Multi-Network, Multi-Platform Effort Leads up to Live FOX Broadcast of "Great American Race"
With more than 80 hours of programming from Daytona Speedweeks, FOX Sports constructs a high-energy, two-week opening to the 2014 NASCAR racing season into a distinctive crescendo of unbridled horsepower, culminating in live coverage of the 56th running of the DAYTONA 500 on FOX on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 1:00 PM ET.
"Nothing in motor sports is more important than the DAYTONA 500," said Eric Shanks, FOX Sports President and COO. "This year is bigger and better than ever, and we can’t wait to hear the roar of the engines as Speedweeks kicks off the best two weeks in racing."
For the 14th consecutive season, NASCAR Hall-of-Fame driver, and Emmy-nominated broadcaster Darrell Waltrip teams with host Mike Joy and analyst Larry McReynolds to call the race for FOX. Emmy Award-winner Chris Myers and two-time DAYTONA 500 champion Michael Waltrip report from the Hollywood Hotel, FOX Sports’ traveling pre-race studio, while former crew chief Jeff Hammond works the garage area and Krista Voda, Steve Byrnes and Matt Yocum keep fans updated from pit road.
"From a TV perspective, we have more thought-provoking storylines at our disposal this year than ever before," Darrell Waltrip said. "Take the changing of the guard, for instance. All these talented rookies are coming up to challenge the veterans, so that will be interesting to follow throughout the year. It reminds me a bit of the Super Bowl. Young Russell Wilson went up against veteran Peyton Manning and Wilson’s team dominated. Can the rookies coming up this year capitalize, too? Folks are energized and fans are excited about whatâs ahead this season, and we at FOX certainly have a lot to talk about."
Using nearly 60 cameras to cover the DAYTONA 500, including two "super slow motion" cameras, an infrared camera, a pair of "X-MOs" — ultra-slow-motion Phantom camera systems — and the FOX Super Zoom 4K camera, as well as more than 150 microphones placed around the track, FOX Sports delivers an experience like no other.
And, for the first time ever, FOX Sports GO, the app that provides live streaming video of FOX Sports content, is set to offer live, streaming coverage of the DAYTONA 500. FOX Sports GO features two separate live streams, the customary FOX Sports broadcast in English and the FOX Deportes telecast, which returns to Daytona for the second consecutive year, in Spanish. In addition, all Daytona Speedweeks programming airing on FOX Sports 1 is available thru FOX Sports GO. Customers of participating video providers may access the live streams of the DAYTONA 500 through the FOX Sports GO app for iOS devices, as well as on desktops through FOXSportsGO.com.
FOXSports.com delivers a major re-design just in time for Daytona Speedweeks, with smoother navigation and expanded interaction for NASCAR fans through the "Big Board," RaceTrax for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, Social Media interface through Connect Live and a new FOX Fantasy Racing game. In addition, FOXSports.com continues to be a leader in news and commentary from veteran reporters Tom Jensen and Lee Spencer, and inside information from multiple members of the NASCAR on FOX on-air team. For the lighter side of the sport, fans can visit the SHAKE & BAKE NASCAR on FOX Blog.
Coverage of the "Great American Race" begins with the popular pre-race show, NASCAR RACEDAY, at 11:00 AM ET on FOX Sports 1. Darrell Waltrip leads the crew of Joy, Myers, McReynolds, Yocum, Voda, Bob Dillner and funny man Rutledge Wood through the early pre-race activities as fans begin to make their moves from the crowded souvenir midway to their seats inside the "World Center of Racing."
At noon, the entire crew moves to FOX for the final hour leading up to the traditional flyover by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the highly anticipated waving of the green flag, including live coverage of the pre-race concert by country superstar Luke Bryan. The Honorary Starter for the 56th running of the DAYTONA 500 is decorated actor Gary Sinise.
And at 1:00 PM ET, more than 200,000 fans come to their feet in the stands, across the surrounding campgrounds and throughout the massive 180-acre infield. Fans watching at home, inch closer to the edge of their seats. FOX Sports camera crews and producers make final adjustments. On pit road, seatbelts are tightened, wives, girlfriends and boyfriends are kissed and 43 race car drivers, hoping to run the race of their lives, begin picturing themselves in Victory Lane with confetti flying, thousands cheering and the iconic Harley J. Earl Trophy held effortlessly high overhead … and at that moment, the call is made to "start your engines."
For the next four hours, all hell breaks loose on the 2.5-mile, unpredictable superspeedway conceived and built in 1959 by the sport’s founder Bill France Sr., as one-name wonders like Danica and Junior mix it up with champions like Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth and Brad Keselowski. There will be drivers who have faced this moment dozens of times before, going bumper-to-bumper with racers taking on the "Great American Race" for the very first time.
FOX Sports, the No. 1-rated NASCAR network according to Nielsen Media Research, is there to tell the story. Coming off the most-watched DAYTONA 500 in five years in 2013, fans are eager to see what’s next.
