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June 08, 2011
LIVE COVERAGE FROM JUNE 14
NASCAR HALL OF FAME VOTE DAY
HIGHLIGHTS NEXT ‘BIG DAY’ ON SPEED™
FUTURE HALL OF FAMER STEWART, HAMILTON SWAP RIDES ON SPEED IN JUNE 14 SPECIAL
Stewart: “I want to check these things off the list before I get too old to do it”
With two weeks of intensive coverage from the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in the rearview mirror, SPEED ramps up for its next “big day” on June 14 with live coverage from the NASCAR Hall of Fame Vote Day.
The network offers a live preview show of the announcement of the third class of five inductees to the NASCAR Hall of Fame at 3 p.m. ET, followed by live coverage of the announcement at 4 p.m. ET. Later in the evening, future Hall of Famer Tony Stewart puts his championship-winning talent to the test at 8 p.m. ET with Seat Swap: Hamilton vs. Stewart, a one-hour special in which Stewart swaps rides with Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton.
“What an incredible day for race fans,” said SPEED President Hunter Nickell. “In Charlotte, SPEED celebrates the legends of NASCAR, paying tribute to five more amazing careers, and then, from Watkins Glen, we spend the afternoon with two racers – Tony and Lewis – who are among the very best at what they do.”
Mike Joy hosts SPEED’s coverage from the NASCAR Hall of Fame in uptown Charlotte, N.C., with analysis from Kyle Petty, Ken Squier and Rick Allen and reporting by Randy Pemberton.
Later in the day, SPEED takes viewers to Watkins Glen International, where future Hall of Famer and two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart will swap rides with Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton in Seat Swap: Hamilton vs. Stewart. SPEED offers full coverage of the daylong event in the one-hour special airing at 8 p.m. ET. In addition to the one-hour special on the linear network, SPEED.com also will cover the Stewart/Hamilton event with online clips and editorial coverage.
“It’s huge,” Stewart recently said of the opportunity on Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain on SPEED. “I’m really excited about it. Lewis and I got to do a commercial shoot earlier this year and he’s a great guy. I really enjoyed my time with him. I’m very excited about the opportunity to finally say I got to drive a Formula One car. So, the next thing … we’re going to get to do that in two weeks and then I’m hopefully going to get something set up with Schumacher Motorsports and get to test drive a Top Fuel dragster, too, so I’m bouncing all over the board but I want to check these things off the list before I get too old to do it.”
Bob Varsha, longtime voice of F1 on SPEED, hosts Seat Swap: Hamilton vs. Stewart with analysis from Larry McReynolds and Steve Matchett and Ralph Sheheen reporting from the pits at the road course.
“I think a big challenge for both will be the track itself,” Varsha said. “Tony has raced the short loop used by NASCAR, but he's not as familiar with the full circuit we'll be using from the classic era of F1 and Can Am at The Glen. Lewis will be seeing the place for the first time. Once they learn the track, Tony will be driving a car with about the same power as his Cup machine but only half the weight, so it will react to his input much more quickly. I'll never forget the amazement on Jeff Gordon's face after his first taste of an F1 car on our Tradin' Paint show at Indianapolis back in 2003. Hamilton will have the opposite challenge in the heavier stock car: it's fast, and having been chauffeured at speed by Kyle Petty around road courses during the SPEED Dream Ride, I've learned that the Cup car handles better than some think. But it won't accelerate, turn or stop as quickly as the F1 machine, and Lewis will have to anticipate that.”
The drivers each will make four laps in the other’s machine, a limit with which Stewart jokes he is not disappointed.
“Well, after listening to Juan (Pablo Montoya), who said my neck is going to be falling out of the thing after three laps anyway … so it is probably in my best interest that they are limiting the number of laps we can run .”
But Stewart is no slouch in an open-wheel car.
“People tend to forget that Tony Stewart's resume includes an IndyCar championship, so he has that open-wheel experience to draw on,” Varsha explained. “Lewis Hamilton, on the other hand, has spent his entire career in high-downforce cars with lots of grip, so I think he has the greater challenge to get the most out of a heavy car that needs to slide around a bit to be quick. And having covered Hamilton for years, I'm sure he wants to experience everything the Cup car will give.”
SPEED, anchored by its popular and wide-ranging coverage of NASCAR, is the nation’s first and only cable television network dedicated to automotive and motorcycle racing, performance and lifestyle. Now available in nearly 84 million homes in North America, SPEED, a member of the FOX Sports Media Group, is among the industry leaders in interactive TV, video on demand, mobile initiatives and broadband services, including SPEED2, a groundbreaking new broadband network featuring live, streaming and on-demand events complementing offerings of the linear network. For more information, please visit SPEED.com, the online motor sports authority.
About FOX Sports Media Group
FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) is the umbrella entity representing News Corporation’s wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets under Chairman & CEO David Hill. Built with brands that are capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, FSMG includes ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing partnerships. FSMG now includes FOX Sports, the sports television arm of the FOX Broadcasting Company; Fox’s 19 regional sports networks, their affiliated regional web sites and FSN national programming; SPEED and SPEED2; Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Soccer Plus; FUEL TV; and Fox College Sports. In addition, FSMG also includes FOX Sports Interactive Media, which comprises FOXSports.com on MSN, whatifsports.com and scout.com, reaching over 20 million unique visitors monthly. Also included are Fox’s interests in joint-venture businesses FOX Deportes, Big Ten Network and STATS, LLC, as well as licensing agreements that establish the FOX Sports Radio Network, FOX Sports Skybox restaurants and FOX Sports Grills.