FOX Sports Powers Into Daytona 500, Kicking Off 18th Season of NASCAR Coverage Nearly 100 Hours of NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY and Truck Series Speedweeks Coverage Culminates with Feb. 18 DAYTONA 500 on FOX
FOX Sports powers into its 18th consecutive season of NASCAR coverage, beginning with Daytona Speedweeks, which culminates with the 60th running of the iconic DAYTONA 500 from Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 18 (2:30 PM ET). Live coverage begins at 1:00 PM ET with FOX NASCAR SUNDAY, preceded by NASCAR RACEDAY at 11:00 AM ET, also on FOX.
FOX NASCAR’s presentation of Daytona Speedweeks, highlighted by FOX Sports’ 15th DAYTONA 500, features nearly 100 hours of multi-platform programming.
For its 15th DAYTONA 500, FOX NASCAR offers with seven NASCAR premier series championships’ worth of analysis and insight from Hall of Famer and three-time champ Darrell Waltrip alongside four-time champion Jeff Gordon, with veteran play-by-play announcer Mike Joy, covering his 43rd DAYTONA 500, and DAYTONA 500-winning crew chief Larry McReynolds with race analysis. This year’s running of the “Great American Race” marks the 20th anniversary of McReynolds leading Dale Earnhardt to his elusive DAYTONA 500 victory in 1998 atop the pit box for Richard Childress Racing.
Delivering stories and updates from pit road are pit reporters Jamie Little, FOX NASCAR newcomer and NASCAR driver Regan Smith, Vince Welch and Matt Yocum. Chris Myers hosts FOX NASCAR SUNDAY and the network’s coverage from the famed Hollywood Hotel mobile studio alongside Michael Waltrip, Darrell Waltrip and Gordon. Joy, McReynolds, Myers, Darrell Waltrip and Yocum were members of the original FOX NASCAR on-air team that debuted at Daytona in 2001.
The DAYTONA 500 is streamed live in both English and Spanish through FOX Sports GO, the critically acclaimed app that provides live streaming video of FOX Sports content at home or on-the-go. All FOX NASCAR programming is live streamed on FOX Sports GO. FOX Deportes, the No. 1 Spanish-language sports network in the U.S., offers live coverage of the DAYTONA 500.
On Monday, Feb. 19, Kevin Harvick is in-studio on FS1’s NASCAR RACE HUB (6:00 PM ET) with Alexander, Spake and McReynolds.
Below are notes and quotes regarding FOX NASCAR’s coverage:
NASCAR RACEDAY: DAYTONA 500 OFFERS SIT-DOWN INTERVIEW WITH DANICA PATRICK
For Sunday’s NASCAR RACEDAY (11:00 AM ET on FOX), Little sits down with Danica Patrick for an in-depth interview prior to the start of her final NASCAR start. Kenny Wallace chats with Bubba Wallace over breakfast in a “Breakfast with the Wallaces” feature. Also airing during NASCAR RACEDAY is: a feature on Aric Almirola’s battle back from injury and his new ride at Stewart-Haas Racing; Alan Cavanna’s look back at Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s long-sought victory in the 1998 Daytona 500; a Rachel Bonnetta live hit from a Xfinity Daytona Day watch party in Boston; a “Where’s Wallace” piece; and a War Room feature.
FOX NASCAR SUNDAY: JEFF GORDON SITS DOWN WITH ALL FOUR HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS DRIVERS
Following Sunday’s pre-race coverage on NASCAR RACEDAY, FOX NASCAR SUNDAY picks up the baton at 1:00 PM ET, live on FOX. In Sunday’s show: Jeff Gordon sits down with all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers (Jimmie Johnson, Alex Bowman, William Byron and Chase Elliott); Regan Smith travels to Denver to catch up with defending champion Martin Truex Jr. and crew chief Cole Pearn; Jamie Little chats with Danica Patrick prior to her final NASCAR start; interviews with Peyton Manning and Charlize Theron; a live Rascal Flatts performance during pre-race ceremonies; and Michael Waltrip’s “Grid Walk.”
FOX SPORTS: Entering your third season in the FOX NASCAR booth, what is your biggest takeaway?
“I’ve come to realize what a huge race fan I am. I love driving race cars, but the experience of being in the booth makes you realize what a fan you are of the action. No offense to the NFL, but I’m pretty biased. I don’t think there’s any experience, whether live or on TV, that’s like racing at 200 miles-per-hour inches away from one another, and we get to go inside the car and hear what’s going on with the action. That’s amazing.”
FOX SPORTS: Is it difficult to set aside relationships you have with drivers and teams when you step into the broadcast booth?
“There have been plenty of discussions about my feelings toward certain drivers. I can tell you that as many times as I have pulled for Chase Elliott to win a race, I have been equally as excited to see Ryan Blaney win his first race, because I like to see things that get everyone excited, are good for the sport and take it to the next level.”
FOX SPORTS: How do you keep the production of a NASCAR race fresh weekly when your on-air team is working with and interviewing the same drivers each week, unlike other sports?
“FOX Sports is there for every practice, qualifying session and lap of every race. We don’t miss a batting practice, a shoot-around or a Thursday walk-through. We truly get to know the drivers well, but keeping it fresh comes with the sport itself and its different venues. Each track seems to have a different twist to it, whether it’s a mile-and-a-half superspeedway or a short track. So, it does stay fresh but it allows us to dig in and get to know the drivers a bit more. The cool part about this sport is the access and ability to be able to talk to them two minutes after they get out of the car, whether they like it or not in that particular moment. The access is what’s so engaging and fun to watch in this sport, and you don’t get than in any other sport.”
