“NASCAR AMERICA” set for Feb. 24 launch on NBCSN

6 Comments

NBCSN’s new daily NASCAR show, “NASCAR AMERICA,” will launch on February 24. The first edition will air at 5 p.m. ET and run daily at the same time for 30 minutes.  The timing makes sense, as it will occur the day after this year’s Daytona 500, and provide the first new original coverage under the NBC Sports Group’s return to NASCAR.

NBC Sports and NBCSN Executive Producer Sam Flood made the official announcement on Tuesday. A mix of driver, team, crew profiles, opinions and insights from analysts and looks inside race shops and tracks are among the expected topics.

NASCAR AMERICA will engage the true racing fan in a number of ways, providing viewers with a mix of breaking news, storytelling and daily features,” Flood said in a release. “We’re going to celebrate the traditions as well as the changing landscape of the sport from coast to coast with wide-ranging content that feeds America’s passion for racing.”

The show will be broadcast from Stamford, Ct., NBC Sports Group’s International Broadcast Center. NBC NASCAR announcer Rick Allen will serve as primary host, with Leigh Diffey, F1 and IndyCar announcer, also hosting at times. Charlotte-based reporters Marty Snider and Kelli Stavast will also play a prominent role.

Guest analysts who will join NASCAR AMERICA throughout February and March include NBC Sports NASCAR analyst Jeff Burton, Sprint Cup Champion Bobby Labonte, Kyle Petty, Ken Schrader, and crew chief Frank Stoddard.

Future guest analysts, which will include former and current drivers and crew chiefs, NASCAR executives, and even prominent fans such as NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, will be announced at a later date.

Because NBC Sports also shows F1, IndyCar and other motorsports series, other input will come at times from the organizations’ IndyCar and Formula One on-air talent. Diffey, Wally Dallenbach, Townsend Bell, Steve Matchett, David Hobbs and Will Buxton, will each contribute from various locations around the world.

Kubica, di Resta complete Williams F1 tests in Hungary

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Robert Kubica and Paul di Resta have both completed one-day tests for Williams in a 2014-spec Formula 1 car as part of the team’s evaluation for its 2018 line-up.

Williams is known to be considering a number of drivers to partner Lance Stroll at the team next year, including existing racer Felipe Massa.

Massa is thought to be going up against Kubica and di Resta for the 2018 drive, with the latter duo taking part in a private test at the Hungaroring in Budapest this week to aid the team’s evaluation.

After missing out on a 2018 Renault drive due to lingering questions about his physical condition six years after his rally accident, Kubica tested for Williams at Silverstone last week before getting back behind the wheel of the 2014 FW36 car in Hungary on Tuesday.

Kubica’s test was called “productive” by Williams, with the Pole handing duties over to Mercedes DTM racer di Resta on Wednesday.

Di Resta raced in F1 with Force India between 2010 and 2013 before returning to DTM, but made a surprise return at this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix with Williams when Massa was taken ill. Di Resta impressed on short notice, putting himself in contention for a full-time return to F1 in 2018.

Williams has one of the few remaining seats on offer in F1 for 2018, with Massa’s future known to be in question after a quiet campaign thus far.

The Brazilian had been due to retire from F1 at the end of last year, only for Williams to recall him after Valtteri Bottas’ late move up to Mercedes following Nico Rosberg’s surprise retirement.

Massa has made clear he would like to keep racing in F1 next year, but only if the deal is right and if Williams is determined to keep him.

While Massa, Kubica and di Resta appear to be the three leading contenders for the seat, Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe made clear in Japan there was a “large range” of drivers under consideration.

“You’ve probably seen a number of names that are floating around that we’re looking at, but honestly, the range is almost unlimited,” Lowe said.

“We will consider all ideas. We’re not in a super hurry to do so, and we’ll just make sure we land the best line-up we can.”