NBC Sports to televise four ARCA races


NBC Sports Network will air four ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards races in August, giving the national stock car racing series an even greater television presence.

Officials from the Automobile Racing Club of America made the announcement today during the Scott 160 race event weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake.

“We couldn’t be more excited than to have the opportunity to secure additional exposure of the ARCA Racing Series on NBC Sports Network,” said Mark Gundrum, ARCA Vice President for Business Development and Corporate Partnerships. “This opportunity is great for the teams, sponsors and fans of the series.”

Three of the four NBC Sports Network events are scheduled to air on Thursday nights, with one event slated for Friday night. NBC Sports Network’s ARCA racing coverage premieres Thursday, August 1, at 11 p.m. ET with the Winchester Speedway race. The race from Berlin Raceway will air on Thursday, August 15, at 11 p.m. ET, and the Madison International Speedway event will air on Thursday night, August 29, at 11 p.m. ET. The event from the one-mile dirt oval at the Illinois State Fairgrounds will air on Friday, August 23 at 11 p.m. ET.

“We look forward to presenting the excitement of the ARCA Racing Series to motorsports fans on NBC Sports Network for the first time,” said Mike Perman, Vice President, Programming, NBC Sports Group.

ARCA races from Winchester Speedway (Herr’s Chase the Taste 200) on June 30; Berlin Raceway (Berlin ARCA 200) on August 10; The Illinois State Fairgrounds (Allen Crowe 100) on August 18, and Madison International Speedway (Herr’s Live Life With Flavor 200) on August 25, comprise the televised event package.

NHRA: John Force-like motor explosions get contagious during Sunday’s Gatornationals

Photo and video courtesy NHRA
Leave a comment

John Force is rubbing off on others – but probably not the way they or he would like.

The 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion has had spectacular motor explosions in each of the first three races of the new NHRA season, including during Friday’s qualifying for this weekend’s Gatornationals.

During Sunday’s quarterfinals of eliminations, Force’s teammate (and son-in-law and president of John Force Racing) Robert Hight squared off with fellow Funny Car driver Matt Hagan.

As the duo closed in on the finish line, both cars experienced spectacular motor explosions of their own – virtually side-by-side and nearly at the same time.

Hight’s car was the first to explode, tossing its body high in the air. A split-second later, Hagan’s car exploded, also sending the body flying.

Check out the NHRA video:

Hight wound up losing the race.

Hagan, meanwhile, and his crack pit crew rolled their backup car off the hauler, put in a new motor and went on to race through the semifinals and into the finals, losing to race winner “Fast Jack” Beckman.

“We had a pretty great race day, to be honest,” Hagan said. “I’ve never been to the finals in Gainesville.

“We obviously had a huge blow up in the second round, then to watch these guys pull the other car back out and put it together in the amount of time they had, then turn a win light on against Capps (Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps in the semifinals), then to be able to go to a final, it was huge and it speaks for itself.”

As for Hight, here’s his take on what happened with the motor explosion:

“I couldn’t see (Hagan) over there and it wasn’t like it was hazing the tires or anything else. As it turns out it wasn’t spinning at all. It kicked two rods out when it blacked the bearings in the crank then it hit the valves and blew up.

“The thing gave me no indication at all before that. What really scared me was once I got it under control and I look over and see his body is off his car. I am thinking ‘Oh man, he got gathered up in me.’ Then I stood up and looked and his injector was sideways so I realized he had an explosion as well. We are just lucky we didn’t get into each other.”

As for the guy who has had so much trouble in the motor department, John Force, he lost in the first round of Sunday’s eliminations to daughter Courtney Force.

John Force planned on shutting the motor off on his car at around the 700-foot mark of the 1,000-foot dragstrip, not wanting to risk another motor explosion – even though it meant a likely loss to his daughter.

Now John Force and his entire four-car team, including Courtney Force, Robert Hight and daughter and Top Fuel driver Brittany Force, will be off for extensive testing to try and determine what’s been causing the motor explosions.

“We have to evaluate it and go test,” Force said. “We’ll figure it out.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski