Speed is gearing up for its coverage of NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race XXV Saturday night with a week-long celebration.
The network drops the flag on its "NASCAR All-Star Week on Speed" programming on Monday 11, which will culminate with the race May 16 at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.H.
Last year's NASCAR Spring All-Star Race XXIV drove the highest rating in Speed history: a 3.74 average, translating into 2.48 million households, according to Nielsen Media Research data. The race, in its second of eight seasons on Speed, peaked at 4.75 rating, 3.43 million households and 4 million viewers, said network officials.
Monday night, Speed begins its All-Star Week coverage with This Week in NASCAR Live Audience Special at 8 p.m., followed by Making the Race at 9 p.m. and the 25th NASCAR All-Star Reunion at 10 p.m.
Tuesday coverage starts with Countdown to All-Star at 8 p.m. Hosted by John Roberts and Steve Byrnes and shot at the new Speed studios in Charlotte, Countdown to All-Star will report from around the city on the events leading up to action on the track.
At 9 p.m. May 12 Speed will air four consecutive My All-Star specials, focusing on the race-winning experience of All-Star drivers from three different decades.The first 30-minute program will focus on inaugural All-Star winner Darrell Waltrip (1985; 9 p.m.), followed by Michael Waltrip (1996; 9:30 p.m.), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2000; 10 p.m.) and Kasey Kahne (2008; 10:30 p.m.).
"These specials are meant to capture more than just the All-Star racing experience," said Speed senior vice president of programming Steve Craddock. "In addition to current interviews with the All-Stars, the shows also will present archival sights and sounds from each driver's era. Viewers will see where the driver was at that stage of his life and what was going on in the world of NASCAR."
Wednesday's Countdown to All-Star showcases a live O.A.R. concert from uptown Charlotte. Krista Voda, Elliott Sadler and Rutledge Wood will bring viewers stories from the area most race teams call home. The band will give way to a pair of NASCAR Smarts All-Star Edition at 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
Speed's Thursday coverage is highlighted by a replay of 2008 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at noon, Dave Despain's All-Star Special at 8 p.m. and the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge at 9 p.m. The latter will be encored Saturday, May 16 at noon.
With the weekend nearing, Speed's lineup culminated in the "48 Hours of All-Star."
On May 15, Speed sets thing in motion with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Practice at 9 a.m., the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice at noon and NASCAR Live! at 3 p.m.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying action enacts at 3:30 p.m., with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying 90 minutes later.
NCWTS Setup w/Krista Voda, at 7:30 p.m., is the lead-in to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race at 8 p.m. In 2008, that race from Lowe's Motor Speedway averaged a 1.13 rating and 817,000 households, a 41% increase over the 2007 event, which scored a 0.80 and 563,000 households. The 2008 race peaked at 1.54 and 1.11 million households, according to Nielsen data.
Speed will wrap things up on Friday with Trackside Live from Charlotte at 10:30 p.m., immediately following the truck competition.
Come the big day Saturday, Speed gets things rolling early with Dave Despain's All-Star Special II at 11 a.m. NASCAR Performance is scheduled at 2:30 p.m., NASCAR Smarts at 3 p.m., NASCAR in a Hurry at 3:30 p.m., and NASCAR RaceDay Built by The Home Depot at 4 p.m.
Live coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Showdown and the 25th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race commences at 7 p.m. and will replayed at 11:30 p.m. NASCAR Victory Lane is set for 11 p.m.
Speed's race coverage, shot in HD, will be simulcast on the 1,400-square foot News Astrovision by Panasonic Screen in New York's Times Square. It will be hosted by Krista Voda and Jeff Hammond, with Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds and Mike Joy calling the race action and Steve Byrnes, Dr. Dick Berggren and Matt Yocum reporting from the pits. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards will again join the Speed team as a pit reporter during the NASCAR Sprint Showdown.
"This event is so much more than a race," said Speed president Hunter Nickell. "It's a happening, a celebration of all that makes NASCAR so cool to its millions of fans. The All-Star Race is about letting it all hang out and Speed continues to adopt that approach each May. At the end of the week, we want everyone to be totally spent -- the drivers, the teams, the fans and everyone here at Speed."
The end of All-Star Week will also drop the checkered flag on the network's "Catch the Race, Catch the Cash Sweepstakes," which yields daily prizes of $250 and a grand prize of $25,000.