Month: June 2017

Gus Johnson

Ice Cube’s BIG3 Makes Television Debut Tonight on FS1

NEW YORK, NY – The BIG3, Ice Cube’s highly anticipated 3-on-3, half-court basketball league, makes its television debut tonight at 8:00 PM ET on FS1. Gus Johnson, Jim Jackson, Michael Rapaport and Rachel Bonnetta called the action from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., during yesterday’s thrilling first day of competition. As part of tonight’s telecast, Ice Cube talks with Johnson about the league, how he got the idea, and why it will be successful.

Before the action tipped off, Ice Cube, Rapaport and players from the BIG3’s Ghost Ballers made a surprise stop at New York City’s The Cage on West 4th Street and crowned a 4-point shooting champion.

Fox Sports Logo

FOX Sports Subscribes to Nielsen National Out-of-Home Reporting Service

With Nielsen Out-Of-Home Measurement, FOX’s NFL Regular Season Experienced 16% Audience Lift

NEW YORK, NY – Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) today announced FOX Sports, as the latest media company to subscribe to its National Out-of-Home Reporting Service. The multi-year agreement provides the FOX Sports broadcast network, FS1, FS2 and FOX Deportes with program and commercial ratings for live through live + 7 days of time-shifted viewing. With this service, FOX Sports will now have a much richer view of their in-home and out-of-home audience. The National Out-of-Home Reporting Service is a critical part of Nielsen’s Total Audience framework as it provides clients with the flexibility they need to measure their complete linear TV audience.

“Sports are being watched everywhere, every day and on every type of screen. Our business has to keep pace with changes in viewer behavior,” said Eric Shanks, President, Chief Operating Officer & Executive Producer, FOX Sports. “Nielsen’s out-of-home measurement enables us to measure our audience wherever they may be, which in turn allows us to better service the advertising industry.”

FOX’s NFL regular season saw a 16% lift from out-of-home measurement among adults 18-49. Furthermore, Nielsen’s out-of-home service data pointed to a younger, more diverse, more female and more affluent audience than FOX Sports’ in-home NFL audience. Measuring FOX Sports’ viewing wherever it happens is essential to the network’s growth and demonstrates the true value of content to advertisers.

FOX Sports and its networks will receive weekly reports that include daily data for program and commercial audience estimates. The out-of-home viewing data will be derived from Nielsen’s Portable People Meter (PPM) technology and combined with national TV ratings. The newly produced audience estimate will enable FOX Sports and any subscribing TV networks to fully demonstrate the breadth and depth of their content by including viewing that occurs in locations such as hotels, gyms, bars and the workplace. Furthermore, the PPM is equipped with detection technology to know when a panelist is in-home versus out-of-home, allowing Nielsen to capture and credit Linear TV content anywhere the viewer is watching or listening to TV.

“FOX Sports has some of the most exciting and fan-favorite sporting events and we are thrilled to extend our relationship by providing them with out-of-home measurement that demonstrates their incremental audience,” said Lynda Clarizio, President, Nielsen U.S. Media. “We are committed to providing our clients with a complete view of their total audience regardless of where consumers are viewing their content. Our out-of-home measurement service is another piece of Nielsen Total Audience delivering to subscribing clients richer and more robust insights into their viewers, as well as helping to uncover new and valuable audience segments.”

The National Out-of-Home Reporting Service is the first electronic measurement service that provides viewing estimates for both in-home and out-of-home. This opt-in service leverages Nielsen’s PPM technology from nearly 77,000 installed panelists. Using a fusion methodology to combine the PPM footprint across 44 local TV markets with Nielsen’s national representative panel, Nielsen is able to represent 65% of the TV U.S. household population to project what people are watching outside of their homes.

ABOUT NIELSEN
Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers watch and buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services for all devices on which content — video, audio and text — is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen also provides its clients with analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

The CarCash Mudsummer Classic

FOX Sports Moves NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES Race at Eldora Speedway to FOX Business Network

CHARLOTTE, NC – FOX Sports announces today that the July 19 NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES race from Eldora Speedway is moving from FS1 to FOX Business Network at 9:30 PM ET.

