NBCSN ADDS RAY EVERNHAM AND RALPH SHEHEEN

Legendary Crew Chief Teams with Veteran Motorsports Broadcaster for All 14 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Events on NBCSN

STAMFORD, Conn. — April 15, 2015 — NBC Sports today welcomed three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion crew chief Ray Evernham and seasoned broadcaster Ralph Sheheen to its growing lineup of motorsports experts.  Evernham and Sheheen will handle coverage of NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Events on NBCSN.  The announcement was made today by Jeff Behnke , Vice President of NASCAR Production for NBC Sports and NBCSN.     

2015 marks the 30 th Anniversary season for the northeast-based NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, which traces its roots back to the very first NASCAR-sanctioned race on the beach and road course at Daytona Beach, Fla. in 1948.  Evernham, who began his remarkable career in motorsports working on short track race cars at age 15, will first team with Sheheen to cover the 41 st running of the Icebreaker from Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Conn., airing on Saturday, April 18 at 12:30 a.m. ET (late Friday night). The complete NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour telecast schedule on NBCSN is listed below.    

“We're are thrilled to continue our 2015 NASCAR Touring Series with the knowledge and experience of Ray Evernham and Ralph Sheheen behind the microphone,” said Behnke. “This is a win for all race fans and the enthusiastic followers of the Whelen Modified Tours.”        

NASCAR's Whelen Modified Tours, the association's only open-wheeled division, compete at historic short tracks spanning from New Hampshire to North Carolina.  The southeast-based NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour was established in 2005 as a sister tour to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.    

“I grew up watching and racing modifieds and still get goose bumps every time I watch them race,” said Evernham. “I am really looking forward to being part of NBCSN's motorsports coverage.”

“Big power, open wheels and passionate fans—the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tours might be the coolest series in racing,” said Sheheen.  “Ray and I are going to have a lot of fun calling these races.”

The appointment of Evernham and Sheheen follows previous NBC Sports NASCAR on-air announcements for analysts Jeff Burton , Steve Letarte , Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett , race announcer Rick Allen , pre- and post-race host Krista Voda , and pit road reporters Marty Snider , Kelli Stavast , Mike Massaro and Dave Burns .

In 1983, Evernham teamed with Roger Penske and Jay Signore to resurrect the International Race of Champions (IROC) series, giving him an opportunity to work with and learn from legends such as Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt, Dale Earnhardt and Bill Elliott.  Ray later joined Hendrick Motorsports, and in 1993 teamed with driver Jeff Gordon as crew chief for the Rainbow Warriors, leading a historic partnership that included three championships, 47 wins and two Daytona 500 victories.  In 2000, Evernham took on the challenge of team ownership, teaming with Dodge to spearhead the unproven manufacturer's successful re-entry into NASCAR.  In 2006, the media voted Ray the greatest crew chief of all time.  

Sheheen has been broadcasting a wide variety of motorsports, ranging from Swamp Buggies to Formula One, on national TV for 27 years. NASCAR has always been a large part of his broadcasting schedule, as he has covered all of the famed sanctioning bodies at one point along the way. One of his career highlights was being a part of the CBS Sports broadcast team that televised Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s Daytona 500 victory in 1998. Sheheen also is the owner of SPEED SPORT, a multi-layered media company that produces a diversified lineup of motorsports coverage.  A native of Sacramento, Calif., he currently resides in Moorseville, N.C.

2015 NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOURS COVERAGE ON NBCSN

Series    Track Telecast Date Time

Whelen Modified Tour                     Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park      Sat., April 17                       12:30 a.m.

Whelen Modified Tour                     Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park      Thu., June 18                      6 p.m.

Whelen Modified Tour                     Riverhead Raceway                                          Thu., July 2                          7 p.m.

Whelen Modified Tour (All-Star)     New Hampshire Motor Speedway                 Thu., July 23                        4 p.m.

Whelen Modified Tour                     New Hampshire Motor Speedway                 Thu., July 23                        6 p.m.

Whelen Modified Tour                     Monadnock Speedway                                    Thu., July 30                        7 p.m.

Whelen Southern Modified Tour    Bowman Gray Stadium                                   Fri., Aug. 7                           2:30 p.m.

Whelen Mod-Whelen So. Mod        Bristol Motor Speedway                                 Fri., Aug. 28                        7 p.m.

Whelen Southern Modified Tour    Langley Speedway                                            Fri., Sept. 11                       2:30 p.m.

Whelen Southern Modified Tour    South Boston Speedway                                 Thu., Sept. 28                     7 p.m.

Whelen Modified Tour                     New Hampshire Motor Speedway                 Thu., Oct. 1                         7 p.m.

Whelen Modified Tour                     Stafford Motor Speedway                                             Sat., Oct. 10                        4 p.m.

Whelen Southern Modified Tour    Charlotte Motor Speedway (.25-mile)          Thu., Oct 15                        7 p.m.

Whelen Modified Tour                     Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park      Thu., Oct. 22                       8 p.m.      

On July 23, 2013, NASCAR and NBC Sports Group reached a comprehensive agreement that grants NBCUniversal exclusive rights to the final 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, final 19 NASCAR XFINITY Series events, select NASCAR Regional & Touring Series events and other live content, beginning in 2015.

With this partnership, NBC's 20 Sprint Cup race schedule includes a designation as the exclusive home to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, when the elite national series races through its final 10 events of the season.  The Chase culminates with the season-ending championship event, which returns to network television in 2015 for the first time since 2009. Of NBC Sports Group's 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, seven will be carried on NBC annually, with 13 airing on NBCSN. Four of NBC Sports Group's 19 NASCAR XFINITY Series races will air on NBC, with 15 airing on NBCSN.

NASCAR AMERICA premiered in February, following Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Daytona 500 victory and NBC Sports Group's multi-platform coverage of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. The weekday 30-minute news and highlights program is dedicated to America's fascination with speed and stock car racing, and features regular appearances by NBC Sports NASCAR experts, as well as a rotation of guest analysts.

 

By : Tim Buckman, NBC Sports
April 15, 2015