A combination of the NFL Draft and NBA Playoffs will send the April 29 NASCAR Nationwide Series race off ESPN and to Speed Channel this year.
As I pointed out last week, a chart of TV start times for 2011 on NASCARMedia.com had listed the network for that race as "TBD." NASCAR confirmed on Monday Speed will carry the race.
“The Richmond race presented extraordinary scheduling challenges for us due to the NFL Draft and the NBA Playoffs," said Julie Sobieski, ESPN vice president of programming and acquisitions. "We are happy that NASCAR fans will be well-served with the race airing on Speed, and we appreciate the cooperation of NASCAR and Speed in making this change.”
Speed has long supported the Nationwide Series, having aired 44 practice and qualifying sessions just last season.
“An exclusive NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Speed is a stout addition to our lineup,” said network president Hunter Nickell. “There is a real sense that the 2011 NASCAR season is building early momentum, so adding a Nationwide Series race to our full complement of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races and all that we do from each track all season long adds to the excitement.”