The move is being made to accommodate a CONCACAF Gold Cup Quarterfinal double-header match expected to feature the US Men’s National team on FS1 that evening. FOX Business Network and FS1 currently are in the same number of U.S. homes. FOX Sports GO, now accessible to more than 95 million users in the U.S. through their participating pay-TV providers, offers uninterrupted coverage from Eldora.

While a NASCAR race never before has been scheduled for FOX Business Network, last year’s NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES race from Iowa Speedway began on FOX Business Network when live coverage of the weather-impacted U.S. Open Championship ran long. In May 2016, FOX Business Network aired NASCAR RACEDAY and pre-race ceremonies for the MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES race from Kansas Speedway when an MLB game ran long. However, FS1 took over before the green flag waved to begin the race.

With the exception of the July 29 (1:00 PM ET) race from Pocono Raceway and the Oct. 14 (1:00 PM ET) race from Talladega Superspeedway, which air live on the FOX broadcast network, the remainder of the NCWTS season airs live on FS1. The entire FOX NASCAR schedule is available live on FOX Sports GO.

A complete Eldora schedule is below (all times EST and subject to change):
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES single-truck qualifying (5:00-6:00 PM ET) (FS1)
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES qualifying races (7:30-9:00 PM ET) (FS2)
NCWTS SETUP (9:00-9:30 PM ET) (FOX Business Network)
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES Racing (9:30 PM ET) (FOX Business Network)

Alexi-Lalas

U.S. Men’s National Team Roster for CONCACAF Gold Cup to be Revealed Sunday Exclusively on FOX Sports’ FIFA Confederations Cup Postgame Show

LOS ANGELES, CA – The U.S. Men’s National Team continues its 2017 campaign, revealing its 23-man roster for the CONCACAF Gold Cup on FOX Sports’ FIFA Confederations Cup postgame show on Sunday, June 25. Host Rob Stone will be joined by former U.S. MNT star Alexi Lalas to announce the roster on the FOX broadcast network at 1:00 PM ET.

FOX Sports televises its sixth CONCACAF Gold Cup from July 7 – July 26 across the FOX Sports family of networks. Further details will be announced at a later date.

Eric Wynalda & Kate Abdo on set at FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017

FOX Sports Features FIFA Confederations Cup—Major League Soccer Doubleheader on Saturday

Mexico Takes on Host Russia as Road to FIFA World Cup 2018 Continues Followed By Battle of MLS’ Two New York Teams

LOS ANGELES, CA – FOX Sports presents another action-packed soccer weekend highlighted by a FIFA Confederations Cup – Major League Soccer doubleheader on the FOX broadcast network on Saturday, June 24, 2017 beginning at 10:00 AM ET.

Rob Stone anchors pregame studio coverage for Saturday’s doubleheader and Sunday’s Confederations Cup coverage from the FOX broadcast center in Los Angeles with a rotation of analysts including Alexi Lalas, Fernando Fiore, Ian Wright and Arne Friedrich, with Kate Abdo, Eric Wynalda, coaching icon Guus Hiddink and German legend Lothar Matthaus contributing live from Saint Petersburg, Russia. Pregame coverage for both days begins at 10:00 AM ET.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez’s Mexico kicks off Saturday’s game action on the FOX broadcast network when they battle host Russia at Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, at 11:00 AM ET. Jorge Perez-Navarro and former U.S. MNT Cobi Jones are on the call with Francisco X. Rivera reporting from the sidelines.

Following the Mexico-Russia match, Mark Followill and Tony Meola have the call live from Red Bull Arena for MLS’ only current intra-city rivalry featuring Bradley Wright-Phillips’ New York Red Bulls and David Villa’s New York City FC at 1:30 PM ET. Katie Witham and Ian Joy host from a field-level set, and are joined by MLS Commissioner Don Garber during the halftime show.

Also on FS1 at 11:00 AM ET, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal clashes against New Zealand in Saint Petersburg. Lead play-by-play announcer John Strong and analyst Stu Holden call the action live from Krestovsky Stadium with Maria Komandnaya reporting from the sidelines.

On Sunday, June 25, defending World Cup champion Germany squares off against Cameroon on the FOX broadcast network at 11:00 AM ET. Strong and Holden call the action live from Sochi, with Komandnaya reporting from the sidelines. On FS1 at the same time, Chile battles Australia, with JP Dellacamera and Aly Wagner calling the match.

