GLENDORA, Calif. - The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) has announced a first-ever, multi-year agreement with ESPN2 and TNN to provide same-day or live coverage of the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series beginning in 2000, NHRA President Tom Compton announced.
The two cable networks will combine to air more than 108 hours of original programming for the $40 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. In all, ESPN2 will televise 14 events, while TNN will air eight, including the most prestigious drag race in the world, the 46th U.S. Nationals from Indianapolis Raceway Park. It also was announced that during the first year of the television package, Speedvision and Fox Sports will carry two events.
Highlighting the new television package is the return of an NHRA video magazine show featuring the drivers and personalities of the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. The show will air each week prior to a national event on ESPN2 as a lead-in to one of ESPN2's most popular features, RPM2Night . The 30-minute show will run every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. (ET), debuting on Feb. 3, prior to the season-opening AutoZone Winternationals in Pomona, Calif.
"Today, I'm proud to unveil a television package with two quality partners, ESPN2 and TNN, that signifies the best-ever in the history of the NHRA Winston Drag Racing series," said Compton. "We have the most exciting form of motorsports in the world, and this schedule provides the consistency necessary to drive tune-in, increase our fan base and deliver results to our sponsors. Most importantly, with the return of an NHRA magazine show, our fans will be better informed about our events and know exactly where to find us on the television."
ESPN2's NHRA event lineup includes the season book-end events at Pomona, Calif., the historic Mac Tools Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., the Matco Tools Spring SuperNationals in Englishtown, N.J., the FRAM Route 66 Nationals in Chicago, as well as national events in Columbus, Ohio, Denver, Seattle, Sonoma, Calif., Reading, Pa., Dallas and Houston. ESPN2 also will televise the second annual Winston Showdown at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway, NHRA's all-star event.
The Sears Craftsman Nationals in St. Louis, with eliminations contested Saturday night under the lights, will be shown the following day on ESPN2.
In addition to the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis, TNN will feature the inaugural Las Vegas Nationals, the Advance Auto Parts NHRA Southern Nationals in Atlanta, the Castrol Nationals in Dallas on Memorial Day weekend, as well as national event coverage from events in Houston, Richmond, Va., Brainerd, Minn. and Topeka, Kan.
TNN also will provide coverage of the Big Bud Shootout at Indianapolis, a special event for qualified Funny Car entries.
Speedvision and Fox Sports will televise events in Phoenix and Memphis, Tenn., completing the final year of an agreement made with the NHRA in 1998.
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., the NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. It presents 23 national events through its NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. The NHRA has 85,000 members nationwide and 142 member tracks. The NHRA-sanctioned sportsman and bracket racing series' provide competition opportunities for drivers of all levels. The NHRA develops the stars of tomorrow by offering the Federal-Mogul Drag Racing Series, NHRA Summit Racing E.T. Drag Racing Series and the Street Legal Program. The NHRA also offers the Jr. Drag Racing League for youths ages 8 to 17.
