TNT and NASCAR.COM are set to wave the green flag on the network’s 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series coverage debuting on Sunday, June 12 at Pocono Raceway with enhanced features and more interactivity on television and online to provide fans with the most comprehensive multi-platform NASCAR experience possible. This year, TNT RaceBuddy on NASCAR.COM will return with twice as many camera views as last year including two mosaics for fans to choose from. Also, the network will debut Inside Trax, offering fans exclusive audio and video from select crew chiefs and their teams each race. Wide Open Coverage returns for TNT’s marquee primetime race in Daytona on Saturday, July 2 and will feature the first-ever NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway in primetime on Saturday, July 9.
TNT RaceBuddy on NASCAR.COM returns to provide live companion coverage online with an expanded application. This season, fans can choose from a total of ten camera views, twice as many as last year, including two Mosaics. Eight individual camera angles include four In-Car Driver Cams, up from one cam last year, two Battle Cams highlighting head-to-head competition between drivers, a Backstretch Cam and a Pit Road Cam. The two Mosaic Views allow fans to view four streams at once. Returning features to the site include the DVR Function, an Enhanced LIVE Leaderboard and RaceView’s position tracker: Fans can also connect throughout the race on Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo! Messenger and MySpace in a seamlessly integrated social media experience
Turner Sports’ coverage of NASCAR will debut innovative new linear and digital features that will bring fans all the exciting action at the track, including:
- Inside Trax: TNT will mic-up select crew chiefs and their teams throughout the Summer Series providing fans with inside access to the sounds and strategy of NASCAR.
- Live online video chats on NASCAR.COM: For the first time this year, TNT NASCAR analyst Kyle Petty and Rutledge Wood’s ongoing live video chat series “30 Minutes You Will Never Get Back” will invite TNT announcers to answer questions from the fans. Each Friday, fans can submit questions via Twitter or Facebook to have their questions answered on the show. TNT NASCAR analyst Larry McReynolds will join Petty and Wood on June 10 in Pocono.
TNT returns its marquee announcer crew with analysts Petty and Wally Dallenbach joining play-by-play announcer Adam Alexander in the booth for each race. Veteran reporters Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider and Matt Yocum will be joined by Chris Neville, a ten-year veteran motorsports reporter, on pit road. In addition, Lindsay Czarniak will once again host the network’s 60-minute pre-race show, Countdown to Green delivered by Pizza Hut, with Petty and McReynolds joining her on the TNT rig along with special guests each week.
“In our 28th consecutive year of televising NASCAR’s premier series, we are looking forward to enhancing the viewers’ experience through our unrivaled portfolio of linear and digital assets,” said Jeff Behnke, Turner Sports executive producer. “With our six races featuring the increased audio presence of Inside Trax and the continued growth of RaceBuddy, we are committed to bringing NASCAR fans in-depth coverage of the sport they love.”
The green flag will drop on TNT’s coverage beginning June 12th in Pocono, followed by six consecutive weeks of exclusive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series coverage with races in Michigan (June 19), Sonoma (June 26) and Loudon (July 27), and primetime Saturday night races in Daytona (July 2) and the first-ever NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kentucky(July 9). Also featured throughout the six race series:
- Pride of NASCAR: The popular series celebrating NASCAR’s rich history will return for its 10th year with in-depth profiles of six racing legends. This year’s series launches in Pocono with a feature on the late legendary crew chief Harry Hyde and also feature A.J. Foyt, Barney Hall and Rex White.
- TNT Off-Track Robotic Car (TORC) presented by Toyota:McReynoldsbreaks down pit crew car strategies and provides a unique look inside the engine of a custom-built race car.
- NASCAR.COM Post-Race Show: Hosted by Czarniak and featuring all of TNT’s announcers, the exclusive online post-race show will wrap up all the day’s action with highlights and special interviews.
- TNT Million Dollar Fan Challenge:A weekly event on NASCAR.COM that gives fans the opportunity to win up to $1 million each week of TNT’s coverage by selecting in precise order the drivers they think will be the top-10 finishers in each race, with the opportunity to adjust their line-up through 25% of the race.
- NASCAR.COM Ultimate Tailgating Vehicle: The UTV, sponsored by Coors Light and featured on NASCAR.COM, will be on-site and shown on TNT telecasts during the Summer Series package.
TNT’s marquee primetime race in Daytona with the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona powered by Coca-Cola will feature the return of Wide Open Coverage in which the network provides continuous race coverage free of national commercial breaks and features more unobstructed race action than that of a standard telecast by using a letterbox widescreen format. In place of the national ads, the telecast features a variety of animated sponsor messages, unique branded content and distinct on-screen graphic elements. Over the past four years, TNT’s Wide Open coverage has only missed 9 total laps of green flag racing including zero laps missed over the past two years.