FOX Sports Soccer Schedule:

Saturday, June 24
10:00 AM ET – FIFA CONFEDERATIONS CUP PREGAME, FOX / FS1
11:00 AM ET – Mexico vs. Russia, FOX
11:00 AM ET – New Zealand vs. Portugal, FS1
1:00 PM ET – FIFA CONFEDERATIONS CUP POSTGAME SHOW, FOX / FS1
1:30 PM ET – New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC, FOX / FOX Deportes

Sunday, June 25
10:00 AM ET – FIFA CONFEDERATIONS CUP PREGAME, FOX / FS1
11:00 AM ET – Germany vs. Cameroon, FOX
11:00 AM ET – Chile vs. Australia, FS1
1:00 PM ET – FIFA CONFEDERATIONS CUP POSTGAME SHOW, FOX / FS1

Jim Jackson and Gus Johnson

BIG3 Tips Off on FS1

Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 Basketball League Hits FS1 Monday at 8:00 PM ET
ICE CUBE & THE ANSWER: THE MAKING OF THE BIG3 Premieres Tonight at 7:00 PM ET on FS1

NEW YORK, NY – The BIG3, Ice Cube’s highly anticipated 3-on-3, half-court basketball league, makes its world television debut Monday, June 26, at 8:00 PM ET on FS1. Gus Johnson, Jim Jackson, Michael Rapaport and Rachel Bonnetta call the live action of four matchups on the first competition Sunday from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Monday’s presentation will feature some of the biggest names in basketball history, including Allen Iverson, Julius ‘Dr. J.’ Erving and more.

Prior to the BIG3’s official tip-off, FS1 televises ICE CUBE & THE ANSWER: THE MAKING OF THE BIG3, tonight at 7:00 PM ET. The preview show features Ice Cube and 11-time NBA All-Star Allen Iverson at Capitol Records discussing the game today, the intersection of sports and music, their favorite hip-hop artists and a BIG3 preview. The program also includes Ice Cube’s original song and music video “Welcome to the BIG3,” which debuted on FS1’s SKIP & SHANNON: UNDISPUTED earlier this week. Click HERE to watch the video.

Tyron-Woodley_Personality-Headshot_1040x585

UFC TONIGHT Quotes – Woodley Picks Lee Over Chiesa

Florian on McGregor vs. Mayweather: “What makes Conor so great is his mental game. If Conor is going to get this done, he’s got to get Floyd emotional.”

LOS ANGELES, CA – On UFC TONIGHT, host Kenny Florian and guest host Tyron Woodley preview the upcoming UFC FIGHT NIGHT: CHIESA VS. LEE and interview headliners Michael Chiesa and Kevin Lee. Plus, Karyn Bryant adds reports.

UFC TONIGHT guest host Tyron Woodley on Colby Covington’s comments: “He had one thing correct, [when we trained] it wasn’t competitive. My coach had to peal me off of him every day. The welterweight division is the best in the world. The integrity of the sport has to be restored. Kids like Colby, do it the old fashion way, like Kenny Florian did, let your gloves do the talking, win in dominant fashion, climb your way up. Then when you’re near the top, you bark a little bit. But I don’t even see him in my crosshairs in my scope. There are five or six other guys on I’m looking at. It’s flattering that he’s talking about me.”

Woodley on Kevin Lee’s chances against Michael Chiesa: “Kevin Lee has composure. He can relax in the moment in the fight and execute. He has great conditioning. It allows him to take risks in a fight. It’s about being a chess player, about being a step ahead. He wants to use his speed, play to his advantages in striking and don’t put Chiesa in his world in wrestling.”

UFC TONIGHT host Kenny Florian on Lee’s advantages: “He’s got to use the speed advantage. Both these guys are good wrestlers, but Kevin doesn’t want to be on his back or give his back against Chiesa. I was impressed with him in his last fight against Trinaldo. It showed he can weather the storm, come back and get a big win and that was in Brazil.”

Florian on Chiesa strengths: “When he’s moving forward, he’s tough to deal with because he’s tall and lanky for the division. He’s a big lightweight. He moves at a different rhythm. He’s been underrated as a wrestler, and when he gets on top, his ground and pound and submission game is brutal.”

Woodley on Chiesa’s edge: “I’ve fought these guys who come forward over and over again. It’s really taxing on your mind. That’s an advantage that Chiesa has.”

