NASCAR, ESPN Address Race’s Missed Start

By Kelly Crandall – Many NASCAR fans missed the first 25 laps of Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 on ABC when college football ran long.

NASCAR Countdown, scheduled to come on air at 7:00 p.m. ET, had to be pushed when the game between Baylor and TCU found themselves only entering the fourth quarter. The decision was made that the broadcast would be moved to ESPNEWS by 7:45 in order for the start of the race – scheduled for 7:48 p.m. – to be shown live.

That channel, however, was showing a pre-season NBA game that was also running late and eventually went into overtime between the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavilers. It resulted in NASCAR being pushed to ESPN3 for the green flag. Except some fans claimed that it never appeared on said network.

“We are disappointed that our fans were unable to see the start of tonight’s race. We do all we can with the networks to avoid delays when live sports run late,” NASCAR said in a statement.

“We’re grateful for the passion of our fans and are thankful to those now watching on ABC.”

The plan was for NASCAR to resume on ESPNEWS should the basketball game have ended first, and then head over to its regularly scheduled ABC when the football game had concluded. Baylor kicked a game-winning field goal with four seconds left in regulation to seal the victory, and ABC moved into their post-game interviews.

When they cut into the NASCAR broadcast, the race had reached their Lap 25 competition caution. The race ran to its conclusion on the ABC network and included post-race coverage before leaving the air shortly before Midnight.

“We started the race on ESPN3, which is available to 95 million homes,” ESPN said in a statement.

“We’re fortunate to have multiple TV networks available, but tonight there were live events on all of them, including an epic football game on ABC and an overtime NBA game on ESPNEWS. We joined the race on ABC at lap 26.”



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