GLENDORA, Calif. (Feb. 1, 2006) — NHRA and ESPN revealed the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series television schedule today, which once again will showcase the world’s fastest motorsport exclusively on ESPN2 and in high definition on ESPN2 HD.

In all, ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD will devote more than 100 hours of original programming to coverage of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, offering comprehensive qualifying and eliminations action. The 23-event, $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series will again feature live or same-day coverage. ESPN2 is available in more than 89 million households.

The world’s most prestigious drag race, the 52nd annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at historic Indianapolis Raceway Park, will be showcased through 10 hours of coverage, which also will feature highlights of the $100,000 Skoal Showdown, a bonus event for the top NHRA Funny Car drivers.

In the middle of last season, NHRA POWERade Drag Racing was featured on ESPN2 HD, providing never-before-seen images of the most powerful motorsports on the planet in high definition. In 2006, all 23 national events, as well as 23 of the 41 NHRA 2Day magazine shows will once again be available in high definition on ESPN2 HD.
Also returning in 2006 is the popular magazine-style show NHRA 2Day presented by Lucas Oil, which will be aired every Sunday for 41 consecutive weeks on ESPN2 beginning Feb. 12 at 11:30 a.m. The show will air on Sunday mornings, beginning with the first episode, Feb. 12 at 11:30 a.m. It will originate from the season-opener in Pomona, Calif., the 46th annual CARQUEST Winternationals. NHRA 2Day presented by Lucas Oil provides in-depth coverage of the sport of NHRA Drag Racing, including recaps of the weekend’s events, race coverage, driver profiles and special features on NHRA sportsman racing, including the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, and NHRA’s member tracks.

ESPN2’s coverage will be led by veteran motorsports announcers Marty Reid and Paul Page. The duo will split play-by-play duties throughout the season, with Reid hosting 11 events and Page taking the lead for 12. Among the races Reid will host include most notably, the season-opening CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals, prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis and Auto Club NHRA Finals, the season-finale. Page, a veteran auto racing announcer best known for hosting the Indy 500 from 1988-’98, will host the NHRA Gatornationals, K&N Filters SuperNationals at Englishtown, N.J., and all three stops on the fabled Western Swing, among others. Veteran Top Fuel and Funny Car driver Mike Dunn will be the lead analyst for all 23 telecasts. Also returning to the telecast team will be David Rieff, who will provide reporting in the pits and at trackside. He will again be joined by veteran pit reporter Gary Gerould. Rieff also will host all 41 episodes of NHRA 2Day.

“Marty Reid and Paul Page will bring a vast and wide array of motorsports knowledge and television experience to our NHRA coverage,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president of studio and remote production. “Using hosts with different backgrounds and commentator styles will distinguish our coverage of this dynamic sport. The NHRA is an important part of our auto racing portfolio, which includes IndyCar and NASCAR beginning in 2007, and we look forward to building on the growth the sport has enjoyed as we embark on the first year of our exclusive multi-year extension.”

In 2005 ESPN and NHRA announced an extension of their long-standing relationship to deliver the sights and sounds of NHRA POWERade Drag Racing and NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing exclusively on ESPN2 through the year 2011. This year marks the sixth year of an exclusive multi-media agreement between ESPN and NHRA.
ESPN, Inc. is the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of over 50 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of seven domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU, ESPN Today), ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD simulcast services, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (networks, syndication, radio, web sites), ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, SportsTicker, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN Zones (sports-themed restaurants), and other growing new businesses including ESPN360 (Broadband), Mobile ESPN, ESPN on Demand, ESPN Interactive and ESPN PPV. Based in Bristol, Ct., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.


