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ESPN Kicks Off 15th Season of NHRA Drag Racing Telecasts

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The 2015 season for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series launches this weekend in Pomona, Calif., and ESPN will be kicking off its 15th year as the exclusive television home for the series.

The 55th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals, the traditional season opener for drag racing since 1961, will be the first of 24 events for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. ESPN Networks will air same-day telecasts of qualifying and eliminations for all events this season, with five live eliminations programs scheduled. In addition, ESPN3, ESPN’s multi-screen live sports network, will have live coverage of the full day of eliminations for all events.

Dave Rieff, who has been a part of ESPN’s NHRA team since 2001, returns for his third year as anchor. Rieff will call the action from the booth with analyst Mike Dunn, who is beginning his 14th year with ESPN. The former racer is one of only three drivers in NHRA history to win more than 10 times in both the Top Fuel and Funny Car classes. Veteran pit reporters Gary Gerould and John Kernan will bring viewers the latest information from the pits and interview drivers, crew chiefs, team owners and other newsmakers.

NHRA Gatornationals - March 14, 2014

ESPN’s NHRA programs will be produced under the oversight of ESPN vice president, production, Rich Feinberg and coordinating producer Kate Jackson. Steve Reintjes will produce the telecasts with Bruce Watson, in his 15th season, serving as director.

At Pomona this weekend, ESPN2 will air same-day coverage of qualifying on Saturday, Feb. 7, at 10 p.m. ET and same-day coverage of eliminations will air on ESPN2 on Sunday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m. ESPN3’s live eliminations coverage begins Sunday at 2 p.m.

All NHRA programming on ESPN Networks is also available via WatchESPN on computers, smartphones, tablets, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.  It is currently accessible in more than 75 million households nationwide to fans who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription from AT&T U-verse® TV, Bright House Networks, Cablevision’s Optimum TV, Charter, Comcast Xfinity TV, Cox, DISH, Google Fiber, Mediacom, Midcontinent Communications, NCTC, NRTC, NTTC, Suddenlink, Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS TV (coming soon to DIRECTV).

ESPN3 is currently available to 95 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider.  The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers, smartphones and tablets connected to on-campus educational and on-base military broadband and Wi-Fi networks.

The NHRA will be available in 192 countries and territories to more than 40.5 million homes, through a combination of ESPN International sales and network programming, including coverage in Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America, Brazil, Europe, Middle East and New Zealand. In addition, U.S. troops and their families serving around the world in 175 countries and on Navy vessels at sea can watch NHRA on the American Forces Network.

ESPN2 also will again be the television home for the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series this season.

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Media Contact: Andy Hall,  [email protected]