Expanded Roles for Massaro, Reid, Welch in ESPN’s NASCAR Coverage
Three veterans of ESPN’s motorsports team, Mike Massaro, Marty Reid and Vince Welch, will have new NASCAR responsibilities on ESPN in 2009.
Massaro, who has been a NASCAR pit reporter the past two years, will join Nicole Manske and Allen Bestwick as host of NASCAR Now, ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program. Massaro and Manske will share the primary host role on a rotating basis, while Bestwick will continue as host of the Monday roundtable discussion edition. Massaro will still work the pits for selected NASCAR Nationwide Series telecasts.
Reid, who has been the lead announcer for ESPN’s coverage of the IndyCar Series the past three years, as well as a play-by-play announcer for selected NASCAR Nationwide Series telecasts the past two years, will see his NASCAR appearances increase. Reid will be the play-by-play announcer for ESPN’s coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series for much of the second half of the season, after ESPN begins its 17-race coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Dr. Jerry Punch will continue as play-by-play announcer for the Sprint Cup coverage and for the Nationwide Series in the first half of the season.
Reid will be lead announcer for the Indianapolis 500 and ESPN on ABC’s four other races on the IndyCar Series.
Welch will become one of ESPN’s four primary NASCAR pit reporters for 2009 after having worked selected NASCAR races the past two years while serving as a fulltime pit reporter for ESPN’s IndyCar Series coverage. He will work all of ESPN’s NASCAR Sprint Cup telecasts in the second half of the year along with multiple NASCAR Nationwide Series races throughout the season. In addition, Welch will be a pit reporter for ESPN on ABC’s five-race IndyCar Series coverage, including the Indianapolis 500.
The rest of ESPN’s team of announcers, analysts and reporters for NASCAR will return in 2009. Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree will be lead analysts for the race telecasts, joining Punch and Reid in the booth, while Dave Burns, Jamie Little and Shannon Spake will again be pit reporters. Tim Brewer will continue as analyst in the ESPN Tech Center.
Bestwick will continue to host the pre-race NASCAR Countdown program from the ESPN Pit Studio, with analysis by Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty. Analyst Ray Evernham will join NASCAR Countdown for selected races and will continue his role as an analyst on NASCAR Now and other ESPN studio programs. Wallace and Evernham will work selected NASCAR Nationwide Series telecasts as analysts in the booth, filling in for Jarrett and Petree.
NASCAR Now returns on Monday, Feb. 2, while ESPN’s live NASCAR racing for 2009 begins with flag-to-flag coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series opener at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 14, on ESPN2.
About NASCAR on ESPN:
ESPN and ABC have comprehensive, multi-platform coverage featuring telecasts of the final 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup races, including the 10-race “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup” on ABC. Additionally, ESPN2 is the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season. All programming is produced totally in high definition. ESPN’s comprehensive, multimedia NASCAR coverage extends to ESPN.com, SportsCenter, ESPN the Magazine, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPNRadio and ESPN International, among other ESPN platforms. ESPN aired 262 NASCAR Cup Races over a 20-year period starting in 1981 and returned to NASCAR coverage in 2007. The network’s award-winning, live flag-to-flag coverage on ESPN has been honored with 18 Sports Emmy Awards, as well as many industry honors. It is widely credited for helping to popularize the sport nationwide. NASCAR races have appeared on ABC for decades, beginning with broadcasts on the award-winning Wide World of Sports program in the 1960s.