- NASCAR on NBC
NASCAR on NBC Format Auto Racing Starring Bill Weber (2005-2006)
Wally Dallenbach (2001-2006)
Allen Bestwick (1999-2005)
Benny Parsons (2000-2006)
Joe Gibbs (1999)
Mike Wallace (1999)
Opening theme "Fuel" by Metallica (2001 to 2003 sharing with TNT; 2004 in the Daytona 500 but not as a theme song) Country of origin United States Production Running time Pre-race: 1 hour
Race: 3 - 5 hours (depending on race length)
Broadcast Original channel NBC Original run 2001– 2006 External links Website
NASCAR on NBC, identified by its on-air logo as NBC NASCAR, was a series of NASCAR races that aired on the network from 2001-2006. Prior to the contract that gave NBC broadcast rights the network aired races as early as the 1964 World 600. The network also aired the Fall Charlotte race from 1979 to 1981, the Winston 500 from 1983 to 1985 and the Pennzoil 400 in both 1999 and 2000.
NBC's cable partner in NASCAR was TNT, which retained its television rights as part of the new NASCAR contract for 2007 and beyond.
On November 11, 1999, a new $2.48 billion contract was signed for American television broadcast rights for NASCAR, split between Fox, its cable partner FX, NBC, and Turner Sports. The contract would run from 2001 through 2006, with Fox and FX covering the first half of the season, and NBC and TBS covering the second half of the season. Shortly after the 2001 season began, and before the second half of the season began, on March 27, 2001, Turner replaced TBS with TNT for its NASCAR programming, as part of its "We Know Drama" re-launch marketing campaign. The song "Fuel" by Metallica was used as the intro song for its telecasts from 2001-2003 as well as for the 2004 Daytona 500 (which aired on NBC), with the song's instrumental backing used as background music and commercial bumpers.
Daytona 500 and Pepsi 400 coverage
In addition to their coverage of the bulk of the second half of the season, as part of their contract NBC also had rights to the Daytona 500 in even numbered years. NBC aired the race in 2002, 2004, and 2006, with Fox airing the race in 2001, 2003, and 2005. The network that didn't air the 500 aired the Pepsi 400 in July instead. With the new television contract Fox gained exclusive rights to broadcast the Daytona 500 for eight years, with TNT picking up rights to the now-Coke Zero 400.
The start time for the Daytona 500 had progressively moved later into the day. In 2001, the start time was 1:15 p.m. In 2002, the start time was shifted back to 12:45 p.m. (because of the Winter Olympics on NBC), but in 2003, the start time was 1:01 p.m. (originally 1:28 p.m. but NASCAR tried to start the race before rain, which stopped the race prematurely) In 2004, the start time was 1:52 p.m., and the 2005 and 2006 races started at 2:45 p.m. while the 2007 race began at 3:30 p.m.
- Brian Williams (1999)
- Allen Bestwick (1999–2005; now at ESPN/ABC)
- Bill Weber (2005–2006)
- Wally Dallenbach, Jr.
- Benny Parsons (2000–2006, d. January 2007)
- Joe Gibbs (1999)
- Mike Wallace (1999)
- Bill Weber (lead pit reporter 2001-2004)
- Allen Bestwick (lead pit reporter 2005-2006; now host of ESPN/ABC's NASCAR Countdown
- Dorsey Schroeder (1999)
- Mike Massaro (1999–2000; now at ESPN/ABC)
- Dave Burns (2001–2006; now at ESPN/ABC)
- Marty Snider (1999–2006; now with TNT in various assignments including NASCAR coverage)
- Matt Yocum (2001–2006 in conjunction with his pit work at Fox; worked every Winston/NEXTEL Cup race during the former contract; now with Fox and TNT)
- Lindsay Czarniak (Busch Series stand-alone events, now countdown to green pre race show host on TNT)
- Ralph Sheheen (Busch Series stand-alone events, now with TNT)
In the opening sequence, a driver can be heard shouting over his radio, "Good job guys, good job!!" This is the voice of driver Rusty Wallace when he won the 2004 Advance Auto Parts 500 at Martinsville Speedway.
A segment during the telecasts was the Aflac Trivia Question, where Benny Parsons "cued the duck" and the Aflac Duck walked across the screen before the question is displayed. Elton John's Bennie and the Jets was used in Benny Parson's "Golden Benny" segment from 2001-02 where he gave a golden trophy to a team member in the NASCAR community for outstanding performance during the previous week's race.
As previously mentioned, Metallica's "Fuel" was the theme song used for NASCAR broadcasts on NBC and TNT from mid-2001 to the 2003 seasons. (It was also used for the 2004 Daytona 500, but not as the theme song.) However, during portions of the 2001 season, the opening scream used in the opening was removed because of its close association with terrorists in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The pre-release version of the song entitled "Fuel For Fire" (with different lyrics) appears on the NASCAR Full Throttle CD.
A large number of fans were biased against NBC's coverage, claiming that it was largely inferior to Fox in terms of both technological capabilities and bland commentators. Wally Dallenbach and Bill Weber were viewed as monotone and boring compared to Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip. Statistically after its first season Fox Races had more viewers than NBC Races in 2001.
NBC was also criticized by fans for having long commercial periods during the race, much longer than the commercial periods when Fox televises a race. Two glaring problems on NBC were that restarts were often missed due to long commercial breaks, and the frequent breaks during green flag runs. The name itself, NBC, has been used as an acronym for "Nothing But Commercials." This cliché was poked fun at in the film Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, when NBC is shown to take a commercial break in the middle of a ridiculously long crash sequence (then-NBC team Weber, Dallenbach, and Benny Parsons made cameos in the film during this sequence).
By 2004, however, NBC had made substantial improvements in regards to both technology and commentating. Although NASCAR and NBC ended their partnership after the 2006 season, many fans are hoping that they can reunite in the next television contract in spite of problems with new partner ESPN.
NASCAR leaves NBC
From 2007 until 2014, the Daytona 500 will be shown every year on Fox under the terms of the television contract. ESPN and ABC rejoined the NASCAR broadcast team as part of the deal, taking the second half of the season's races, and TNT retained its broadcast rights by signing a contract to air six mid-season races. The ESPN family of networks became the exclusive home of the NASCAR Busch/Nationwide Series as part of the contract, replacing TNT, NBC, and FX as broadcasters.
Daytona 500 television broadcaster
2001 - 2006 (even numbered years only; Fox aired the Daytona 500 in odd numbered years)
NASCAR on NBC / TNT Commentators LoreNBCTNT Daytona 500 Theme songs
"Fuel" (2001–03, NBC and TNT)TNT
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Loudon 2 · Dover 2 · Kansas · Auto Club 2 · Charlotte 2 · Martinsville 2 · Talladega 2 · Texas 2 · Phoenix 2 · Homestead
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