ESPN NASCAR Analyst Dale Jarrett On The Chase

ESPN NASCAR Analyst Dale Jarrett on The Chase and Talladega Superspeedway

Dale Jarrett, NASCAR analyst for ESPN, was the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and won 32 Sprint Cup races during his career. He won twice at Talladega Superspeedway, including the final win of his career in 2005.

Q – Has the new NASCAR race car changed the racing at Talladega?

That’s one place that it hasn’t changed the way the racing’s been. Talladega over the years has been two and three-wide racing. The first time that we took the car there, it did change. Everybody was a little unsure of exactly what to expect with it and didn’t know if we could do the things with this new car that we could with the old car. But since then, I think we’ve seen a big turnaround that racing is back to the same and we’re in for more of the same this Sunday. With as comfortable as these guys have gotten with this car and the new pavement at Talladega that was put there a couple of years ago, we’re in for the same three-wide racing that we’re accustomed to.  

Q – With all that can go wrong at Talladega, is it a place where drivers in The Chase worry?

This is the one weekend that the drivers in the Chase are more nervous about than anywhere else and more on guard than any other race that they will participate in. They realize that anything can happen anywhere but the likelihood of something happening and sweeping them up is much greater in the race at Talladega than anywhere else. You have three teams in the Joe Gibbs group that can put caution to the wind right now but the rest of them have to go at it pretty hard and they have to be looking that if they can make it through this one wild-car race then they have a lot better chance of controlling their destiny after that.

The Chase is On: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Live from Talladega on ABC

NASCAR races at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway feature close competition, multiple-car drafting packs and the added tension of the “big one,” the multi-car crashes that often occur on the 2.66-mile track. NASCAR’s version of the playoffs continues this week with the fourth race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup as the series visits Talladega. ESPN on ABC’s high-definition telecast of Sunday’s AMP Energy 500 begins at 1 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown. ABC will have live coverage of all 10 races that make up the Chase.

Dr. Jerry Punch will be lead announcer, joined in the booth for analysis by 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Dale Jarrett and two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree. Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake will be pit reporters with two-time champion crew chief Tim Brewer in the ESPN Tech Center.

The pre-race NASCAR Countdown show from the ESPN pit studio will be hosted by Allen Bestwick, with 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Rusty Wallace and analyst Brad Daugherty. The studio team will interact with the booth during the telecast of the race.

The race will re-air Monday, Oct. 6, at 2:30 a.m. on ESPN2, and at noon on ESPN Classic.

ESPN and ABC have comprehensive, multi-platform coverage featuring telecasts of the final 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup races, including the 10-race “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup” on ABC. Additionally, ESPN2 is the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season. All programming is produced totally in high definition. ESPN’s comprehensive, multimedia NASCAR coverage extends to, ESPN Deportes, SportsCenter, ESPN the Magazine, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPNRadio and ESPN International, among other ESPN platforms. ESPN aired 262 NASCAR Cup Races over a 20-year period starting in 1981 and returned to NASCAR coverage in 2007. The network’s award-winning, live flag-to-flag coverage on ESPN has been honored with 18 Sports Emmy Awards, as well as many industry honors. It is widely credited for helping to popularize the sport nationwide. NASCAR races have appeared on ABC for decades, beginning with broadcasts on the award-winning Wide World of Sports program in the 1960s.