NASCAR on NBC
|NASCAR on NBC|
|Genre||Auto racing telecasts|
|Presented by||Rick Allen
(for other reporters and former staff, see announcers section below)
|Theme music composer||Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield
& Lars Ulrich (2001–2003)
Jess Leary & Anthony Smith (2015-2016)
|Opening theme||"Fuel" by Metallica (2001–2003)
"Bringing Back the Sunshine" by Blake Shelton (2015-2016)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||8|
|Location(s)||Various NASCAR racetracks (race telecasts, and pre-race shows)
NBC Sports, Stamford, Connecticut (studio segments)
NBC Studios, New York City, New York (studio segments)
|Running time||Pre-race: 30 minutes to 1 hour
Race: 2.5 to 5 hours (depending on race length)
|Production company(s)||NBC Sports|
|Original network||NBC (1999–2006, 2015–present)
CNBC (2006, post race coverage only; 2015–present, practice and qualifying coverage, 2016–present, Xfinity races)
USA Network (2016–present, Sprint Cup and Xfinity races)
NBC Sports Live Extra & Comcast Sportsnet (2015–present, practice and qualifying coverage)
mun2/NBC Universo (2014–present)
|Picture format||480i (SDTV),
|Preceded by||NASCAR on CBS (shared with NASCAR on FOX until 2006)|
|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 Music
- 3 On-air staff
- 4 References
- 5 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. The contract began in 2001 and went as follows.
- Fox and FX would air races in the first half of the season, with their slate of events coming to an end with the Sonoma event most years.
- NBC would partner with TBS, Turner's long time home for NASCAR, and cover the remainder of the season beginning with the July races.
- As part of the contract, the Daytona 500 would be shared between Fox and NBC. Fox had the rights to the race, as well as the Budweiser Shootout, the Busch Series event, and all qualifying events including the qualifying races, in odd numbered years while NBC would air those events in even numbered years. The network that did not air the Daytona 500 would instead air the 400 mile Fourth of July event then known as the Pepsi 400.
As 2001 began, however, Turner Sports decided to make a change to its broadcast arrangement. At the time, Turner Broadcasting was in the midst of a format change for its cable channel TNT that was to make it a drama-centric network. To keep with the branding the network took on, "We Know Drama", Turner Sports decided to make TNT be NBC's cable partner and end the seventeen-year relationship TBS had with NASCAR.
Some of the regular features of NBC's race coverage were:
- The Aflac Trivia Question, which Benny Parsons always introduced by saying "cue the duck".
- "Wally's World", where Wally Dallenbach would take a lap around the race track. In the earliest form, the segment was an analysis segment where Dallenbach told the viewers what the drivers could expect. Later, he would conduct an interview with a celebrity guest who took the ride with him.
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 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
In mid-October 2005, NBC announced that it might not renew its contract end of the NASCAR contract after the 2006 season, largely because of its acquisition of the Sunday Night Football telecast from ESPN.
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 (although the Mexico Series race at Phoenix International Raceway began in 2014), 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, including the Coke Zero 400, the Southern 500 at Darlington, the Chase races at Charlotte and Kansas, and the last three races (Texas, Phoenix and Homestead-Miami) consecutively. 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.
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 U.S.-series race under the contract was the The Hart to Heart Breast Cancer Foundation 150—the first race of the 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season—at New Smyrna Speedway, and was aired on February 19 on NBCSN.
Due to scheduling conflicts with the 2016 Summer Olympics, four Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series races will air outside of NBC and NBCSN during the 2016 season; one Xfinity Series race will air on CNBC, while two Xfinity Series races and one Sprint Cup Series race will air on USA Network.
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 One and IndyCar coverage, announced via Twitter he will be commentating at some Xfinity races for NBC. The races will likely be split-weekend races where the Xfinity Series and Sprint Cup Series are racing at different venues.
The pit reporters for 2016 consist of Dave Burns, Mike Massaro, Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, Alex Hayden, and Jim Noble. 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.
On September 1, 2015, it was announced that Ken Squier and Ned Jarrett would commentate a portion of the 2015 Bojangles' Southern 500 along with current NASCAR on NBC commentator Dale Jarrett. Squier was also in the broadcast booth for Sprint Cup Series final practice.
On September 11, 2015, it was announced that Carl Edwards will be in the NBCSN broadcast booth as a guest analyst for the Xfinity race at Richmond alongside Dale Jarrett and Diffey. Jamie McMurray will be a guest analyst for the NXS race at Chicagoland.
