NASCAR and Indy Racing League have signed deals with Sky Sports
Last Updated: 04/02/08 11:41am
MORE MOTORSPORT THAN EVER BEFORE LIVE ON SKY SPORTS
Sky Sports has signed deals with two of the world's biggest motorsports - NASCAR and the Indy Racing League.
NASCAR will come to Sky Sports for a brand new two year deal, which will feature coverage from all 38 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
A three-year deal extension has been agreed with the Indy Racing League, continuing the 10 year association between the sport and the broadcaster.
*** NASCAR: 38 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, including the 50th running of the Daytona 500 on 17 February. Ex-Formula One stars Juan Pablo Montoya and Jacques Villeneuve, and Scottish-born Dario Franchitti, will race in front of motorsports' biggest crowds on tracks including the historic Daytona International Speedway.
*** INDY RACING LEAGUE: Each of the 16 IndyCar Series races this year, starting at Homestead-Miami on Saturday 29 March. Coverage also includes one of the oldest and richest annual motorsports in the world, the Indy 500, with Bedfordshire-born Dan Wheldon hoping to emulate his 2005 Indy 500 and IndyCar series win.
Dario Franchitti won the Indy 500 and the IndyCar series in 2007, and aims to become the third driver in history, after Mario Andretti (1967) and AJ Foyt (1972), to win both the Indy 500 and the Daytona 500 when he moves to NASCAR this year. Dan Wheldon, who won both the Indy 500 and series title in 2005, has won the opening race of the IndyCar season for the past three years.
The National Association for Stock Car Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) was established in 1948, and is rated as the number one spectator sport in the United States of America, with 75 million fans in the U.S. and venue capacities of up to 175,000.
Sky Sports is beginning its tenth consecutive broadcast season of the IRL IndyCar Series, and will show every one of the 16 races from this open-wheeled series. This year, four British drivers will take part including Darren Manning and Alex Lloyd, who Sky Sports viewers will recognise from A1GP's Team GBR.
Announcing the deal, Sue Ashworth of Sky Sports said: "These deals really underline the pedigree of motorsport on Sky Sports; NASCAR brings viewers some of the biggest names in motorsport with ex-Formula One legends racing in front of full houses in huge venues, while IRL fanatics line the street circuit and pack the speedways to watch some of the most exciting open-wheeled driving around."
Robbie Weiss, NASCAR's Vice President of Broadcasting and International Managing Director added: "We're delighted to be partnering with Sky Sports to bring one of the most exciting and competitive forms of motorsport to viewers in the UK and Ireland. Sky Sports' season long coverage will give fans the best seat in the house allowing them to experience the raw power and thrilling action of stock car racing. Sky's coverage is especially exciting as it coincides with Dario Franchitti's rookie season in NASCAR where he will join former F-1 stars Juan Pablo Montoya and Jacques Villeneuve as they battle NASCAR's best."
2005 IndyCar champion Dan Wheldon said: "Every season IRL gets more competitive and the racing more exciting. It's great news that viewers back at home will get to enjoy the action live on Sky Sports - and I know my family and friends will be pleased! Let's hope I can do them proud in 2008."
Sky Sports broadcast a range of different motorsports, showing over 2,500 hours of action in 2007. In addition to a variety of magazine programmes, Sky Sports shows live coverage of the Sky Sports Elite League, Grand Prix and World Cup speedway, plus NASCAR, Indy Racing League, A1GP and the Race of Champions, along with highlights from the British Rally Championship.