Monday, April 21, 2008
NASCAR Regional Highlights On Tuesday's "NASCAR Now"
Allen Bestwick signed-off the big one hour NASCAR Now program on Monday by making sure to promote several things that would be coming up on the Tuesday show.
Normally, these would include interviews and updates from the NASCAR Now reporters. This time, Bestwick made a point to say that the Tuesday show would have highlights from the NASCAR Regional Racing Series. If that comes to pass, it will signal a milestone in the growth and understanding of the sport by our friends at ESPN.
"NASCAR Home Tracks" are the three little words on the NASCAR.com website that give any indication to casual fans that NASCAR has regional racing series nationwide. One click opens up an entire new world of racing that is affordable and available for fans to attend.
Connecticut-based Whelen Engineering sponsors the NASCAR Modifieds and the All-American Series. Among other things related to lighting, Whelen makes the red, blue and white emergency lights on almost all police, rescue and fire vehicles. This little company has been a godsend for regional racers with their strong support.
Bowling Green, Kentucky is the home of Camping World, the largest supplier of RV parts and supplies. This company is sponsoring the former Grand National East and West Series for 2008, with both series now bearing the Camping World name. The company also created a website for the series, perhaps to bolster the efforts of Turner Interactive, the company that operates the NASCAR.com site.
ESPN's former motorsports program was called RPM2Night, and it had a lot of fun with the regional series. The racing is quite different than casual fans have seen before, but some of the events are just as historic and definitely just as exciting as their "big brothers."
NASCAR Now began taking baby steps in the direction of the regional series with sporadic interviews of local racers both in the ESPN studio and by satellite. 2007 regional champ LW Miller's enthusiasm and professionalism on-the-air several weeks ago may have finally led NASCAR Now to step-up and make a commitment to exposing the regional racing from around the country to a brand-new audience.
National TV exposure is something these series have been missing, with only HDNet and SPEED airing a limited number of events. For ESPN and NASCAR Now, this is a big step in the right direction. The Tuesday program airs at 6PM Eastern Time.
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