2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Television Schedule

Event Air Date/Time
CARQUEST Winternationals Qualifying, 10 p.m. — Midnight, Feb. 11
Pomona, Calif. (host-Marty Reid) Eliminations, 7:30 – 10:30 p.m., Feb. 12

Checker Schuck’s Kragen NHRA Nationals Qualifying, 8 – 10 p.m., Feb. 25
Phoenix (host-Marty Reid) Eliminations, 7 –10 p.m., Feb. 26

NHRA Gatornationals Qualifying, 12:30 – 2:30 a.m., Mar. 19
Gainesville, Fla. (host-Paul Page) Eliminations, 5 – 7 p.m., Mar. 19

O’Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals Qualifying, 8 – 10 p.m., April 1
Houston (host-Paul Page) Eliminations, 4 – 7 p.m., April 2

NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals Qualifying, 8 – 10 p.m., April 8
Las Vegas (host-Marty Reid) Eliminations, 7 – 10 p.m., April 9

O’Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Qualifying, 10 p.m. – Midnight, April 29
Bristol, Tenn. (host-Paul Page) Eliminations, 7 – 10 p.m., April 30

Summit Racing NHRA Southern Nationals Qualifying, 9 – 11 p.m., May 6
Commerce, Ga. (host-Marty Reid) Eliminations, 7 – 10 p.m., May 7

Pontiac Performance NHRA Nationals Qualifying, 10 p.m. – Midnight, May 20
Columbus, Ohio (host-Paul Page) Eliminations, 8 – 11 p.m., May 21

O’Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals Qualifying, 8 – 9 p.m., May 27
Topeka, Kan. (host-Paul Page) Eliminations, 10 p.m. – 1 a.m., May 28

CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals Qualifying, 5 – 7 p.m., June 10
Chicago (host-Paul Page) Eliminations, 5 – 7 p.m., June 11

K&N Filters SuperNationals Qualifying, 8 – 10 p.m., June 17
Englishtown, N.J. (host-Paul Page) Eliminations, 4 – 7 p.m., June 18

O’Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals Qualifying, 10 p.m. – Midnight, June 24
St. Louis (host-Paul Page) Eliminations, 10 p.m. – 1 a.m., June 25

Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals Qualifying, 11 p.m. – 1 a.m., July 15
Denver (host-Paul Page) Eliminations, 9 p.m. – Midnight, July 16

NHRA Northwest Nationals Qualifying, 8 – 10 p.m., July 22
Seattle (host-Paul Page) Eliminations, 8 – 11 p.m., July 23

FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals Qualifying, 8 – 10 p.m., July 29
Sonoma, Calif. (host-Paul Page) Eliminations, 8 – 11 p.m., July 30

Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals Qualifying, 6 – 8 p.m., Aug. 12
Brainerd, Minn.(host-Paul Page) Eliminations, 7 – 10 p.m., Aug. 13

O’Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals Qualifying, 8 – 10 p.m., Aug. 19
Memphis, Tenn. (host-Marty Reid) Eliminations, 10 p.m. – 1 a.m., Aug. 20

Mac Tools U.S. Nationals Qualifying, 5 – 6 p.m., Sept. 2
Indianapolis (host-Marty Reid) Qualifying, Noon – 2 p.m., Sept. 3
Qualifying, 11 p.m. – 1 a.m., Sept. 3
Eliminations, Noon – 2 p.m., Sept. 4
Eliminations, 8 – 11 p.m., Sept. 4

Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals Qualifying, 4 – 6 p.m., Sept. 16
Reading, Pa. (host-Marty Reid) Eliminations, 7 – 10 p.m., Sept. 17

O’Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals Qualifying, 4 – 6 p.m., Sept. 23
Dallas (host-Marty Reid) Eliminations, 7 – 10 p.m., Sept. 24

Virginia NHRA Nationals Qualifying, 10 p.m. – Midnight, Oct. 7
Richmond, Va. (host-Marty Reid) Eliminations, 7 – 10 p.m., Oct. 8

ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals Qualifying, 10 p.m. – Midnight, Oct. 28
Las Vegas (host-Marty Reid) Eliminations, 8 – 11 p.m., Oct. 29

Automobile Club NHRA Finals Qualifying, 10 p.m. – Midnight, Nov. 11
Pomona, Calif. (host-Marty Reid) Eliminations, 8 – 11 p.m., Nov. 12

* All shows on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD. All times Eastern. Schedule subject to change. Please check local listings.

NHRA 2Day (all times ET and on ESPN2)
All start times 11:30 a.m. (ET) except where noted below:


Feb. 26 6:30 p.m.
March 5 12:30 p.m.
Oct. 1 12:30 p.m.
Oct. 8 12:30 p.m.
Oct. 15 12:30 p.m.
Oct. 22 12:30 p.m.
Oct. 29 12:30 p.m.
Nov. 12 12:30 p.m.
Nov. 19 12:30 p.m.

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