NASCAR on NBC
|NASCAR on NBC|
|Genre||Auto racing telecasts|
(for other reporters and former staff, see announcers section below)
|Theme music composer||
Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield|
& Lars Ulrich (2001–2003)
|Opening theme||"Fuel" by Metallica (2001–2003)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||8|
Various NASCAR racetracks (race telecasts, and pre-race shows)|
NBC Studios, New York City, New York (studio segments)
Pre-race: 30 minutes to 1 hour|
Race: 2.5 to 5 hours (depending on race length)
|Production company(s)||NBC Sports|
NBC (1999–2006, 2015–present)|
CNBC (2006, post race coverage only; 2015–present, practice and qualifying coverage)
USA Network (overflow)
mun2/NBC Universo (2014–present)
|Related shows||NASCAR on TNT|
NASCAR on NBC (visually branded as NBC NASCAR in logos shown within on-air graphics and network promotions) is the branding used for broadcasts of NASCAR races that are produced by NBC Sports, and televised on several NBCUniversal-owned television networks, including the NBC broadcast network in the United States. The network originally aired races, typically during the second half of the season, from 1999 to 2006.
On July 23, 2013, NBC signed a new agreement with NASCAR to obtain the rights to races from the Sprint Cup Series, Xfinity Series, K&N Pro Series and Whelen Modified Tour seasons starting in 2015. In addition, NBCUniversal also gained the rights to the NASCAR Toyota Series starting in 2014, airing on its Spanish-language networks Telemundo and mun2 channels initially for selected races, with NBC obtaining Spanish-language rights to all NASCAR series starting in 2015.
- 1 History
- 2 On-air staff
- 3 References
- 4 External links
Prior to the original 1999 contract between NASCAR and NBC, the network aired races such as the National 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway from 1979 to 1981, the Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway from 1983 to 1985, and the Miami 300 and Pennzoil 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in both 1999 and 2000.
Original run (2001–2006)
On November 11, 1999, NASCAR signed a five-year, US$2.48 billion contract which split the American television rights for NASCAR races between Fox, its cable partner FX, NBC and Turner Sports, running from the 2001 through 2006 racing seasons. Under the deal, Fox and FX would cover the first half of the season, while NBC and TBS covered races held during the second half. Shortly after the 2001 season began, and before the second half of the season began, on March 27, 2001, the Turner Broadcasting System decided to make TNT as the cable partner for its NASCAR coverage instead of TBS, citing that the races would fit better with the network's "We Know Drama" rebranding campaign.
Daytona 500 and Pepsi 400 coverage
In addition to dividing the season's races between the two networks and their cable partners, the 2001 television contract called for Fox and NBC to share broadcast rights for the races at Daytona International Speedway. In odd-numbered years, Fox would have the rights for the Daytona 500 with NBC televising the Pepsi 400. In even-numbered years, NBC would air the Daytona 500 while Fox received the Pepsi 400.
When the 2007 contract was signed, Fox gained the exclusive broadcast rights to the Daytona 500 for eight years, with TNT picking up rights to the now-Coke Zero 400.
The start time for the Daytona 500 had progressively moved later into the day. In 2001, the start time was 1:15 p.m. Eastern Time, and was shifted back to 12:45 p.m. Eastern in 2002 (to accommodate NBC's broadcast of the Winter Olympics); however in 2003, the start time was moved forward to 1:01 p.m. Eastern (it was originally scheduled to begin at 1:28 p.m. however NASCAR tried to start the race before rain approached the racetrack, which stopped the race prematurely). In 2004, the start time was 1:52 p.m., and the 2005 and 2006 races started at 2:45 p.m. while the 2007 race began at 3:30 p.m.
A segment featured during the telecasts was the "Aflac Trivia Question", in which Benny Parsons "cued the duck" followed by the Aflac Duck walking across the screen to serve as the toss to the trivia question. The "Golden Benny" segment, featured from 2001 to 2002 (which used Elton John's "Bennie and the Jets" as its theme), was an award selected by Parsons in which he gave a golden trophy to a team member in the NASCAR community for outstanding performance during the previous week's race.
During the broadcasts' opening sequence later in the run of the initial contract, a driver can be heard shouting over his radio, "Good job guys, good job." The audio for this clip was taken from Rusty Wallace after his win during the spring 2004 race at Martinsville Speedway.
The Metallica song "Fuel" was used as the theme song for NBC and TNT's NASCAR broadcasts from mid-2001 to the 2003 season, and was also used for the 2004 Daytona 500 (which aired on NBC), with the song's instrumental backing used as background music and commercial bumpers. However, for part of the 2001 season, the opening scream used in the opening was removed because of its close association with terrorists in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The pre-release version of the song entitled "Fuel For Fire" (with different lyrics) was released as part of the NASCAR Full Throttle CD.
Some fans reacted negatively to NBC's coverage, claiming that it was largely inferior to Fox in terms of both technological capabilities and bland commentators. Wally Dallenbach and Bill Weber were viewed as monotone and boring in their delivery, compared to Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip. Statistically after its first season, Fox race telecasts had more viewers than those on NBC during 2001.