Woodley picks Kevin Lee: “Sometimes you see a guy who is really confident and have a swagger. I’ve trained with Lee and seen him go through some grueling sessions. He’s very confident. It’s a close fight. Lee has the striking and speed advantage, and every fight and every round starts on the feet and he’ll keep it there.”

Florian picks Lee: “I think Lee is too fast and too polished a striker for Chiesa.”

VIDEO: Michael Chiesa vs. Kevin Lee Preview
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49QhKsGXOa4

Michael Chiesa on if he’ll get emotional in the fight because of what happened at the press conference: “No. I keep it in the past. If he walked in a gym and started spouting off today, I wouldn’t pay attention. It was a one-time thing. I’m motivated to be world champion, not by that.”

Chiesa on if the UFC should have reprimanded Lee for hitting him: “No. I ran at him. The UFC is stoked the fight got promoted that way. I don’t consider it a cheap shot that he got on me. I got stopped by a body guard. He got a shot in. It’s been over a year since I’ve fought and I’m excited to be back fighting.”

Chiesa on being the underdog in the fight: “I’m always overlooked. I’m not technical. In every fight, I have a spot that I could lose the first round. When do the odds makers ever like me? But it’s not a math equation, it’s a fight. I only care about becoming number one.”

Chiesa on if he’s just a submission artist: “I’m always working to round my game out, but I always get that. I have so many more tools in my arsenal, but I get just the back and get the choke.”

VIDEO: Interview: Michael Chiesa talks about his press conference fight with Kevin Lee
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyZqsSq94qo

Kevin Lee on if his fight is personal with Chiesa: “I don’t make these fights personal. There’s not room for emotion in these fights. He’s already mentally broke. He knew that going into the press conference. This fight sells itself. You’ve got this country boy from the Redwoods driving the beat up pickup truck vs. a young, flashy dude driving a Benz in Las Vegas.”

Lee on fighting Chiesa: “I told him, I’m going to whop him. He doesn’t stand a chance in this fight. Only if I make a mistake. I’m bigger, faster and stronger. I’m much more technical. That’s already playing in his head. He’s hoping I’m going to make a mistake. He’s already frustrated. I didn’t say anything bad about his mom. I don’t fight for free.”

Lee on if he’s worried about Chiesa’s chokes: “The man’s tough. I hive him respect. I’m built for five rounds. He’s going to take a whopping. This is going to let me beat him up. I’m a five-round championship fighter. If you look at my old fights, I get stronger as the rounds go on. This favors me. If he gets on my back, I’ve got to worry, but I won’t worry about it.”

Florian on if it was fair that Germaine de Randamie got stripped of the belt: “Yes. You don’t have any other fights in the division. She knew she had to fight Cyborg and she said no. She didn’t want that challenge. I’m glad that Megan Anderson stepped in.”

Woodley on the UFC’s statement for stripping de Randamie: “She could have gone about it another way. If she thought Cyborg was taking drugs, she could have asked for more testing to make sure it’s a clean fight and a clean opponent. Do I agree with it, maybe not 100 percent. I think the statement came out and it could backfire. We’ve seen it go so many other ways. The statement should have said, moving forward the number one contender should fight the champion, but if there’s something else that makes sense from an entertainment or money standpoint, we’ll use that case by case and that will be the x factors moving forward. I’ve been on the other end. I’m staying true to this statement. If you’re the best, you’ve got to fight everybody.”

Florian on Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather: “What makes Conor so great is his mental game. But I agree he needs to be working with high level boxers especially masters who have the defensive style like Floyd. If Conor is going to get this done, he’s got to get Floyd emotional. It’s what he does outside the ring. That could get him rushing in during the fight. I’m not sure Floyd has dealt with someone like him. Also, Conor’s got to get in the clinch and get nasty and wear out those arms.”

Woodley what McGregor needs to do to prepare for Mayweather: “He needs to believe and get those sparring partners in front of him. He needs to come up with and answer to the defense of Floyd. He needs to be drilling over and over again. I see what he does, using all these hand skills. He needs to have a high-level boxer in front of him showing him how to react. If you’re going to make the money, spend the money.”