In 2016, four races (the Cup Series and Xfinity Series at Watkins Glen International and two Xfinity races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Bristol Motor Speedway) will be aired on CNBC and USA Network due to NBC broadcasting the Summer Olympics.
The intro for the revived run of NASCAR on NBC is Bringing Back the Sunshine performed by country music artist Blake Shelton, who is also one of the coaches on NBC's own prime time hit show, The Voice.
- Rick Allen – lap-by-lap announcer (Sprint Cup Series/Xfinity Series/K&N Pro Series East/K&N Pro Series West)
- Leigh Diffey – lap-by-lap announcer (select Xfinity Series races, practice/qualifying sessions)
- Dave Burns – lap-by-lap announcer (select Xfinity Series races/on-track sessions, K&N Pro Series East, K&N Pro Series West)
- Ralph Sheheen – lap-by-lap announcer (select Xfinity Series races/on-track sessions, K&N Pro Series East, K&N Pro Series West, Whelen Modified Tour & Whelen Southern Modified Tour)
- Ken Squier – lap-by-lap announcer (did portions of the race/on-track sessions at Darlington in 2015)
- Jeff Burton – color analyst
- Steve Letarte – color analyst
- Dale Jarrett – color analyst (select Xfinity Series races, did portions of the Cup race at Darlington in 2015)
- Frank Stoddard – color analyst (select Xfinity Series races, K&N Pro Series East, K&N Pro Series West)
- Ned Jarrett – color analyst (did portions of the Cup race at Darlington in 2015)
- Carl Edwards – color analyst (will commentate the fall Richmond Xfinity Series race in 2015) 
- Jamie McMurray – color analyst (will commentate the fall Chicagoland Xfinity Series race in 2015)
- Ray Evernham – color analyst (Whelen Modified Tour & Whelen Southern Modified Tour) (will commentate the fall Kansas Xfinity Series race in 2015)
- Parker Kligerman – color analyst (K&N Pro Series East, K&N Pro Series West)
- Carlos Contreras – color analyst (Mexico Series)
Pre-race and post-race/studio shows
- Krista Voda – host
- Kyle Petty – analyst
- Dale Jarrett – analyst
- Ray Evernham – analyst (fill-in)
- Frank Stoddard – analyst (fill-in)
- Brian Vickers – analyst (fill-in)
- Parker Kligerman – analyst (fill-in)
- Sam Hornish Jr - analyst (Fill-in)
- Rutledge Wood – reporter
- Dave Burns
- Marty Snider
- Mike Massaro
- Kelli Stavast
- Parker Kligerman
- Alex Hayden (stand-alone Xfinity Series races only)
- Allen Bestwick – lap-by-lap announcer/pit reporter (1999–2006, now with ESPN covering the IndyCar Series and other sports).
- 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)
- Mike Wallace – color analyst (1999)
- Bill Weber – host/pit reporter/lap-by-lap announcer (2001–2006); now an illusionist at a hotel in St Petersburg, Florida.
- Brian Williams – host (1999)
- Matt Yocum – pit reporter (2001–2006); now with Fox
- 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.
- Bupp, Phillip (July 8, 2015). "Despite the roadblocks, NBC’s NASCAR comeback was flawless". Awful Announcing.
- "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.
- "NASCAR on NBC includes Charlotte flavor". Charlotte Business Journal. American City Business Journals. January 28, 2015.
- "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.
- "During Olympics, USA Network will air NASCAR races". Awful Announcing. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
- 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.
- Fryer, Jenna (January 9, 2014). "Steve Letarte to join NBC Sports in 2015". Yahoo! Sports (Daytona Beach, Florida: AP Sports). Associated Press. 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.
- "NBC Sports adds Krista Voda to 2015 lineup". NASCAR. October 29, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
- 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.
- "NBCSN Presents "The Last Race to Make the Chase" This Weekend in Primetime From Richmond International Raceway". NBC Sports. September 9, 2015. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
- "NBCSN Kicks Off the 2015 NASCAR Playoffs From Chicagoland Speedway This Weekend". NBC Sports. September 16, 2015. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
- Spencer, Lee (January 26, 2016). "Olympics will force some NASCAR coverage off NBC/NBC Sports". Motorsport.com. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
|Daytona 500 television broadcaster
2001–2006 (even-numbered years only; Fox aired the Daytona 500 in odd numbered years)