NEW ANCHOR, FRESH APPROACH FOR NHRA ON ESPN IN 2013

GLENDORA, Calif. (Feb. 6, 2013) — NHRA will enter the 2013 season with a new anchor on its ESPN telecasts and a fresh approach to the television coverage of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.  The 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season opens Feb. 14-17, with the 53rd annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Super Start Batteries at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. Jason Line, Pro Stock, Team Summit Racing
               
Dave Rieff, who has been a pit reporter since ESPN began its NHRA coverage in 2001 and a staple of NHRA television for 17 years, will move into the anchor announcer position for the 2013 season. In addition to hosting coverage of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, Rieff will continue his lead role on the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series telecasts.
               
Joining Rieff in calling the action from the booth will be former NHRA racer Mike Dunn, who is beginning his 12th year with ESPN as a color analyst for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Gary Gerould will return as a pit reporter at all 24 events. Veteran announcer John Kernan, who joined the NHRA telecast team in 2007, will split pit reporter and trackside duties with Jamie Howe. Howe has served as a pit reporter for the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series telecasts since 2011 and this year she will increase her presence in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series telecasts.

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series viewers can anticipate a fresh approach to the telecasts in 2013. As ESPN and NHRA constantly work together to bring viewers the highest-quality coverage, programs will capture even more of the drama of NHRA, showcase the stars of the sport, and incorporate new format changes to both the qualifying and race day telecasts.
  
ESPN will look to deliver more stories and analysis on the strategy of the sport, a stronger focus on head-to-head matchups and more technical pieces.  The stars of NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing will be showcased with all-access wired segments, features on the drivers and the development of power rankings in the categories. ESPN and NHRA also will work to make more use of social media platforms during the telecasts.

In all, ESPN will dedicate more than 110 hours of original programming to the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, the world’s quickest, fastest and most intense motorsport, on a same-day basis.

NHRA and ESPN will experiment with live coverage of qualifying and finals during the year. The first weekend to feature live racing action is the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals from Royal Purple Raceway in Houston, April 27-28. The final session of qualifying will air live on Saturday, April 27, from 3-5 p.m. (ET).  In addition, NHRA and ESPN will telecast live on Sunday, joining the racing action beginning with the semifinals in the professional categories. The Sunday telecast will be begin at 2 p.m. (ET) on April 28.Doug Kalitta, Team Kalitta Racing
 
The prestigious NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, Aug. 28 – Sept. 2, will again feature 11 hours of wall-to-wall coverage including complete coverage of final eliminations on Monday, Sept. 2, from noon to 6 p.m. ET. 

All telecasts will air in high definition on ESPN2HD or ESPNHDESPN2/ESP2NHD and ESPN/ESPNHD are available in nearly 100 million households nationwide. The telecasts will feature competition from all four classes in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series: Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle.
 
The NHRA will be televised on NHRA networks in 182 countries and territories to more than 56.5 million homes, including coverage in Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Middle East, Mexico, New Zealand and South America. In addition, U.S. troops and their families serving around the world in 175 countries and on Navy vessels at-sea can watch NHRA on the American Forces Network.

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 8 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Television Schedule
Event                                                                                                    Air Time (ET) Date
O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Super Start Batteries              Qualifying 10 p.m. - Midnight        Sat.,  Feb 16
Pomona, CA Eliminations 8-11 p.m. Sun., Feb 17
     
NHRA Arizona Nationals Qualifying 1 - 2:30 a.m. Sun., Feb 24
Phoenix, AZ Qualifying Re-Air 8 - 9 a.m. Sun., Feb 24
  Eliminations 8 -11pm Sun., Feb 24
     
Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals Qualifying 1:30 - 3 a.m. Sun., Mar 17
Gainesville, FL Qualifying Re-Air 8 - 9 a.m. Sun., Mar 17
  Eliminations 7 - 10 p.m. Sun., Mar 17
     
SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals Qualifying 10 p.m. - Midnight Sat., Apr 6
Las Vegas, NV Eliminations 11 p.m. - 2 a.m. Sun., Apr 7
     
NHRA Four-Wide Nationals Qualifying 5 - 7 p.m. Sat., Apr 20
Charlotte, NC Eliminations 7 - 10 p.m. Sun., Apr 21
     
O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals presented by Super Start Batteries Qualifying 3 - 5 p.m. Sat., Apr 27
Houston, TX Eliminations 2 - 5 p.m. Sun., Apr 27
     
Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals Qualifying 8 - 10 p.m. Sat., May 4
Atlanta, GA Eliminations 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Sun., May 5
     
NHRA Kansas Nationals Qualifying 5 - 7 p.m. Sat., May 18
Topeka, KS Eliminations 8 -11 p.m. Sun., May 19
     
Toyota NHRA Nationals Qualifying 5 - 6 p.m. Sat., Jun 1 (ESPN)
Englishtown, NJ Qualifying 1 - 2 a.m. Sun., Jun 2
  Eliminations 4:30 - 7 p.m. Sun., Jun 2
     
Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers Qualifying 7 - 9 p.m. Sat., Jun 15
Bristol, Tn Eliminations 1 - 3 p.m. Sun., Jun 16 
  Eliminations 11 p.m - Midnight Sun., Jun 16
     
NHRA New England Nationals Qualifying 8 -10 p.m. Sat., Jun 22
Epping, NH Eliminations 7 - 10 p.m. Sun., Jun 23
     
O'Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries Qualifying 5 - 7 p.m. Sat., Jun 29
Chicago, IL Qualifying 11 p.m. - Midnight Sat., Jun 29
  Eliminations 9 p.m. - Midnight Sun., Jun 30
     
Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals Qualifying 6 - 8 p.m. Sat., Jul 6
Norwalk, OH Eliminations 7 - 10 p.m. Sun., Jul 7
     
Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals Qualifying 10 p.m. - Midnight Sat., Jul 20
Denver, CO Eliminations 6 - 9 p.m. Sun., Jul 21
     
NHRA Sonoma Nationals Qualifying 7 - 9 p.m. Jul 27 (ESPN)
Sonoma, CA Eliminations 8 - 11 p.m. Jul 28
     
O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries Qualifying 10:30 p.m. - Midnight Sat., Aug 3
Seattle, WA Eliminations 8 -11 p.m. Sun., Aug 4
     
Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals Qualifying 11 p.m. 1 a.m. Sat. Aug 17
Brainerd, MN Eliminations 9 p.m. - Midnight Sun. Aug 18
     
NHRA U.S. Nationals Qualifying 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sun., Sept 1
Indianpolis, IN Qualifying 5 - 7 p.m. Sun., Sept 1
  Eliminations Noon - 6 p.m. Mon., Sept 2
     
NHRA Nationals Qualifying TBD  
Charlotte, NC Eliminations 8:30 - 11:30 pm Sun, Sept 15
     

AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals

Qualifying TBD  
Dallas, TX Eliminations 8:30 - 11:30 p.m. Sun., Sept 22
     
AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals Qualifying TBD  
St. Louis, MO Eliminatoins 8 -11 p.m. Sun., Sept 29
     
Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals Qualifying TBD  
Reading, PA Eliminations 8 - 11 p.m. Sun., Oct 6
     
NHRA Nationals Qualifying TBD  
Las Vegas, NV Eliminations 8 - 11 p.m. Sun, Oct 27
     
Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals Qualifying TBD  
Pomona, CA Eliminations 7 - 10 p.m. Sun., Nov 10
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