Florian on if McGregor fights again after this fight: “If Conor gets beat up badly, he won’t come back. But if he makes it through 12 rounds, he’ll come back. If he wins, we’ll see him again.”

Woodley on if McGregor fights in the UFC again: “I think Conor will fight again. It depends on where is head is at. He’s going to make a lot of money. If he smokes Floyd, he’s going to fight him again and get an even bigger payday. But if he gets beat up by Floyd, he might come back to the UFC to prove he can still win.”

Florian on if he thinks the lightweight division should get an interim title: “I don’t like interim title fights, but I think you have to do it between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov.”

VIDEO: Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7K44311ZDx0

UFC TONIGHT Quotes – Woodley Picks Lee Over Chiesa (154 kB, last updated June 2017)
Jeff Gordon

FOX NASCAR at Sonoma Raceway & Iowa Speedway Quotes & Programming Schedule

MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES Live on FS1 Sunday from Sonoma in Season Finale of FOX Sports’ 17th Consecutive Season
FS1 Features NASCAR XFINITY SERIES & NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES from Iowa

CHARLOTTE, NC – To cap its 17th consecutive season of MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES coverage, FOX Sports telecasts its 16th and final MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES race of 2017 this weekend on FS1 (Sunday, June 25 at 3:00 PM ET), as well as live coverage of the NASCAR XFINITY SERIES and NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES.

While FOX NASCAR’s 2017 MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES and NASCAR XFINITY SERIES race coverage concludes at Sonoma Raceway and Iowa Speedway, respectively, live coverage of the entire NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES schedule continues through the end of the season.

FS1’s weekend lineup spans two race tracks – the road course of Sonoma Raceway for the MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES (Sunday, June 25 at 3:00 PM ET), and Iowa Speedway, which plays host to the NASCAR XFINITY SERIES (Saturday, June 24 at 8:30 PM ET) and the NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES (Friday, June 23 at 8:30 PM ET).

During the week, FS1’s NASCAR RACE HUB, NASCAR’s most-watched daily news and information program, continues throughout the season Mondays through Thursdays at 6:00 PM ET. To date, NASCAR RACE HUB viewership is up 15 percent year-to-year. Additionally, the NASCAR RACE HUB PODCAST is available on iTunes, SoundCloud and Google Play Music.

Below are programming information and quotes from FOX NASCAR analysts Jeff Gordon, Larry McReynolds and Michael Waltrip and driver analyst Regan Smith.

MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES (Sonoma)

  • Date/Time: Sunday, June 25 (3:00 PM ET)
  • Network: FS1
  • Announcers: Mike Joy, Hall of Famer and three-time champion Darrell Waltrip, four-time champ Jeff Gordon and Larry McReynolds
  • Pit reporters: Jamie Little, Chris Neville and Matt Yocum
  • Hosts: Chris Myers and Michael Waltrip
  • Pre-race:
    • NASCAR RACEDAY (1:30 PM ET on FS1), hosted by Chris Myers with analysts Darrell Waltrip and Gordon; reporters Little, Neville and Yocum
    • On NASCAR RACEDAY, Shannon Spake sits down with three-time champion and Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Tony Stewart at his home in Indiana

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES (Iowa)

  • Date/Time: Saturday, June 24 (8:30 PM ET)
  • Network: FS1
  • Announcers: Adam Alexander and Phil Parsons; driver analyst Regan Smith
  • Pit reporters: Hermie Sadler, Vince Welch and Kaitlyn Vincie
  • Pre-race: NASCAR RACEDAY-XFINITY (8:00 PM ET on FS1); hosted by Shannon Spake with analysts Andy Petree and Casey Mears; reporters Kenny Wallace and Vincie
  • NASCAR RACEDAY-XFINITY features: a look back at Denny Hamlin’s win last weekend at Michigan; a flashback to Sam Hornish Jr.’s 2016 win at Iowa; and a short piece welcoming Regan Smith to the FS1 booth.

NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES (Iowa)

  • Date/Time: Friday, June 23 (8:30 PM ET)
  • Network: FS1
  • Announcers: Vince Welch, Phil Parsons and Michael Waltrip
  • Pit reporters: Hermie Sadler and Kaitlyn Vincie
  • Pre-race: NCWTS SETUP (8:00 PM ET on FS1); hosted by John Roberts with analyst Todd Bodine; reporters Sadler and Vincie
  • NCWTS SETUP features: a look back at John Hunter Nemechek’s win last weekend at Gateway; a flashback to William Byron’s 2016 win at Iowa; a look at the races Chase Briscoe nearly won this year; and a feature on ThorSport Racing one year after a fire swept through the team’s race shop.