NBC was also criticized by fans for incorporating long commercial breaks during the race, much longer than the breaks that Fox would run during its race telecasts. Two glaring problems with the NBC coverage were that restarts were often missed due to these extended commercial breaks, that breaks during green flag runs were too frequent. Fans and media columnists used "Nothing But Commercials," as a jocular acronym for NBC's coverage. This cliché was mocked in the film Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, during a scene in which NBC is shown to take a quick commercial break during a race (with a commercial for Applebee's) when Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) and Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen) wreck their cars in a very long-lasting crash (NBC's team announcing team at the time of Weber, Dallenbach and Parsons had cameos during the scene covering the fictional race).
By 2004, however, NBC had made substantial improvements in regards to both technology and commentating. Although NASCAR and NBC ended their partnership after the 2006 season, many fans hoped that they could reunite in the next television contract in spite of problems with partners ESPN and TNT.
NASCAR leaves NBC
The restructured broadcast deal awarded Fox the rights to the Daytona 500 from 2007 until 2014. The contract also allowed ESPN and ABC to regain NASCAR rights, taking the second half of the season's races; meanwhile, TNT retained its broadcast rights and signed a contract to air six mid-season races. The ESPN family of networks became the exclusive home of the NASCAR Busch/Nationwide Series as part of the contract, replacing TNT, NBC, Fox and FX as broadcasters.
As the NFL and NASCAR contracts overlapped during the 2006 Chase for the Nextel Cup, some of NBC's post-race shows were moved to CNBC in order to allow the broadcast network's NFL pre-game show Football Night in America to start on time.
NASCAR returns to NBC
On July 23, 2013, NASCAR announced a nine-year contract with NBC Sports to broadcast the final 20 races of the Sprint Cup Series season (from the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway through the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead), the final 19 races of the Xfinity Series season, along with coverage of select regional series events and Mexico's Toyota Series, succeeding both former partner TNT, and ESPN. The deal also awarded NBC Sports the rights to provide coverage on digital platforms, rights to Spanish-language coverage for Telemundo and mun2 (now NBC Universo), broadcast rights to the NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony and post-season awards banquets. Running from 2015 to 2024, NBC Sports took over the portion of the contract previously held by ESPN and Turner Sports. The majority of NBC's NASCAR coverage under the new contract will air on NBCSN, however selected events will be broadcast by the NBC broadcast network. While financial details were not disclosed, NBC reportedly paid 50% more than the $2.7 billion paid by ESPN and Turner combined under the previous contract.
Former Turner Sports executive Jeff Behnke serves as vice president of NASCAR programming for NBC Sports. On December 3, 2013, Jeff Burton was confirmed as the first member of the broadcast team.
On December 4, 2013, Rick Allen, who previously worked at Fox Sports as an announcer for its Camping World Truck Series coverage, signed a multi-year contract to serve as the lead announcer for NBC's race broadcasts. On January 9, 2014, it was confirmed that Steve Letarte would leave his role as Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s crew chief at Hendrick Motorsports and join NBC Sports as a color analyst. Behnke explained that the on-air makeup of NBC Sports' broadcasts would have "a relevancy that hasn't been seen in a long, long time", citing the recent involvements of both Burton and Letarte in NASCAR prior to their move to broadcasting.
Leigh Diffey, lead announcer for NBC's Formula 1 & IndyCar coverage, announced via Twitter he will be commentating some Xfinity races for NBC. According to the announcement, he will be lead play-by-play at six races in 2015 which fall on non-open wheel racing weekends.
The pit reporters for 2015 consist of Dave Burns, Mike Massaro, Marty Snider, and Kelli Stavast. Burns and Snider were with NBC's original NASCAR pit crew, while Massaro joins from ESPN's NASCAR team and Stavast from the network's sports car coverage. The pre-race show will be hosted by former Fox reporter Krista Voda along with former ESPN analyst Dale Jarrett, former TNT analyst Kyle Petty, and Top Gear host Rutledge Wood.
NBC began to lead into its new contract in February 2014 with the premiere of a nightly news and analysis program, NASCAR America, on NBCSN, and a broadcast of the Toyota 120 from Phoenix International Raceway – the opening event of the 2014 season of the NASCAR Toyota Series, on mun2.
The first race produced by NBC Sports under the new contract was The Hart to Heart Breast Cancer Foundation 150 (The first race of the 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season) in New Smyrna Speedway (New Smyrna Beach, Florida), and was aired on February 19 on NBCSN.
