By Ryan Berenz (Twitter: @ChannelGuideRAB)
The 27th NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race airs on SPEED Channel from Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 21, at 7pm ET, with the winner receiving a $1 million prize. Drivers qualify by winning a race in 2010 or 2011, winning a past All-Star Race, winning a past Sprint Cup Series championship, finishing in the top two in the Sprint Showdown 40-lap preliminary race or by winning the Sprint Fan Vote. Last year, Kurt Busch held off Martin Truex Jr. to win his first All-Star Race.
Other coverage surrounding All-Star week includes the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge Thursday at 8pm ET and the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Monday, May 23, at 8pm ET, both on SPEED.
Complete release and All-Star Week Schedule from SPEED:
SPEED™ ENERGIZES NASCAR SPRINT ALL-STAR RACE COVERAGE
NASCAR HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY MAY 23 AT 8 P.M. ET ON SPEED
F1 CHAMP RAIKKONEN MAKES NASCAR DEBUT IN MAY 20
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES LIVE ON SPEED AT 8 P.M. ET
SPEED marks its fifth consecutive year as the exclusive television home of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race with 70 hours of programming beginning Thursday, May 19, and concluding Saturday, May 21, with the 7 p.m. ET live telecast of the race and subsequent post-race analysis on NASCAR Victory Lane. Less than 48 hours after the checkered flag waves over Charlotte Motor Speedway, the network shifts gears and heads to the NASCAR Hall of Fame for the annual Induction Ceremony Monday, May 23 at 8 p.m. ET.
“All-Star Week is the biggest week of the year for SPEED,” said SPEED President Hunter Nickell. “What started as a wide-open race has turned into a full week of celebrating the sport, and what’s so cool is that Monday night’s NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony also gives us the chance to honor those who helped get us here.”
New for SPEED’s 2011 coverage of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race are upgraded production elements that include a touch screen and enhanced graphics interface inside the Hollywood Hotel, as well as increased radio communication with drivers during the event. Also added to the mix this year is the SPEED Social Tracker, a social media dashboard comprised of at least 20 SPEED on-air personalities answering fans’ questions in real time and posting analysis via Twitter and SPEED’s Facebook page during the All-Star Race and in the preceding weeks. Several on-air personalities will be seated on a specially-equipped pit box that enables them to be fully interactive during the All-Star Race. All social media interaction will live on the SPEED Social Tracker, located at www.SPEED.com/Allstar or SPEED’s Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/speed under the “SPEED Social Tracker” tab.
Fans also can enter for the chance to win $10,000 on the SPEED Facebook page, with special codes offered during SPEED coverage of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race for more chances to win.
The network is live from Charlotte Motor Speedway all day Friday, May 20, including the popular live-audience program Trackside at 11 p.m. ET with Steve Byrnes, Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Hammond welcoming guests Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray. SPEED’s more than 13 consecutive hours of at-track coverage on Friday concludes with its 8 p.m. ET live telecast of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, in which former Formula One champion Kimi Raikkonen is scheduled to make his NASCAR debut (NCWTS Setup with Krista Voda at 7:30 p.m. ET). Rick Allen, Phil Parsons and Michael Waltrip call the race with pit road reporting from Ray Dunlap and Hermie Sadler.
As part of the traditional “24 Hours of All-Star,” Adam Alexander is up first on Saturday, May 21, at 9:30 a.m. ET with SPEED Center live from the SPEED Studios with reporter Danielle Trotta. The NASCAR RaceDay Built by The Home Depot gang takes to the SPEED Stage at 4 p.m. ET Saturday for a special three-hour edition with hosts John Roberts, Kyle Petty, Larry McReynolds, a special co-host and reporters Hermie Sadler, Wendy Venturini and Rutledge Wood offering their thoughts and answering fan questions on Twitter throughout the broadcast. A special feature with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will air during NASCAR RaceDay, as well as the fan-favorite Pennzoil Victory Challenge with NASCAR drivers Trevor Bayne, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano showcasing their best celebratory burnouts and donuts.
The RaceDay gang hands off to Voda, Jeff Hammond and McReynolds, co-hosts of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, when live race coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET. Calling the action for SPEED are Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Michael Waltrip, with pit road reporting by Dick Berggren, Matt Yocum and Steve Byrnes. NASCAR Victory Lane’s post-race analysis with Roberts, Petty and McReynolds is scheduled for 11 p.m. ET.
Before the cars ever hit the track, SPEED kicks off All-Star Week by shining a spotlight on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pit crews Thursday at 8 p.m. ET with coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge from Time Warner Arena in Charlotte, N.C. Steve Byrnes hosts alongside former crew chiefs Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond with Bob Dillner reporting from the arena floor. To set the stage for All-Star Week on SPEED, NASCAR Race Hub focuses on all things All-Star the week of May 16 (Mondays-Thursdays at 7 p.m. ET).
Inside the Headsets, a 30-minute, all-access show chronicling the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race from the morning through the night’s final post-race interview, airs Sunday, May 22 at 8:30 p.m. ET. With less than 18 hours to turn the program around, this NASCAR Media Group-produced Emmy-winning show utilizes more than 20 additional cameras to capture the race with images and access not seen in SPEED’s telecast.
SPEED switches gears less than 48 hours after the All-Star Race and heads to uptown Charlotte for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Monday, May 23 at 8 p.m. ET. Mike Joy hosts Induction Ceremony coverage with backstage hosting assistance from Krista Voda. NASCAR Race Hub sets the stage for the Induction Ceremony with live interviews and pre-event ceremonies from the Hall of Fame at 7 p.m. ET.
NASCAR Sprint All-Star Week/Hall of Fame programming on SPEED (all times Eastern and subject to change):
Thursday, May 19
NASCAR Race Hub, 7 p.m.
NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge, 8 p.m.
Friday, May 20
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice, 9:30 a.m.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star final practice, Noon
NASCAR Live!, 3 p.m.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying, 4 p.m.
NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race qualifying, 5 p.m.
NCWTS Setup with Krista Voda, 7:30 p.m.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Charlotte, 8 p.m.
SPEED Center, 10:30 p.m.
Trackside, 11 p.m.
Saturday, May 21
SPEED Center, 9:30 a.m.
NASCAR Performance, 10:30 a.m.
SPEED Center, 3 p.m.
NASCAR RaceDay Built by The Home Depot, 4 p.m.
NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, 7 p.m.
NASCAR Victory Lane, 11 p.m.
Sunday, May 22
SPEED Center, 7 p.m.
NASCAR Victory Lane, 8 p.m.
Inside the Headsets, 8:30 p.m.
Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain, 9 p.m.
Monday, May 23
NASCAR Hall of Fame Biography: Lee Petty, 2 p.m.
NASCAR Hall of Fame Biography: Bud Moore, 3 p.m.
NASCAR Hall of Fame Biography: Ned Jarrett, 4 p.m.
NASCAR Hall of Fame Biography: David Pearson, 5 p.m.
NASCAR Hall of Fame Biography: Bobby Allison, 6 p.m.
NASCAR Race Hub, 7 p.m.
NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, 8 p.m.