FOX NASCAR QUOTES

On Kyle Larson winning at Michigan and what he has learned the past few weeks:
“I think back to Dover a few weeks ago when he lost the win on the final restart to Jimmie Johnson. I think this was a huge moment for Kyle Larson, not just to get the win, but to figure out how to get the lead back on a restart. He’s the only one who did it from the outside.”
–Jeff Gordon

On the consistency of the No. 42 team and Kyle Larson this year:
“They have been impressive, week-in and week out, whether at a short track like Bristol or the bigger, two-mile tracks like California and Michigan, where he got the victory. They’re getting it done everywhere. But the bigger factor is the relationship between Kyle and crew chief Chad Johnston. Chad is getting it done on pit road. He is making great, hard calls on pit road.”
–Michael Waltrip

On next steps for the No. 22 team and Joey Logano after bouncing back at Michigan:
“There is no question they’re under pressure. They need to find Victory Lane. They found it earlier in the year at Richmond, but it was ruled an encumbered finish. They need to get back there without an issue. Last year, the first time they went to Victory Lane was Michigan in June, so maybe they’re not too far off track. He runs well at road courses, so look for Logano to perform well at Sonoma.”
–Larry McReynolds

On which drivers could face an uphill battle to make the playoffs:
“With 11 races to go in the regular season, drivers without a win are a little nervous about making the playoffs. The best way to feel safe is to find Victory Lane and not have an encumbered finish.”
–Larry McReynolds

On the importance of the accumulation of playoff points once the playoffs begin:
“Getting a win is hugely important, but if you get in the playoffs and don’t have playoff points, it’s going to be tough to be the champion. Drivers are going to take all those points with them to Homestead-Miami Speedway, and those points will seed them in the championship. Go out and win stages like Martin Truex Jr. has done and get those playoff points.”
–Michael Waltrip

On the relationship between Kyle Larson and crew chief Chad Johnston:
“Chad knows what type of feel Kyle is looking for in his car, and he is able to give it to him every single week.”
–Larry McReynolds

On the demeanor of Kyle Larson:
“He’s a superstar that doesn’t act like one. He’s a low-demeanor guy that you want to hang out with. We play a little bit of golf together and he makes fun of himself. You have to see him and understand who he is to be able to appreciate his talent behind the wheel. It’s amazing what he has been able to accomplish.”
–Michael Waltrip

On whether he has paid more attention to a certain driver analyst in the FOX Sports NASCAR XFINITY SERIES booth in preparation for his turn this weekend:
“The driver that sticks out to me is Kevin Harvick. Maybe it’s because he has a little more experience than most of them, but he’s done a really nice job with all the different hats he has worn on the TV side. He’s the one I have reached out to. I haven’t talked to him yet but we’re hopefully going to chat later this week. He’s the one I’ve paid the most attention to, not to take anything away from the rest of them because they all do a nice job. But with that said, I want to do a better job. We’re all competitive all the time. It doesn’t matter what it is.”
–Regan Smith, driver analyst for NASCAR XFINITY SERIES race

FOX NASCAR AT SONOMA RACEWAY & IOWA SPEEDWAY
PROGRAMMING SCHEDULE
(All times live/Eastern unless otherwise indicated & subject to change)

Friday, June 23
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES practice (10:00-11:30 AM) (FS1)
NASCAR RACE HUB WEEKEND EDITION (11:30 AM-12:00 PM) (FS1)
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES final practice (12:00-1:30 PM) (FS1)
NASCAR RACE HUB WEEKEND EDITION (1:30-2:00 PM) (FS1)
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES practice (2:00-3:00 PM) (FS1)
MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES practice (3:00-5:00 PM) (FS1)
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES final practice (5:00-6:00 PM) (FS1)
MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES final practice (6:30-8:00 PM) (FS1)
NCWTS SETUP (8:00-8:30 PM) (FS1)
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES racing (Iowa) (8:30-10:30 PM) (FS1)

