ESPN televised its 398th and final NASCAR Sprint Cup race yesterday at South Florida’s Homestead-Miami Speedway as Kevin Harvick became the 2014 series champion.
The network televised 262 races in NASCAR’s premier series from 1981-2000 and the remaining events under the current contract, which began in 2007. ESPN did not renew its contract to televise live races but will continue to cover the sport on SportsCenter and other platforms.
In the “Front & Center” podcast above, ESPN Executive Vice President, Programming and Production, John Wildhack discusses the long history between ESPN and NASCAR, some proud moments from the 28-year relationship and what NASCAR has meant to ESPN. In addition, Wildhack talks about coverage of NASCAR on ESPN platforms going forward.
“The thing that stands out the most to me is the commitment of all our people who’ve worked on NASCAR,” Wildhack said. “It’s a year-round commitment that starts at Daytona in February and runs well into November and that commitment is extraordinary. This crew works as hard as any crew in our business.”
And now, some of what you might have missed from ESPN over the weekend:
1. ESPN’s NASCAR race coverage ended in thrilling fashion and with lots of emotion.
— Waggiesaurus-Rex (@louis_wagner) November 17, 2014
— Will Henderson (@WillDawgTX) November 17, 2014
— The NASCAR Fan Base™ (@WeAreNascarFans) November 16, 2014
— Dale Jarrett (@DaleJarrett) November 16, 2014
@JamieLittleTV And we thank you and your co-workers for the professionalism you all brought to the table.
— DanMac (@gojunebug) November 16, 2014
— Jason Kasper (@JasonKasper1994) November 17, 2014
2. College GameDay heads to Cambridge, Mass. for Harvard-Yale.
— Brian Eskildsen (@BrianEskildsen) November 16, 2014
College Gameday coming to Harvard Yale for my last college football game ever!!
— Grant Wallace (@gwallace29) November 16, 2014
3. Pittsburgh visits Tennessee tonight for Monday Night Football (8:15 p.m., ESPN).
— Anthony DeVita (@BUTerrier2003) November 15, 2014
4. “Breaking the Internet” could take on new meaning when Mike Golic pays off his “Mikes Bowl” wager to Mike Greenberg.
— Todd Richardson (@TAR1008) November 16, 2014
— Brian H. Waters (@MrMainEventBDuB) November 16, 2014
Oh man. @Espngreeny won the bet. Golic’s wife better get the oil ready! Congrats Greeny!
— Mike G (@mgilliga) November 16, 2014
5. ESPN’s College basketball Tip-Off Marathon begins tonight.
— GSU Athletics (@GSUPanthers) November 17, 2014
— Christian Deleon (@SDSUChristian) November 12, 2014
— Coley Harvey (@ColeyHarvey) November 17, 2014
Awesome move to have Marcus Luttrell as the GameDay guest picker, ESPN. His book, “Lone Survivor,” was just an amazing story of courage.
— John Zenor (@jzenor) November 14, 2014
— Cynthia Price (@PriceCynthia) November 17, 2014
David Scott and Sheldon Spencer contributed to this post