Sprint Cup Series Lineup
|1||Coke Zero 400||NBC|
|2||Quaker State 400||NBCSN|
|3||Camping World RV Sales 301||NBCSN|
|6||Cheez-It 355 at The Glen||NBCSN|
|7||Pure Michigan 400||NBCSN|
|8||Irwin Tools Night Race||NBCSN|
|9||Bojangles Southern 500||NBC|
|10||Federated Auto Parts 400||NBCSN|
|14||Bank of America 500||NBC|
|15||Hollywood Casino 400||NBC|
|17||Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500||NBCSN|
|18||AAA Texas 500||NBC|
|19||Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500||NBC|
|20||Ford EcoBoost 400||NBC|
Xfinity Series Lineup
|1||Subway Firecracker 250||NBCSN|
|2||John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300||NBCSN|
|4||Lilly Diabetes 250||NBC|
|5||U.S. Cellular 250||NBCSN|
|6||Zippo 200 at the Glen||NBCSN|
|7||Nationwide Children's Hospital 200||NBCSN|
|8||Food City 300||NBCSN|
|9||Gardner Denver 200||NBCSN|
|10||VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200||NBC|
|11||Virginia 529 College Savings 250||NBCSN|
|12||Jimmy John's Freaky Fast 300||NBCSN|
|15||Drive for the Cure 300||NBCSN|
|16||Kansas Lottery 300||NBC|
|17||O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge||NBCSN|
|19||Ford EcoBoost 300||NBC|
- Rick Allen – lap-by-lap announcer
- Leigh Diffey - lap-by-lap announcer (six Xfinity Series races) 
- Jeff Burton – color analyst
- Steve Letarte – color analyst
- Dave Burns - lap-by-lap announcer (K&N Pro Series)
- Ralph Sheheen – lap-by-lap announcer (K&N Pro Series, Whelen Modified Tour & Whelen Southern Modified Tour)
- Ray Evernham – color analyst (Whelen Modified Tour & Whelen Southern Modified Tour)
- Frank Stoddard - color analyst (K&N Pro Series)
Pre-race and post-race shows
- Dave Burns
- Kelli Stavast
- Marty Snider
- Mike Massaro
- Jason Weigandt - (K&N Pro Series)
- Heather Debeaux - (K&N Pro Series)
- Derek Pernesiglio - (K&N Pro Series, Whelen Modified Tour)
- Allen Bestwick – lap-by-lap announcer/pit reporter (1999–2006, now with ESPN covering the IndyCar Series).
- Lindsay Czarniak – pit reporter (2005–2006, now an ESPN SportsCenter anchor)
- Wally Dallenbach, Jr. – color analyst (2001–2006, now with Fox NASCAR)
- Joe Gibbs – color analyst (1999)
- Benny Parsons – color analyst (2000–2006; died in January 2007)
- Dorsey Schroeder – pit reporter (1999, now with Fox Sports covering the United SportsCar Championship)
- Mike Wallace – color analyst (1999)
- Bill Weber – host/pit reporter/lap-by-lap announcer (2001–2006)
- Brian Williams – host (1999)
- Matt Yocum – pit reporter (2001–2006, Now with Fox NASCAR)
- Christley, Jason (February 15, 2015). "Hill Keeps On Rolling In New Year". NASCAR.com. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
- "NBC wins rights to second half of NASCAR Sprint Cup season; pushes out ESPN, Turner". SBNation.com. July 23, 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
- "NBC wins NASCAR TV rights, signs 10-year deal to replace ESPN, Turner". The Sporting News. July 23, 2013. Retrieved July 24, 2013.
- "NASCAR and NBC Sports Group Reach Landmark Media Rights Agreement". NBC Sports Group Press Box. July 23, 2013. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
- "Gentlemen, start your camera crews: NBC revs up Charlotte TV outpost". Charlotte Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
- David Caraviello (December 3, 2013). "Burton to join NBC broadcast team in 2015". NASCAR. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
- "NBC tabs Rick Allen as lead race announcer". NASCAR. December 4, 2013. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
- Jenna Fryer (January 9, 2014). "Steve Letarte to join NBC Sports in 2015". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
- Jim Utter (January 11, 2014). "Sources: NBC inches closer to finalizing on-air broadcasting lineup for 2015.". The News & Observer. Retrieved January 12, 2014.
- Estrada (January 22, 2014). "Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast added to NBC’s NASCAR on-air team". NBC Sports. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
- "NASCAR on NBC includes Charlotte flavor". Charlotte Business Journal. American City Business Journals. January 28, 2015.
- "NBC Sports adds Krista Voda to 2015 lineup". NASCAR. October 29, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
- "Mexico Series Returns To Phoenix For Opener mun2 Hispanic Cable Network Will Broadcast Toyota 120 Live". NASCAR.com. February 7, 2014. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
- Chris Estrada (February 3, 2015). "2015 NASCAR touring series TV schedule on NBCSN". NBC Sports. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
- "NASCAR TV schedule: Week of Feb. 16-Feb. 22". NASCAR.com. February 15, 2015. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
- Estrada, Chris (February 19, 2015). "WATCH: K&N East season opener at New Smyrna, 10:30 p.m. ET". NASCAR Talk (NBC Sports). Retrieved April 6, 2015.
- Bonkowski, Jerry (April 15, 2015). "Ray Evernham, Ralph Sheheen to broadcast all 14 Whelen Modified, Southern Modified Tour races in 2015". NASCAR Talk (NBC Sports). Retrieved April 20, 2015.
|Daytona 500 television broadcaster
2001 - 2006 (even numbered years only; Fox aired the Daytona 500 in odd numbered years)
| Succeeded by|