Tuesday, August 5, 2014

NASCAR on ESPN's Nicole Briscoe is headed to SportsCenter

   Nicole Briscoe, who has hosted NASCAR on ESPN's "NASCAR Countdown" pre-race show since 2011, has agreed to a new contract with the network and will become an anchor on the network's flagship "SportsCenter" show once ESPN's contract airing NASCAR races concludes.

   Briscoe, who is in the process of relocating with her family from the Charlotte area to Bristol, Conn., expects to begin her new role on SportsCenter by the end of January.

   "I consider ESPN my home and I'm confident this is the best option for me because it's a great company and I have a lot of great friends there but then to have the opportunity to do SportsCenter? Show me a sports fan who doesn't know or watch SportsCenter," Briscoe told the Observer.

   "The whole idea of getting to do this is really exciting for me. To me it feels like I'm going back to my roots. As much as I love motorsports and I love NASCAR and I love racing in general, my first love was football. It's getting back to the whole reason I became a sports journalist and the chance to do a little bit of everything again."

   Briscoe said race fans can be reassured the network doesn't plan to ignore the sport simply because it's not airing NASCAR races in the future. 

   "I highly doubt ESPN is going to forget about one of the most popular sports in the country," Briscoe said. "And if I can push it - then, absolutely, I want to see the people I know on SportsCenter."

   In addition to the SportsCenter role, Bricoe will also take part in a variety of other ESPN studio shows.  

   Briscoe joined ESPN in 2009 after stints as a sports reporter in Indianapolis and on the former Speed Channel. She and her husband, IndyCar Series driver Ryan Briscoe, have an eight-month old daughter, Finley.