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“She’s My Rock:” Briscoe, Pelkey reunite for SportsCenter’s F1 coverage this week

Once constant colleagues, their ESPN career paths diverged even as friendship grew; this assignment pairs anchor, producer in field again

They first met in an office at ESPN in early 2008 and then bonded while spending 10 days on the road. They last worked together about five years ago but are closer friends now than ever.

And this weekend, SportsCenter anchor Nicole Briscoe and ESPN bureau producer Andrea Pelkey will be reunited for work when they travel to Austin, Texas, to report for SportsCenter on the Formula 1 Pirelli United States Grand Prix.

The race airs Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET on ABC and Briscoe and Pelkey’s work from Circuit of the Americas will appear on SportsCenter beginning with the 6 p.m. edition Friday.

The two worked together covering NASCAR for ESPN for about five years. Briscoe went on to become a SportsCenter anchor, and Pelkey became ESPN’s Boston bureau producer. This week, she’s covered Patriots, Red Sox and Celtics before heading to Texas.

. . . we do have so many reps together under our belt that I hope we’ll just pick up where we left off.

- Andrea Pelkey on working with Nicole Briscoe again

“Just because we haven’t worked together in a few years, we’re still on the same page. We keep in touch a lot,” said Pelkey. “Our approach to being in the field is pretty similar, and we do have so many reps together under our belt that I hope we’ll just pick up where we left off.”

Briscoe says it’s “a little weird” to work again with Pelkey because of their friendship.

“It forces you to view the person in a different way, and we’ve gotten out of that work relationship because we don’t have to work together anymore, so we just get to be friends,” she said.

How close are they as friends?

Briscoe and her family were on hand to cheer for Pelkey when she ran in the 2014 Boston Marathon.

The person I met in that office all those years ago has grown and changed from that. She keeps me sane, and she’s one of those people that I don’t know if I can get through life without her because she’s my rock.

- Briscoe on Pelkey

“That was the most special moment,” said Pelkey. “They drove from Connecticut to Boston to stand there and wait for me to cross that finish line and they were just great supporters.”

Pelkey was at Briscoe’s side for the births of the anchor’s two children. Pelkey spent eight hours in a hospital with her when some pregnancy complications arose and Briscoe’s husband, racing driver Ryan Briscoe, was across the country at a race.

“Andrea has been there for me,” Briscoe said. “You know sometimes you have those people in life who just get you, and they’re your people? Andrea is my person.

“The person I met in that office all those years ago has grown and changed from that. She keeps me sane, and she’s one of those people that I don’t know if I can get through life without her because she’s my rock.”