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Speed Revs Up Coverage of Barrett-Jackson Auction in Vegas

10/06/2009 4:07 PM Eastern

Speed Channel has revved up coverage of the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event and "no reserve" auction in Las Vegas this week, with 17 hours of HD programming leading off Thursday and another two hours on Speedtv.com.

Speedtv.com has a piece of the action this time with two hours of
coverage from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on Friday (Oct. 9) at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Mike Joy at the Barrett-Jackson auctionSpeed Channel covers three Barrett-Jackson events yearly, the others being in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Palm Beach, Fla. Last year, the inaugural Vegas event drew large crowds and strong bidder interest.

Highlighted vehicles in Vegas this time include the historic Max
Balchowsky constructed 1961 "Ol' Yaller, VIII," a sleekly styled machine that appeared
in the 1964 Elvis Presley movie Viva Las
Vegas
. The car will be sold at "no reserve" with complete documentation,
including old race logs.

Another star on the block is the original Prudhomme Special Edition Ford
Mustang Shelby GT-500 Concept Car, a racer assembled at automotive legend
Carroll Shelby's Las Vegas
manufacturing facility. The car, in a joint venture with NHRA legend Don "The
Snake" Prudhomme, is drag race ready, complete with a 5.4-liter, 800 horsepower
Ford V8, front and rear adjustable BMR racing suspension and drag tires.

Speed Channel play-by-play announcer Bob Varsha will head
the broadcast booth as Matt Stone, executive editor of Motor Trend magazine, adds
color. The auction block will once again be handled by avid car enthusiast Mike
Joy, the "Voice of NASCAR on FOX," and former Hot Rod magazine technical editor Steve Magnante.

Arizona's Rick DeBruhl will be touring the
auction tents and providing pre-block commentary, including Fantasy Bid game
previews.

"For year two of Vegas, we've expanded our coverage to 19
hours and two platforms, with 17 hours being on the linear network," Rick
Miner, Speed's SVP of production and network operations, said in a release.
"And new for this presentation, while the linear network breaks away for two
hours with live NASCAR coverage on that Friday, we will be complementing our Barrett-Jackson
coverage with a full production and live broadcast on Speedtv.com."

Speedtv.com will also offer many interactive elements, featuring trivia games, viewer chats,
storylines, photo galleries, three exclusive camera angles and the Fantasy Bid
game, which has become increasingly popular, recording a 115-percent increase
in activity during January's Scottsdale, Ariz., broadcast with almost 600,000
total bids and a per car average of more than 20,000 fantasy bids.

The Fantasy Bid games will give viewers the opportunity to
compete against each other in guessing the final "hammer" prices prior to cars
crossing the auction block. The grand prize for the Fantasy Bid game will be 52-inch
wide screen 1080p LCD high-definition television along with a DVD home
entertainment system for the player earning the most points throughout the entire
bidding period.

Speed's HD on-air coverage of the Barrett-Jackson event will be 6-11 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8; 4-6:30 p.m. and 8:30-11 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 9, and 4-11 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10. The Speedtv.com coverage will take place 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Friday. 

October