End of an era for ESPN
Photo by Rusty Jarrett/NASCAR via Getty Images
The ESPN team poses for a picture in October 2006 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
By Dominic Aragon
November 17, 2014
At the conclusion of Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400, ESPN produced its final NASCAR broadcast, ending an eight year stint.
ESPN had two tenures, broadcasting NASCAR races from 1981-2000 and again from 2007-2014.
“It’s been an absolute pleasure, thank you for allowing us in your homes for so many weeks throughout the NASCAR season,” said Nicole Briscoe, the host of NASCAR Countdown, ESPN’s pre-race show.
It was business as usual during the warm up laps with Dale Jarrett dialing up a driver to hear their perspective from the cockpit. Six-time champion Jimmie Johnson talked with Jarrett, talking about the pressure of performing at a championship level and showing gratitude towards ESPN.
“I thank ESPN for all that you’ve done for our great sport, we’re going to miss you guys,” said Johnson, the ESPN In-Race Reporter for Sunday’s race.
After Kevin Harvick scored the victory—and simultaneously his first series title—the driver thanked the fans and the network for their contributions to the sport.
“Thank you, ESPN, for all that you’ve done for the sport,” Harvick said on the championship stage to Dr. Jerry Punch.
During ESPN’s second stint, Dr. Punch served as the lap-by-lap announcer from 2007-2009, Marty Reid in 2010 and Allen Bestwick from 2011 through this season. Bestwick talked post-race Sunday about the future of ESPN in its relation to covering the sport.
“We look forward to continuing to covering the sport on SportsCenter… Daytona and more,” the lap-by-lap announcer said at the conclusion of the telecast. “Now, for Bob Jenkins and Larry Nuber; for Benny Parsons and Ned Jarrett; for Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree, Allen Bestwick, so long from Homestead.”