2000 NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES TELEVISION SCHEDULE EVENT NETWORK AIR DATE/TIME AUTOZONE WINTERNATIONALS ESPN2 Qualifying, Feb.5, 9:30-11:30 p.m. (ET) Pomona, Calif. Eliminations, Feb. 6, 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (ET) Eliminations, Feb. 11, noon-2:00 p.m. (ET) CHECKER SCHUCK'S KRAGEN NATIONALS SPEEDVISION Eliminations, Feb. 27, 7-8:30 p.m. (ET) Phoenix FOX SPORTS NET Eliminations, Feb. 27, midnight-1:30 a.m (ET) MAC TOOLS GATORNATIONALS ESPN2 Qualifying, March 18, 8-10 p.m. (ET) Gainesville, Fla. Eliminations, March 19, 5-7 p.m. (ET) Eliminations, March 21, 2-3 p.m. (ET) LAS VEGAS NATIONALS TNN Eliminations, April 9, 10:30 p.m.-midnight (ET) Las Vegas O'REILLY NATIONALS TNN Eliminations, April 16, 4:30-6 p.m. (ET) presented by Pennzoil Houston VIRGINIA NATIONALS TNN Eliminations, April 30, 4:30-6 p.m. (ET) Richmond, Va. ADVANCE AUTO PARTS TNN Eliminations, May 7, 4:30-6 p.m. (ET) NHRA SOUTHERN NATIONALS Eliminations, May 8, midnight-1:30 a.m. (ET) Atlanta MATCO TOOLS SPRING SUPERNATIONALS ESPN2 Qualifying, May 20, 7-9 p.m. (ET) Englishtown, N.J. Eliminations, May 21, 9:30-11:30 p.m. (ET) Eliminations, May 23, 3-4 a.m. (ET) CASTROL NATIONALS TNN Eliminations, May 28, 4:30-6 p.m. (ET) presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts Dallas FRAM ROUTE 66 NATIONALS ESPN2 Qualifying, June 3, 8-10 p.m. (ET) Chicago Eliminations, June 4, 5-7 p.m. (ET) Eliminations, June 6, 4-5 a.m. (ET) PONTIAC EXCITEMENT NATIONALS ESPN2 Qualifying, June 17, 7:30-9:30 p.m. (ET) presented by Summit Racing Eliminations, June 18, 5-7 p.m. (ET) Columbus, Ohio Eliminations, June 22, 2:30-3:30 a.m. (ET) SEARS CRAFTSMAN NATIONALS ESPN2 Qualifying, June 24, 8-10 p.m. (ET) Madison, Ill. Eliminations, June 25, 9:30-11:30 p.m. (ET) Eliminations, June 29, 2-3 a.m. (ET) WINSTON SHOWDOWN* ESPN2 Qualifying, July 8, 10 p.m.-midnight (ET) Bristol, Tenn. Eliminations, July 9, 9:30-11:30 p.m. (ET) Eliminations, July 11, 3:30-5:30 a.m. (ET) MOPAR PARTS MILE-HIGH NATIONALS ESPN2 Qualifying, July 15, 10 p.m.-midnight (ET) Denver Eliminations, July 16, 9:30-11:30 p.m. (ET) Eliminations, July 18, 3:30-4:30 a.m. (ET) PROLONG NORTHWEST NATIONALS ESPN2 Qualifying, July 29, 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (ET) presented by Al's Auto Supply Eliminations, July 30, 7-9 p.m. (ET) Seattle Eliminations, Aug. 1, 3:30-4:30 a.m. (ET) AUTOLITE NATIONALS ESPN2 Qualifying, Aug. 5, 10 p.m.-midnight (ET) Sonoma, Calif. Eliminations, Aug. 6, 9:30-11:30 p.m. (ET) Eliminations, Aug. 9, 4-5 a.m. (ET) COLONEL'S TRUCK ACCESSORIES NATIONALS TNN Eliminations, Aug. 20, 4:30-6 p.m. (ET) Brainerd, Minn. U.S. NATIONALS TNN Big Bud Shootout, Sept. 3, 4-6 p.m. (ET) Indianapolis Big Bud Shootout, Sept. 4, midnight-2 a.m. (ET) Qualifying/first round, Sept. 4, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (ET) Eliminations, Sept. 4, 4-6 p.m. (ET) KEYSTONE NATIONALS ESPN2 Eliminations, Sept. 17, 9:30-11:30 p.m. (ET) Reading, Pa. ADVANCE AUTO PARTS NATIONALS TNN Eliminations, Oct. 1, 4:30-6 p.m. (ET) Topeka, Kan. AUTOZONE NATIONALS SPEEDVISION Eliminations, Oct. 8, 5-6:30 p.m. (ET) presented by Pennzoil FOX SPORTS NET Eliminations, Oct. 8, Midnight-1:30 a.m. (ET) Memphis, Tenn. O'REILLY FALL NATIONALS ESPN2 Qualifying, Oct. 22, 12:30-1:30 p.m. (ET) presented by Castrol Syntec Eliminations, Oct. 22, 6-9 p.m. (ET) Dallas Eliminations, Oct. 24, 3-4 a.m. (ET) MATCO TOOLS SUPERNATIONALS ESPN2 Qualifying, Oct. 29, 2-3 p.m. (ET) presented by Racing Champions Eliminations, Oct. 29, 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (ET) Houston Eliminations, Oct. 31, 3-4 a.m. (ET) AUTOMOBILE CLUB OF SOUTHERN ESPN2 Qualifying, Nov. 12, 12:30-1:30 a.m. (ET) CALIFORNIA NHRA FINALS Eliminations, Nov. 12, 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (ET) Pomona, Calif. Eliminations, Nov. 14, 3-4 a.m. (ET) *NHRA's All-Star Event (Dates and times subject to change -- check your local listings)
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