Saturday, June 24
MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES qualifying (2:30-4:00 PM) (FS1)
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES qualifying (7:00-8:00 PM) (FS1) (delayed)
NASCAR RACEDAY-XFINITY (8:00-8:30 PM) (FS1)
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES Racing (Iowa) (8:30-11:00 PM) (FS1)

Sunday, June 25
NASCAR RACEDAY (1:30-3:00 PM) (FS1)
MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES Racing (Sonoma) (3:00-6:00 PM) (FS1)

Regan-Smith_1040x585

A Blast from the Past Greets Regan Smith in His FS1 TV Booth Debut in Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY SERIES Race

Driver Pairs with FOX Sports Producer & Childhood Friend of 29 Years for First Stint as Race Analyst

CHARLOTTE, NC – NASCAR driver Regan Smith will have an old, familiar voice in his ear when he makes his television booth debut Saturday for FS1’s live coverage of the NASCAR XFINITY SERIES race at Iowa Speedway (8:00 PM ET). While Mark Smith (no relation) isn’t Regan’s crew chief, he just might be the next best thing.

Mark Smith, FOX Sports’ NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES race producer, will hang around Iowa Speedway an extra day this weekend to produce the NASCAR XFINITY SERIES race, for which Regan is serving as a driver analyst for the first time.

The two, friends for 29 years, grew up in neighboring small towns in upstate New York, initially meeting when Regan’s family began frequenting Happy Days, a drive-through restaurant owned and operated by Mark’s family in Cato. Smith’s family, hailing from Cato, made a tradition of celebrating their special occasions at Happy Days, beginning when Regan was four years old.

“I’ve watched Regan grow up since he was about two feet tall,” said Mark, who grew up minutes from Cato in Baldwinsville. “He’d come by for ice cream with his trophy after his Little League team won or anytime he won a Microd race. The first couple of times, Regan insisted on ordering. I’d go to the window, flip up the screen and look out. I didn’t think anyone was there. I had to lean out and look down to find him. He was a short little thing. I remember he always got a small soft vanilla ice cream cone with rainbow sprinkles.”

While Mark, 14 years Regan’s senior, has a more vivid memory of the early days of their friendship, Regan has a more nostalgic perspective.

“When I go back to Cato, I still drive past the restaurant every time,” Regan said. “It has changed a little over the years through different owners, but it still looks like the same Happy Days. Every time we’d have a Little League game or event like that, everyone went there. That was where you’d go. It holds a special place in my heart. I’ve taken my wife there, if that tells you anything.”

When the time came for Mark to head south for a NASCAR production career in North Carolina, the pair stayed in touch, although Regan’s family remained in the Empire State for approximately another year.

“Regardless of where we were geographically, we’d always keep in touch,” Mark recalled. “He wanted to know how things were going in NASCAR, and I’d reach out to see where he was in his racing career. Our paths began crossing again on a regular basis when he began competing in the XFINITY Series.”

This weekend won’t be the first time the two have worked together. Mark was the long-time producer of Trackside on SPEED, on which Regan served as a driver guest a couple of times. He noticed Regan’s innate ability in front of the camera early on and has closely followed his progression to a regular stint on FS1’s NASCAR RACE HUB much as a proud big brother would.

“When I first heard his name mentioned for the Iowa TV booth, I knew it would be a great fit because he does such a nice job on Race Hub,” Mark explained. “Regan brings the perspective of someone who still is driving and has that hands-on knowledge that you can’t trade for anything.

“I just want Regan to be himself on Saturday,” he continued. “He’s a lot of fun, like the rest of this group. I think drivers who come up to the TV booth benefit from being on this side of the sport. They learn why we ask certain questions, but at the same time, they pick up on things from atop the TV booth they can relay to viewers — such as why and where a driver is beating another through the corner. That’s the kind of thing I’d like to get from Regan.”

Regan, who is undergoing a TV crash course with a dual role as a pit reporter for FS1’s live coverage of NASCAR XFINITY SERIES practice on Friday and qualifying on Saturday, began preparing for his analyst debut several weeks ago.

