CHAMPCAR/CART: CBS begins new CART relationship

CBS set to air first CART Fedex Championship Series broadcast in seven years with Miller Lite 250 at the Milwaukee Mile. WEST ALLIS, Wis. (May 31, 2002) - CBS will take over race broadcast chores for the CART FedEx Championship Series this...

CBS set to air first CART Fedex Championship Series broadcast in seven years with Miller Lite 250 at the Milwaukee Mile.

WEST ALLIS, Wis. (May 31, 2002) - CBS will take over race broadcast chores for the CART FedEx Championship Series this weekend at the Miller Lite 250 at the Milwaukee Mile, marking the network's return to Champ Car racing and the first in a six-race slate for CBS in 2002.

The network is no stranger to racing coverage of all types but will be showing its first CART event in seven years, the last one being of Emerson Fittipaldi's 1995 win at Nazareth Speedway.

"We are very excited about adding the CART FedEx Championship Series to our auto racing coverage," said CBS Sports Vice-President Rob Correa. "We have a true passion for the series and the sport and we intend to convey that to the viewers."

The Milwaukee event kicks off a seven-race CBS lineup that includes events at Portland, Chicago, Toronto, Cleveland, Mid-Ohio, and Miami .

CBS has put together a veteran motorsports lineup for the event with open-wheel stalwarts Bob Varsha and Derek Daly in the booth with Ralph Sheheen and Jon Beekhuis patrolling Pit Lane. Varsha and Daly are making their first appearance on CBS, but have been bringing viewers coverage of CART all season as the play-by-play team during SPEED Channel's 2002 CART coverage.

Varsha's 20-year career started as part of the crew of 'MotorWeek Illustrated', which was the first weekly motorsports program on television. >From there he moved to ESPN where he became a fixture in open-wheel racing, covering CART and Formula 1. Most recently Varsha has served as the host of SPEED Channel's F1 and CART coverage, as well as hosting the 'SpeedNews' program on the cable network.

Daly has made one of the most successful moves from the cockpit to the broadcast booth, making the jump after compiling 49 Formula 1 starts and eight years in the CART series. The affable Irishman made his first appearance on the television side in 1985 with Australia's Channel 10 before moving to ESPN where he has been nominated for a number of awards, including the cable Ace Award in 1993.

Beekhuis is also no stranger to CART, having served as the pit announcer for all the series' events on ESPN and ABC for the last two seasons. A former CART driver himself, Beekhuis also has deep knowledge of the road the drivers must take to get to the FedEx Championship Series, having covered the Toyota Atlantic, Indy Lights and Barber Dodge Pro Series in his career.

Sheheen made his first appearance on a CBS racing broadcast in 1995 when he covered the American Motorcycle Association's Grand National Invitational and immediately branched out into many different types of auto racing.

He became a full-time racing broadcaster in 1988 and has provided insightful coverage of everything from the World of Outlaws to World Rally Challenge as well as NASCAR Winston Cup and IHRA Drag Racing.

CBS' live race coverage will begin at 12:30 Eastern Time and will be supplemented by SPEED Channel's live Friday practice coverage at 3 p.m. as well as the CART Friday Night show at 10:30 p.m. SPEED Channel will also broadcast Saturday's qualifying live beginning at 2:30 p.m.

Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the CART FedEx Championship Series. Former series champions Michael Andretti and Jimmy Vasser are among the stars who will battle for the 2002 FedEx Championship Series title on ovals, temporary street circuits and permanent road courses. CART Champ Cars are thoroughbred racing machines that travel at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour, showcasing the technical expertise of manufacturers such as American Honda, Ford Motor Company, Toyota, Lola Cars, Reynard Motorsport and Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC. The 20-race 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series will be broadcast by new television partners, CBS, FOX and SPEED Channel. CART also owns and operates its top development series, the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at www.CART.com.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Derek Daly
Tags TV