HLN’s Robin Meade to Sing National Anthem and Interview Troops from Daytona
TNT’s signature Wide Open television format will return for the sixth consecutive year during the network’s exclusive coverage of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Powered by Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 7, at 7:30 p.m. ET. In addition to the TNT telecast, the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Powered by Coca-Cola – traditionally the network’s highest-rated race from the NASCAR Summer Series – will also be simulcast for the first time ever on truTV. Wide Open coverage debuted during the summer race at Daytona International Speedway in 2007, providing continuous race coverage free of national commercial breaks. It offers more than 20 percent unobstructed race action than the standard telecast by using a letterbox widescreen format to allow for a continuous scroll of race information. National sponsors featured in this year’s telecast include: AndroGel, Coke Zero, Dodge Ram, Geico, Goodyear, Sprint, Toyota, Twitter and Viagra.
HLN’s Robin Meade will be on site to sing the national anthem and to conduct interviews with troops attending the race. HLN’s Morning Express with Robin Meade (weekdays 6 a.m.-noon) features a regular “Salute to Troops” segment on the show, and will incorporate those interviews during the week following the race. In a further commitment to honoring our nation’s service men and women, HLN will televise a Fourth of July special – Stories of Courage Hosted by Robin Meade, inspirational stories and profiles of military heroes, at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
“TNT’s Wide Open coverage, truTV’s simulcast and the integration with HLN allows us to increase NASCAR’s presence across the Turner portfolio and pay tribute to troops in a meaningful way,” said Christina Miller, Turner Sports’ senior vice president, strategy, programming and marketing. “There could not be a more fitting time than Daytona, the biggest race of the summer, and the Fourth of July holiday.”
Coverage from Daytona will begin with the Countdown to Green pre-race show – hosted by Adam Alexander with analysts Larry McReynolds and Kyle Petty – at 6:30 p.m. Alexander will also provide play-by-play for the race with analysts Petty and Wally Dallenbach and reporters Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider, Matt Yocum and Chris Neville. Additionally, McReynolds will make frequent contributions during the race from his customized, unique broadcast unit that will house his own studio, as well as his base location where he’ll provide analysis using a cut-away display car.
Additional Coke Zero 400 highlights:
- NASCAR will celebrate the culmination of ‘NASCAR Unites – An American Salute,’ during the Coke Zero 400. The industry will unite in saluting military members and their families at-track including a pre-race special salute to Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients Michael Fitzmaurice, Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army; Jack Jacobs, Captain, U.S. Army; Robert Patterson, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army; and James Taylor, Captain, U.S. Army. NASCAR drivers also will be doing their part on-track, with various NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers adorning ‘An American Salute’ paint scheme on their race cars.
- TNT’s Countdown to Green pre-race show will include a musical performance by Train singing their new song “50 Ways to Say Goodbye.”
- TNT’s Countdown to Green will also include a special guest appearance by NASCAR driver Tony Stewart.
- Countdown to Green will continue its weekly feature segment titled “NASCAR Generations” – with Jimmie Johnson, Ned Jarrett and Bill Elliott, along with TNT analysts Petty and McReynolds – including a discussion about legendary moments at Daytona.
A few comments which will be part of Saturday’s “NASCAR Generations” segment about Daytona:
Bill Elliott on his fondest memory of Daytona: “I still say the most impressive thing that I have ever done – that impressed me – was running 210 [mph] at Daytona in that era [1980s].”
Kyle Petty on racing at Daytona: “When you would go to qualify [at Daytona], you weren’t sure you were gonna come back during that period of time…That was an amazing thing that day, when you busted that [Elliott’s 210 mph].”
Jimmie Johnson on what his mentality is like when he drives at Daytona: “It’s such a weird mind game to win a plate race in today’s era of racing because you can’t do it by yourself. You know the best car doesn’t win. It’s who’s willing to work with each other the most.”
Bill Elliott on Tony Stewart’s comment last year about racing at Daytona: “The most classic line I’ve ever heard was Tony [Stewart] last year. He said, ‘This is a high-speed chess game, and I ain’t even smart enough to play checkers.’”
Ned Jarrett on his fondest memory of Daytona – 1993 when he son Dale won the Daytona 500: “Well, that one probably tops them all. Even anything that I did on the racetrack or any experience that I had, let’s say, in racing…that 1993 Daytona 500 was it. Because it was the first time that anyone knew of that a dad was in the booth broadcasting and his son [was winning] a major event.”
TNT’s RaceBuddy on NASCAR.COM will once again provide live companion coverage from Daytona with eight different camera views and an option of two mosaic screens. Camera angles include four In-Car Driver Cams, two Battle Cams highlighting head-to-head competition between drivers, a Backstretch Cam and a Pit Road Cam. Fans can view up to four angles at once through each mosaic option. Features also include the DVR Function, an Enhanced LIVE Leaderboard and RaceView’s position tracker. Fans can connect throughout the race on Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo! Messenger and MySpace for a seamlessly-integrated social media experience.
TNT’s NASCAR Summer Series will conclude with the New Hampshire 301 from New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 15, at 1 p.m. with Countdown to Green pre-race coverage at noon.