win, Little is hopeful of another solid finish.
"We were only a couple of adjustments shy of having a car that could contend for the win. We will have a good baseline to start with and will have a better understanding of the track's tendencies this weekend."
Little and his Performance Friction Brakes pit crew have strung together solid finishes on the short tracks this season and with Iowa being one of the bigger tracks the K&N Pro Series competes at, the third-generation driver knows the preparation for running at higher speeds starts prior to arriving at the track, he noted.
"The mental game is huge wherever we go. I have to run a smart race and give and take. That applies at any and every track. Some features I learn on the smaller tracks can be transferred over to the big ones just on a greater scale."
With the event being a combination race between the two series one aspect of the mental preparation is to return the winner's trophy to the East series after Utah's Michael Self claimed the May race victory, Little explained.
"I think that's the same feeling for every East driver as it is for every West driver and that's trying to keep the title (within their respective series).
News and photos will also be available on Little's Twitter account @jesselittle97 or on the team's Facebook page, Jesse Little Racing. Keep up to date with Coulter Motorsports at coultermotorsports.com as well via their Facebook page and on Twitter @CoutlerMtrsprts.
Jesse Little PR