This weekend, NASCAR fans will see a changing of the guard when it comes to TV coverage of Sprint Cup and Xfinity series races.
In some respects, there should be a familiar feel with NBC Sports – the network broadcast NASCAR events as recently as 2006.
But in many, many other aspects, NBC’s latest venture into NASCAR likely will seem like a fresh start.
For one, a large number of NBC’s telecasts of Cup and Xfinity races will take place on its fledgling NBC Sports Network – part of the reason it agreed to a new 10-year deal with the sanctioning body.
But the biggest change likely isthe many new faces that will make up NBC’s NASCAR broadcast team.
“NBC Sports has always taken great pride in the belief that we surround each of our broadcasts with the very best on-air talent in the business, and this NASCAR team is exemplary,” said Sam Flood, executive producer for NBC Sports and NBCSN.
“We’re bringing fresh perspectives – from behind the wheel and on top of the pit box, multigenerational perspectives and Hall of Fame credentials, journalistic muscle and an entertaining style.”
Longtime race announcer Rick Allen will join former Cup series driver Jeff Burton and former Cup series crew chief Steve Letarte in the NBC booth, beginning with prime-time races Saturday and Sunday at Daytona International Speedway.
NBC Sports’ Krista Voda – a familiar face in NASCAR reporting – will join NASCAR veteran Kyle Petty and former Cup champion Dale Jarrett in a new state-of-the-art open-air studio located atop pit road.
NBC Sports feature reporter Rutledge Wood and NBCSports.com motorsports writer Nate Ryan also will provide additional coverage ranging from the experience of fans to breaking news.
Experienced motorsports reporters Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, Mike Massaro and Dave Burns will provide coverage from pit road during races.
In addition to its talent lineup, NBC’s coverage of the races themselves will feature several new enhancements.
▪ “NBC Sports Live Extra,” the network’s live streaming product, will provide multiview options of the race, driver updates, series standings and track infographics.
▪ There will be 24 on-board cameras embedded in Cup cars during the race.
▪ Country star Blake Shelton will perform his hit “Bringing Back the Sunshine” as part of the opening theme of NBC’s Cup series coverage this season.
NBC Sports Group will telecast 20 Cup series races each season, seven on NBC and the remainder on NBCSN. Four Xfinity series races will be televised on NBC and 15 on NBCSN.
NBC Debuts at Daytona
By the numbers
1: Helicopters that will provide aerial footage.
12: Members of NBC Sports on-air broadcast team this weekend at Daytona.
18: Number of robotic cameras capable of tracking cars upwards of 200 mph.
80: Microphones placed throughout Daytona by NBC Sports.
150,000:- Feet of fiber cable - more than 28 miles - surrounding Daytona.
SOURCE: NBC Sports Group