Veteran broadcast team will host NASCAR on ESPN

Updated: October 20, 2006, 2:25 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Dr. Jerry Punch will call play-by-play, Rusty Wallace will provide analysis and Brent Musburger will host pre-race coverage when ESPN and ABC return to NASCAR coverage in 2007.

Starting next year, ESPN and ABC will have comprehensive coverage featuring telecasts of the final 17 NASCAR Nextel Cup races, including the 10-race "Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup" championship on ABC. Additionally, ESPN2 will televise every race in the NASCAR Busch Series.

Punch is a long-time auto racing voice on ESPN and ABC. He will be joined by 1989 NASCAR champion Wallace and Andy Petree, a former team owner and crew chief for the late Dale Earnhardt. Pit reporters will be Allen Bestwick, Dave Burns, Jamie Little and Mike Massaro.

In addition, 1999 NASCAR champion Dale Jarrett will join Punch and Petree in the booth for select NASCAR Busch Series races on ESPN2 and ABC.

ESPN will have an up-to-the-minute NASCAR Countdown show to immediately precede all Nextel Cup and Busch races televised on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC. Musburger will serve as NASCAR Countdown host for all races airing on ABC, including the "Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup" and select ESPN races, including the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. NASCAR Countdown will be telecast from a new, state-of-the-art mobile pit studio that also will be an integral part of race telecasts.

Musburger will team with former NBA star and NASCAR owner Brad Daugherty, former NASCAR crew chief Frank Stoddard and TV veteran Shannon Spake for NASCAR Countdown shows and during the race telecasts.

NASCAR Now will debut on ESPN2 on Feb. 5, 2007, marking the network's first daily program solely dedicated to NASCAR.

ESPN2 is planning special editions of NASCAR Now to air on the day of all Nextel Cup races, starting with the Daytona 500. A race preview show will air at 11 a.m. ET on race day, with a post-race edition to run on ESPN2 in the evening following the event.

All telecasts will be in high definition.

NASCAR also will be prominent on ESPN's other multimedia platforms, including ESPN.com and ESPN360. ESPN Motion and ESPN PodCenter also will have select live video, on-demand online video and podcasts.

ESPN Deportes also will telecast NASCAR, with Andrés Agulla (play-by-play) and Alex Pombo (analysis).