Thursday, July 22, 2010

TV Schedule July 23-25


Sunday marks one of the most important races on NASCAR's calendar: the Brickyard 400. Indianapolis is a mecca of auto racing, also hosting the prestigious Indianapolis 500 in the Izod IndyCar Series. But this weekend, it's all about NASCAR. Who will continue the victor's tradition of kissing the bricks?

The 2.5-mile oval at Indianapolis Motor Speedway has a unique surface of brick and asphalt. The track is considered flat, with 9-degree banking in the turns and none in the straightaways. The corners, nearly perfect right angles, coupled with the long straightaways present a challenge for drivers. The driver with the best handling car, best pit crew and best luck will be the one left standing in Victory Lane.

Since 2005, Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson have dominated at the Brickyard. Stewart has racked up two wins in that time ('05 and '07) while Johnson has three ('06, '08 and '09). Expect them to be major players in Sunday's race -- as well as four-time race winner Jeff Gordon. Also keep an eye on Juan Pablo Montoya, who was the class of the field in last year's event before a speeding penalty took him out of contention for the win.

While the Sprint Cup takes on Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series head up the road to O'Reilly Raceway Park. The 0.686-mile oval has 7.5-degree banking in the turns and 2 degrees on the straightaways. Carl Edwards is defending winner in Nationwide. The Edwards-Brad Keselowski run-in at Gateway continues to be a talker, so expect this to follow Edwards as he tries to defend his win Saturday. In the Truck Series, Ron Hornaday won last year's event. Will the series' defending champion finally score his first win of the season Friday?

The following is a handy schedule of track events and media coverage this weekend in Indianapolis (all times Eastern Standard Time. Events without a channel listed will not be televised. Note the changes in networks this weekend: Nationwide race will be broadcast live on ESPN, not ESPN2. The Sprint Cup race will be live on ESPN):

Friday, July 23:
11:00 a.m. Truck Series practice
12:45 p.m. Truck Series final practice
2:00 p.m. Sprint Cup practice, ESPN2
3:30 p.m. Sprint Cup practice, SPEED
4:30 p.m. NASCAR Live, SPEED
5:00 p.m. Truck Series qualifying, SPEED
6:30 p.m. NASCAR Now, ESPN2 (reruns at midnight)
6:30 p.m. Trackside at Indianapolis, SPEED. Guest: Chip Ganassi. (reruns at 10:30 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday)
7:30 p.m. Truck Series SetUp, SPEED (reruns at 12:30 a.m.)
8:00 p.m. Truck Series race: AAA Insurance 200 presented by J.D. Byrider, SPEED. Green flag: 8:18 p.m. (reruns at 1 a.m.)

Saturday, July 24:
10:00 a.m. Sprint Cup qualifying, ESPN2
10:00 a.m. Nationwide practice
12:30 p.m. Nationwide final practice, ESPN2 (tape-delayed, starts at 11:45 a.m.)
2:00 p.m. Sprint Cup practice
3:30 p.m. Sprint Cup final practice, ESPN2
5:00 p.m. Nationwide qualifying, ESPN2
7:30 p.m. Nationwide Countdown, ESPN
8:00 p.m. Nationwide race: Kroger 200 benefiting Riley Hospital for Children, ESPN. Green flag: 8:15 p.m. (reruns at 4 a.m. on ESPN2)
11:00 p.m. NASCAR Smarts, SPEED (reruns at 9:00 a.m. Sunday)
11:30 p.m. NASCAR Performance, SPEED (reruns at 8:30 a.m. Sunday)

Sunday, July 25:
9:00 a.m. NASCAR Now, ESPN2
9:30 a.m. NASCAR in a Hurry, SPEED
10:00 a.m. NASCAR RaceDay, SPEED
12:00 noon Sprint Cup Countdown, ESPN
1:00 p.m. Sprint Cup race: Brickyard 400. Green flag: 1:19 p.m. (reruns at 2:30 a.m. on ESPN2)
8:00 p.m. NASCAR Victory Lane, SPEED (reruns at 2 a.m. and 9 a.m. Monday)
10:00 p.m. NASCAR Now, ESPN2

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Photo: 2009 Brickyard 400 race start (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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