“I’ve been taking as many notes as I can and watching tapes of previous Iowa races so I know the flow of the event,” Regan stated. “The biggest thing is getting to the track and talking to the crew chiefs and drivers. Once I get there, I’ll be able to really start preparing on little details. The past six or seven weeks when I knew this was a possibility, I really paid attention to the races and started taking mental notes and notes on paper.”

One of his mental notes and overall goals involves censoring himself in the FS1 booth.

“One way I’ll measure success for myself is if I don’t cuss,” Regan joked. “No FCC violations. If the race comes across to the viewer in a way that they feel they learned something, that will be a success. When I watch racing, I like learning something and feeling like I walked away knowing something I didn’t prior to the event.”

Regan expects the familiarity he has with Mark, who will be in his ear throughout the evening, and play-by-play announcer Adam Alexander, with whom he works on NASCAR RACE HUB, to bolster his comfort level.

“It’s good for me to have Mark producing this race,” he said. “Plus, both Adam (Alexander) and Phil (Parsons, analyst) are seasoned veterans. I have a really good relationship with Adam and also know and greatly respect Phil. Adam has a special ability — when he asks a question or when he’s talking about something — he makes it easy for the person alongside him.”

Making it easy for Regan is one of Mark’s goals for the weekend.

“It’s the least I can do for a fellow New Yorker whose family helped pay my college tuition with regular trips to our drive-through window,” Mark joked. “But seriously, I cannot wait for Saturday. It’s going to be a blast to watch our lives and career paths come full circle. A little family reunion in the TV booth. How often do two guys from a map dot end up working in the same industry and on the same event? It’s something pretty special.”

Shannon Sharpe, Ray Lewis and Skip Bayless on UNDISPUTED at Super Bowl LI

FOX Sports Signs Former Baltimore Ravens Linebacker Ray Lewis

Two-Time Super Bowl Champion & 13-Time NFL Pro-Bowler Joins FS1 as NFL Contributor
Skip Bayless Officially Welcomed Ray Lewis on Today’s Edition of SKIP AND SHANNON: UNDISPUTED

NEW YORK, NY – Two-time Super Bowl Champion, two-time AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year and 13-Time NFL Pro-Bowl linebacker Ray Lewis joins the FOX Sports family, serving as NFL contributor to several key studio shows across FS1 and FOX Sports’ digital platforms in 2017. The announcement was made today by Whit Albohm, Vice President Daily Studio Production and Executive Producer, FS1.

“Ray is passionate, incisive and has the ability to ignite thought-provoking discussions,” said Albohm. “We are fortunate to have Ray officially on our roster and look forward to him bringing the same passion and motivation he demonstrated on the field and in the locker room into our FS1 studio programs and digital platforms.”

The future Hall of Famer will appear regularly on FS1 daily studio shows including SKIP AND SHANNON: UNDISPUTED, THE HERD WITH COLIN COWHERD, SPEAK FOR YOURSELF as well as FIRST THINGS FIRST WITH CRIS CARTER AND NICK WRIGHT, a brand new daily studio show for FS1, premiering Tuesday, September 5 (6:00 AM ET).

“My relationship with football and love for the game continues to grow,” said Lewis. “This opportunity, to bring my passion for the game of football into homes of NFL fans across the country through FOX Sports is a gift. I am excited to join this team and can’t wait for the NFL season to start!”

Drafted by the newly formed Baltimore Ravens, Lewis was the team’s second-ever draft choice and 26th pick overall in the 1996 NFL Draft. A dominant linebacker, Lewis played his entire 17-year career (1996-2012) with the Ravens and was an integral part of both the franchise’s Super Bowl titles – XXXV (named MVP) and XLVII. Lewis was awarded the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors twice (2000 & 2003) and the linebacker’s 13 Pro Bowl selections helped him to be named to the 2000s All-Decade Team. Lewis played in 228 games throughout his career, amassing 41.5 sacks and 31 interceptions and is the only player in NFL history with at least 40 career sacks and 30 career INTs. Lewis is the Baltimore Ravens all-time franchise leader in tackles (2,643), including a single-season-team-best 225 stops in 2003.

A mentor and motivational speaker, Lewis co-founded the L2 Family Foundation, an organization that assists single parents with the process towards home ownership. The Foundation finds responsible, single parents, who are ready to learn the fundamentals of owning, managing and living in a home. Additionally, the foundation provides participants and their families with financial education and life skills training as a requirement to receive help.