Editors' Note --Tenth in a series Brian Williams Set to Make the Move From NASCAR Fan to Host of NBC Coverage HOMESTEAD, Fla. (August 4, 1999) -- Brian Williams' experience in NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing has been strictly as a fan of ...
Editors' Note --Tenth in a series
Brian Williams Set to Make the Move From NASCAR Fan to Host of NBC Coverage
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (August 4, 1999) -- Brian Williams' experience in NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing has been strictly as a fan of America's most popular form of motorsports. That will change on November 14, when the anchor of the Saturday edition of "NBC Nightly News" and MSNBC's nightly newscast will host his network's coverage of the Pennzoil 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The weekend will be NBC's first venture into live coverage of NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing. The network will broadcast live both the Pennzoil 400 and Saturday's Miami 300, the NASCAR Busch Series season finale.
"My NASCAR experience has been purely as a fan and an armchair driver," said Williams. "I can't imagine a better way to spend a day than at a NASCAR race or watching one on television."
Williams recently got a behind the scenes look at the Pepsi 400 at Daytona, when he and his family were given a garage tour, meeting many of NASCAR's top drivers.
"I want to make it perfectly clear that this is a hobby. Dick Ebersol and Ken Schanzer, the two men who run NBC Sports, came to me and asked that since NASCAR racing was my hobby, would I like to host the coverage. Andy Lack, the head of NBC News, said if I had no problems with my news job, 'knock yourself out, have a great time.'
"I don't think viewers are going to look at this and say, 'My gosh, he's in news, he's got an instant credibilty problem.' I just don't think that's going to happen."
Williams' background in news -- coupled with his knowledge and enthusiasm for racing -- will pay dividends with the broadcast.
"I think viewers will see a network trying to do everything right. That's all we can do. I think you'll see NBC giving its best complete effort."
Since joining NBC News in 1993, Williams has become on of NBC's most accomplished and acclaimed anchors and correspondents. Whether he is reporting from the Saturday edition of NBC's "Nightly News," covering breaking news events from around the world, or anchoring the innovative and contemporary hour-long MSNBC nightly newscast "The News with Brian Williams," he has branded a new type of journalistic excellence.
NBC's Chief White House correspondent from 1994-96, he is known for his ability to quickly and comprehensively pull together the elements of a breaking news story and report it from either a world hot spot, or while on the air. He received a prestigious Emmy Award for his work during NBC News' coverage of the Iowa flood in 1993. Both he and Tom Brokaw were nominated for an Emmy Award in 1994 for their coverage of the California earthquakes. He also won two Emmy Awards during his seven-year tenure at WCBS-TV in New York City, for his coverage of the 1987 stock market crash, and the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
In November, Williams will take a break from covering the major news of the world to report on his favorite sport's only new event of 1999.
"I am very excited about the debut of Miami on the NASCAR Winston Cup tour. I think South Florida is about to make a discovery that much of the country has known for a long time, and that is it's very exciting racing."
A limited number of reserved grandstand seats and reserved recreational vehicle locations remain on sale for the Pennzoil 400. For tickets, call (305) 230-7223. For additional information, visit the official Homestead-Miami Speedway web site at www.racemiami.com.
Brian Williams on South Florida
"Miami is -- and has been for several years -- a very happening part of the globe. I think the NASCAR Winston Cup race will just add to it. Homestead-Miami Speedway's roots date to a tortured beginning, considering the hurricane and what happened that made it a race track. It's going to be just as famous as all the others on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series circuit in due time. Miami's a great place to live, and if you can't live there, it's a great place to visit."