--Barry Landis, FOX NASCAR race producer
FOX Sports’ Daytona Speedweeks coverage kicks off Saturday, Feb. 10 on FS1 with NASCAR CUP SERIES PRACTICE for THE CLASH AT DAYTONA (10:30 AM ET). Off-the-track, FS1 offers live coverage of DAYTONA 500 MEDIA DAY on Wednesday, Feb. 14 (12:00-2:00 PM ET), as well as a recap of the day’s happenings on an expanded edition of NASCAR RACE HUB at 5:00 PM ET.
THE CLASH AT DAYTONA
THE CLASH AT DAYTONA, the first NASCAR event of the season, moves back to an afternoon start time in 2018, airing live on FS1 on Sunday, Feb. 11 (3:00 PM ET). Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Gordon call the 75-lap, non-points race with McReynolds and pit reporters Little, Welch and Yocum. Myers and Michael Waltrip host the network’s coverage from the Hollywood Hotel.
DAYTONA 500 QUALIFYING
DAYTONA 500 QUALIFYING is broadcast live on FOX on Sunday, Feb. 11 (12:00 PM ET), setting the prestigious first and second starting positions for the DAYTONA 500, as well as the starting order for the DUEL AT DAYTONA.
DUEL AT DAYTONA
The complete DAYTONA 500 starting order is determined following the DUEL AT DAYTONA, live on FS1 on Thursday, Feb. 15 (7:00 PM ET). The pair of qualifying races is run under the lights with Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Gordon on the call, with race analysis by McReynolds and pit reporting by Little, Smith, Welch and Yocum. Myers and Michael Waltrip host.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES
FOX Sports kicks off its fourth year of NASCAR XFINITY SERIES coverage from Daytona on Saturday, Feb. 17 with the season opener at 2:30 PM ET. Adam Alexander calls the action alongside Michael Waltrip and 2012 NASCAR CUP SERIES champion Brad Keselowski with pit reporting by Little, Smith and Yocum. NASCAR RACEDAY - XFINITY, FS1’s XFINITY Series pre-race show, hosted by Shannon Spake and McReynolds, previews the action at 2:00 PM ET.
NASCAR TRUCK SERIES
In its 16th year of exclusive coverage on FOX Sports, the NASCAR TRUCK SERIES opens its season on Friday, Feb. 16 (7:30 PM ET) on FS1, with complete pre-race coverage beginning with NASCAR RACEDAY: NCWTS at 7:00 PM ET. Vince Welch has the call alongside Phil Parsons and Michael Waltrip. Hermie Sadler and Alan Cavanna cover pit road. John Roberts hosts NCWTS SETUP with analysis from two-time series champion Todd Bodine and Jeff Hammond and reporting by Sadler and Cavanna.
Before FOX coverage of the DAYTONA 500 begins on Sunday, Feb. 18, NASCAR RACEDAY (11:00 AM ET) is broadcast moves from FS1 to FOX for the first time. John Roberts hosts with analysis from Jeff Hammond and Bobby Labonte from the Charlotte studio with at-track reporting from Cavanna and Kenny Wallace. NASCAR RACEDAY also airs immediately preceding THE CLASH AT DAYTONA and the DUEL on FS1.
NASCAR RACE HUB
FS1’s NASCAR RACE HUB, NASCAR’s most-watched daily news and update show, which enjoyed a 15% total viewership increase (166,000 vs. 144,000) in 2017 vs. 2016, airs Monday through Thursdays at 6:00 PM ET during the NASCAR season and is hosted by Alexander and Spake. Returning analysts include Jeff Hammond, Jeff Gordon, Michael Waltrip, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Chad Knaus, Regan Smith, Todd Bodine, David Ragan, Drew Blickensderfer, Austin Dillon, AJ Allmendinger, Bobby Labonte and Casey Mears. Alan Cavanna and Kenny Wallace offer live reports from the track during Daytona Speedweeks. On the weekends, the show continues with NASCAR RACE HUB WEEKEND EDITION, hosted by Roberts.
NASCAR RACE CLASSIC SPECIALS
In addition, FOX Sports has several NASCAR specials planned during Daytona Speedweeks. Immediately following the Friday, Feb. 16 NASCAR TRUCK SERIES race, FS1 premieres NASCAR RACE CLASSIC: THE 1998 DAYTONA 500, a condensed version of the original race broadcast highlighting Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s elusive win, hosted by Jeff Gordon. On Thursday, Feb. 15, FS1 debuts NASCAR RACE CLASSIC: 1988 DAYTONA 500 (10:00 PM ET), also hosted by Gordon, following the DUEL AT DAYTONA live broadcast. These premieres are complemented by a special encore presentation of the third “Beyond the Wheel” short film series at 6:00 PM ET preceding Friday’s race.
ARCA RACING SERIES
Catch even more live on-track action as the ARCA RACING SERIES season opener airs live on FS1 on Saturday, Feb. 10 (4:00 PM ET). Kevin Lee calls the race with analysis from Phil Parsons and pit reporting by Jim Tretow and Dillon Welch (FOX broadcaster Vince Welch’s son).