NASCAR, Turner culminate 32-year broadcast partnership
July 10, 2014, Official NASCAR news release, NASCAR.com
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 10, 2014) -- For more than three decades, NASCAR and Turner Sports have partnered to tell the stories of stock car racing -- longer than many of the drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have been alive. On Sunday when the checkered flag flies at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, it will mark the conclusion of a long and prosperous partnership between NASCAR and Turner Sports.
"There is no question that the folks at Turner have been fantastic partners for the past 32 years, and we can't thank them enough for everything they've done to grow the sport during that time frame," said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and chief executive officer. "Their dedication to producing first-class, innovative NASCAR broadcasts has never wavered, and this weekend's race from New Hampshire should bring an exciting yet bittersweet conclusion to TNT's NASCAR Summer Series."
Turner has been instrumental in helping grow the sport through innovative and creative NASCAR coverage and promotions. Some highlights in the history of the partnership include:
- 1983 - 2001: TBS was the longtime home for select races in all three national series, including events from Richmond, Atlanta, Rockingham, Riverside, Charlotte and Pocono; Ken Squier, Buddy Baker and Dick Berggren made up the broadcast team for the majority of races.
- July 2001: The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was aired on TNT from New Hampshire Motor Speedway; Allen Bestwick, Benny Parsons and Wally Dallenbach manned the broadcast booth.
- September 2004: TNT presented its first race in HDTV, the Rock and Roll 400 from Richmond International Raceway.
- December 2004: TNT announced it would carry their entire portion of the 2005 season in 1080i high definition.
- May 2011: Turner implemented new "directional audio" marketing technology in public areas of Charlotte, North Carolina, allowing visitors to hear engines revving and race tune-in information when stepping on TNT logos.
- June 2012: NASCAR and Twitter launched a first-of-its-kind editorial partnership for the first TNT race from Pocono Raceway, creating a unique complementary second screen experience to enhance TNT's broadcast of the race.
- June 2013: TNT introduced "all-access coverage" during the Countdown to Green prerace show, a feature where the network follows a different driver throughout the week to document how they prepare for the race.
Finally, there are countless memorable moments on the track that Turner has covered over the last three-plus decades. But most notably, TBS will always be known as the network that carried the first-ever race in which Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. competed against each other. In a 300-mile exhibition race at Twin Ring Motegi in Motegi, Japan in 1998, Earnhardt Jr. ran the No. 1 car while his father was in the iconic No. 3. What was the result? Son bested Dad by two positions, as the pair finished sixth and eighth, respectively.
Turner Sports will continue to oversee advertising sales and sponsorships across NASCAR-branded digital platforms.
The 2014 NASCAR Summer Series on TNT officially concludes with the Camping World RV Sales 301 live from New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 13. The race will air at 1 p.m. ET on TNT, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, with additional coverage on NASCAR.com.