Mike Dunn renews with ESPN

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Dunn signs three year agreement to provide analysis for NHRA telecasts on ESPN. GLENDORA, Calif. (Jan. 14, 2003) - ESPN drag racing analyst Mike Dunn has signed a three-year extension to continue as a key fixture for the NHRA telecast team in ...

Dunn signs three year agreement to provide analysis for NHRA telecasts on ESPN.

GLENDORA, Calif. (Jan. 14, 2003) - ESPN drag racing analyst Mike Dunn has signed a three-year extension to continue as a key fixture for the NHRA telecast team in presenting the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series on ESPN's family of networks, it was announced today.

Dunn, 46, will join lead play-by-play announcer Marty Reid in the booth as the NHRA heads into the third year of a five-year partnership with ESPN. All 23 national events in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series will be televised by ESPN or ESPN2 on a live or same-day basis.

"Mike has a capability to communicate his vast knowledge as a driver to both casual and avid fans," said Shawn Murphy, coordinating producer, ESPN Regional Television. "That ability to explain the intricacies and dynamics of the NHRA enhances each telecast. We're excited to have him as part of the team for the next three years and look forward to watching his continued growth as an analyst as he makes his transition from the cockpit to the booth."

Dunn, who earned 22 NHRA national event victories during a career that has included stints in both Top Fuel and Funny Car, used a combination of on-track experience as well as technical knowledge to inform and entertain viewers during 2002, his first full season as an NHRA drag racing analyst for ESPN.

"We're pleased that Mike has decided to continue his relationship with ESPN and the NHRA for another three years," said NHRA President Tom Compton. "Mike made a tremendous impact in the booth in 2002 with a stellar performance, utilizing his extensive knowledge of the sport to inform as well as educate the fans watching at home. He and Marty developed a great chemistry as the season progressed and we're looking forward to that union being stronger than ever in 2003 and beyond."

Dunn drove Funny Cars from 1981-'91 before moving to Top Fuel in 1992, where he spent eight seasons driving for Darrell Gwynn. Dunn displayed a gritty driving talent early, claiming his first national event victory at Fremont, Calif., during his rookie season. Of his 22 career victories, he's earned 12 in Top Fuel and 10 in Funny Car. In 2001 he piloted Gwynn's Yankee dragster to two victories en route to a fourth place finish in the top 10 standings. Dunn routinely drove the fastest Top Fuel dragster on the circuit, recording the first pass in NHRA history at more than 331-mph. He owns 14 of the top 50 fastest speeds in NHRA history, including six at more than 330 mph.

"This is certainly the next best thing to actually being a part of the competition and I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to be involved with NHRA Drag Racing through the ESPN telecasts for the next three years," said Dunn, a native of Southern California who now resides in Wrightsville, Pa. "I was surprised at how much I really liked working in the booth and being a part of the process by conveying some of my knowledge of the sport to the fans watching at home to help make their experience more enjoyable. As the season went on I became more comfortable with my role and I am really looking forward to working with Shawn (Murphy, producer) and the entire production crew to develop creative ways to make the show more entertaining for our hard-core fans, as well as educational for all the new viewers that are tuning in. It's going to be a lot of fun."

ESPN, Inc., The Worldwide Leader in Sports, is a multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring the broadest portfolio of multimedia assets in sports marketing with over 40 business entities. The company is comprised of seven domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes (launching 2003), ESPN Now, ESPN Today), ESPN HD (high definition service launching April 2003), ESPN International (25 international networks and syndication), ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Regional Television, SportsTicker and ESPN Enterprises, overseeing brand extensions such as ESPN Zone, an interactive sports-themed dining and entertainment experience. Based in Bristol, Ct., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc, which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., the NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. It presents 23 national events through its NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. The NHRA has more than 80,000 members nationwide and more than 130 member tracks. The NHRA-sanctioned sportsman and bracket racing series' provide competition opportunities for drivers of all levels. The NHRA develops the stars of tomorrow by offering the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series, NHRA Summit Racing Series, and the NHRA Street Legal Program. The NHRA also offers the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League for youths ages 8 to 17.

-nhra-

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