Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited at Daytona (formerly the Budweiser Shootout) opens a stretch of nine races in as many days for Motor Racing Network as it heads into its 44th year of broadcasting. That will culminate with the 55th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 24.
In addition to servicing its traditional network of radio affiliates, MRN will provide a number of webcasts heard only at MotorRacingNetwork.com including the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach on Feb. 18-19; and coverage of Sprint Cup Series practice sessions Feb. 15, 20 and 23.
“This is an ambitious schedule and one that’ll provide complete coverage of Budweiser Speedweeks for our loyal listeners and now, those who regularly visit our website,” said MRN President and Executive Producer David Hyatt. “If it happens at Daytona International Speedway over the next couple weeks, you’ll hear about it on Motor Racing Network.”
The first race of Speedweeks 2013 will be Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited at Daytona, featuring Cup Series pole winners from last season in a non-points special event. Air time is 7 p.m. (EST) with Joe Moore and Jeff Striegle anchoring the broadcast. Kyle Busch is the defending race winner.
Start-to-finish coverage of Daytona 500 Qualifying will follow on Sunday at 1 p.m., when the front row is set for the season-opening Sprint Cup Series race. Carl Edwards is bidding to become the first driver to win back-to-back Daytona 500 poles since Ken Schrader put three in a row together from 1988-1990.
A full week of pre-“500” programming opens Monday, Feb. 18, with a one-hour special “Daytona 500: Turning of the Tide,” featuring memorable moments and game-changing drama from the 54-year history of “The Great American Race.”
Two special editions of “NASCAR Live” with Eli Gold will air Feb. 19 and 21. Thursday’s program will include a recap of the Budweiser Duel at Daytona qualifying races. Scheduled guests are drivers Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
The ninth season of “NASCAR Performance Live” gets rolling Feb. 20 featuring crew chief Paul Wolfe from Penske Racing, who helped guide Brad Keselowski to the 2012 Sprint Cup Series championship.
MRN streaming content will include both nights of the Battle At The Beach, a showcase for three of NASCAR’s top regional series: the Whelen All-American Series for Late Models, the Whelen Modified Tour and the K&N Pro Series. Coverage will begin at 7 p.m. on both Feb. 18 and 19.
The NextEra Energy Resources 250, opening race of the 2013 Camping World Truck Series, will air Friday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. James Buescher is back to defend his 2012 championship. The following day, MRN will broadcast the DRIVE-4-C.O.P.D. 300 Nationwide Series opener at 1 p.m.
Budweiser Speedweeks concludes with complete coverage of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24. Matt Kenseth is the defending race winner, with Keselowski opening his bid for a second consecutive Cup Series championship.
All told in 2013, MRN is broadcasting 88 live events from 34 different venues – spread across NASCAR’s three top national series, as well as exclusive radio coverage of theGRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.MOTOR RACING NETWORK / 2013 Budweiser Speed Weeks Schedule
(All times EST)Feb. 15 Sprint Cup Series Practice, 6:30 p.m. (streaming only)
Feb. 16 Sprint Unlimited at Daytona, 7 p.m.Feb. 17 Daytona 500 Qualifying, 1 p.m.
Feb. 18 “Daytona 500: Turning of the Tide,” 7 p.m.UNOH Battle At The Beach, 7 p.m. (streaming only)
Feb. 19 “NASCAR Live,” 7 p.m.UNOH Battle At The Beach, 7 p.m. (streaming only)
Feb. 20 Sprint Cup Series Practice, 2:30 p.m. (streaming only)“NASCAR Performance Live,” 7 p.m.
Feb. 21 Budweiser Duel at Daytona, 1 p.m.“NASCAR Live,” 7 p.m.
Feb. 22 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, 7 p.m.Feb. 23 FINAL Daytona 500 Practice, 10:30 a.m. (streaming only)
NASCAR Nationwide Series, 12:45 p.m.Feb. 24 55th Running of the Daytona 500, 12 p.m.