CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In what is believed to be an unprecedented move in national sports broadcasting, FOX Sports announced Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway that the live broadcast of the inaugural NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Pocono Raceway will be called entirely by active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers.
The Pocono Green 250 takes the green flag at 1 p.m. ET on June 10, live on FOX.
The race broadcast is thought to be the first time a nationally televised live sporting event has featured an on-air team comprised strictly of athletes actively competing in that sport.
2014 NASCAR premier series and two-time NASCAR XFINITY Series champion Kevin Harvick will serve as the play-by-play announcer for FOX Sports at Pocono, alongside analysts Joey Logano and Clint Bowyer.
Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will cover pit road, with Danica Patrick and Denny Hamlin serving as hosts of the FOX race coverage from the Hollywood Hotel mobile studio.
“This is something FOX Sports has talked about doing for a long time,” said John Entz, FOX Sports President & Executive Producer, Production. “Several of these competitors already have joined us in the NASCAR XFINITY SERIES booth and done a heck of a job, and we see a lot of promise in the newcomers. Regardless of their TV experience, we have one goal for all — go out and have a blast. As long as no one sets fire to the FOX Sports booth or pulls the plug that knocks us off the air, the drivers have free rein.”
Harvick, Bowyer, Hamlin, Logano and Patrick have all served as driver analysts for FOX Sports’ coverage of the NASCAR XFINITY Series at some point since the network began rotating prominent Cup drivers in the booth two years ago.
Additionally, Blaney and Stenhouse have contributed as driver analysts on FS1’s NASCAR Race Hub, the sport’s most-watched daily NASCAR news and information program.
Pocono will mark Jones’ debut as part of a national race broadcast.
“Pocono definitely is going to be different, but I am looking forward to the challenge and the fun it’s going to be for everyone,” said Pam Milller, NASCAR XFINITY SERIES race producer for FOX Sports. “For the most part, this group has broadcasting experience, so the goal will be to keep the telecast moving between all the personalities and making sure every driver’s unique views and personal experiences come through on the air. We want the viewer to feel like they are sitting with a group of friends having a racing conversation. These friends just happen to compete on the track each week.”
Logano helped call the Richmond race, while Harvick has offered analysis this season at Daytona, Phoenix, Bristol and Talladega, as well as for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series stop at Martinsville.
Harvick will return to the booth for the upcoming Truck races at Eldora Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.
In appreciation of the drivers’ participation, FOX Sports will make a donation to each driver’s individual foundation or charity of choice.
CREDIT: FOX Sports