NASCAR ON FOX RACES INTO 14TH SEASON WITH FULL-THROTTLE COVERAGE FROM DAYTONA
FOX Unveils More than 80 Hours of Daytona Speedweeks Programming on FOX & FOX Sports 1
Only 10 days removed from live coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII, FOX Sports officially cranks the engine for its 14th season of NASCAR coverage with nearly 80 hours of live programming from Daytona Speedweeks beginning Thursday, Feb. 13. During the two weeks of Daytona Speedweeks, FOX and FOX Sports 1 are home to dozens of hours of live on-track action across all three NASCAR national series, as well as a variety of specials and documentaries.
FOX Sports offers multi-network, multi-platform coverage from Daytona International Speedway, including live coverage of the DAYTONA 500 on Sunday, Feb. 23 (1:00 PM ET) on FOX with live pre-race coverage on FOX NASCAR SUNDAY (12:00 PM ET), in addition to a live offering of POLE DAY QUALIFYING on Sunday, Feb. 16 (1:00 PM ET) on FOX. FOX Sports 1 presents live coverage of THE SPRINT UNLIMITED on Saturday, Feb. 15 (8:00 PM ET), live BUDWEISER DUEL AT DAYTONA coverage on Thursday, Feb. 20 (7:00 PM ET) and live coverage of the season-opening NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES race from Daytona on Friday, Feb. 21 (7:30 PM ET). NCWTS SETUP with Krista Voda (6:30 PM ET) sets the stage for the Truck Series race prior to the green flag with live reports from pit road as drivers prepare to climb into their trucks.
For the first time ever, "The Great American Race" is being streamed live in both English and Spanish through FOX Sports GO, the critically acclaimed app that provides live streaming video of FOX Sports content. FOX Sports Deportes, the No. 1 U.S. sports network in Spanish, offers coverage of 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, beginning with the DAYTONA 500.
"Broadcasting NASCAR’s biggest event just two weeks after the Super Bowl and less than six months after launching FOX Sports 1 offers us an incredible stage to showcase FOX Sports’ versatility and depth," said Bill Wanger, FOX Sports EVP Programming & Research. "By utilizing our massive linear, digital and social platforms to cover Daytona Speedweeks both on and off-the-track, we plan to put NASCAR fans in the driver’s seat like never before."
Daytona Speedweeks on the FOX family of networks kicks off on Thursday, Feb. 13 with DAYTONA 500 MEDIA DAY (10:00 AM-12:00 PM ET), a live two-hour special on FOX Sports 1 direct from NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway, followed by a special two-hour edition of NASCAR RACE HUB from NASCAR Media Day (4:00-6:00 PM ET) that recaps the day’s interviews, news and highlights. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars hit the track for the first time on Friday, Feb. 14, and FOX Sports 1 has all the action beginning at 4:00 PM ET. The network then caps its Valentine’s Day coverage with "NASCAR Night on FOX Sports 1," a three-and-a-hour block of primetime NASCAR programming right after the network’s live on-track coverage of the opening day of THE SPRINT UNLIMITED practice. FOX Sports 1 premieres FOX SPORTS 1-on-1: JIMMIE JOHNSON (7:30-8:00 PM ET), THE DAY: DAYTONA PRIMETIME (8:00-8-9:00 PM ET), RETURN OF THE 3 (9:00-10:00 PM ET) and an encore presentation of THE DAY: REMEMBERING DALE EARNHARDT (10:00-11:00 PM ET).
NASCAR RACEDAY and NASCAR VICTORY LANE, FOX Sports 1’s pre- and post-race shows, respectively, return for another season direct from the middle of the action at each weekend’s race. NASCAR LIVE, the network’s weekend news and update show, also is back to update viewers on the day’s happenings as news breaks.
On the eve of "The Great American Race," FOX celebrates the pop-culture event the Daytona 500 has become with a seaside pre-race party in Daytona Beach, featuring an eclectic mix of contemporary entertainers. On Saturday, Feb. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM ET), FOX delivers the inaugural DAYTONA 500 BASH AT THE BEACH, the culmination of a two-day fan-fest, hosted by NASCAR stars Jeff Gordon and Danica Patrick and headlined by a musical performance from Grammy Award-winning artist Cee Lo Green. Famed Miami Heat disc jockey DJ Irie delivers a musical backdrop to the special with appearances by country music star Justin Moore, driver Kevin Harvick, Miss Sprint Cup and other VIP guests. FOX Sports’ Charissa Thompson and Danielle Trotta report.
And for the hardcore race fans, catch even more live on-track action as the ARCA RACING SERIES season opener airs on FOX Sports 1 on Saturday, Feb. 15 (4:15 PM ET), and the UNOH BATTLE AT THE BEACH goes live on FOX Sports 2 on Tuesday, Feb. 18 (7:00 PM ET). On Saturday, Feb. 22 (9:00 AM ET), FOX Sports 1 offers delayed coverage of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season opener from New Smyrna Speedway.
NASCAR RACE HUB returned in January for a sixth season with daily shows airing at 4:00 PM ET on FOX Sports 1.