CHAMPCAR/CART: Pruett joins CART Radio Network as season begins

DETROIT (March 8, 2001) - Championship Auto Racing Teams begins another season of CART Radio Network (CRN) coverage when the green flag drops on the 2001 FedEx Championship Series this Sunday in Monterrey, Mexico with the Tecate Telmex Monterrey...

DETROIT (March 8, 2001) - Championship Auto Racing Teams begins another season of CART Radio Network (CRN) coverage when the green flag drops on the 2001 FedEx Championship Series this Sunday in Monterrey, Mexico with the Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix Presented by Herdez.

CART announced the restructuring of its national radio network prior to the beginning of last season, and the network has continued to grow since that time.

Previously operated by an independent company, CART's Broadcast division assumed control of the CART Radio Network in February of 2000 and shortly thereafter announced a partnership with Clear Channel, the nation's largest radio group with nearly 1,200 affiliate stations in the U.S.

With Clear Channel serving as its exclusive distributor and affiliate-relations partner, the CART Radio Network has grown to include 48 affiliate stations nationally (see attached list) and the list will continue to grow during the course of the 2001 campaign.

"We are very pleased to renew our partnership with Clear Channel for what promises to be another exciting season on the CART Radio Network," said CART Vice President of Broadcasting Keith Allo. "We have established a high-quality national radio network that does an outstanding job of conveying the excitement and passion of the FedEx Championship Series. The feedback we've received from our fans and our affiliates as been overwhelmingly positive, and shows us that the CART Radio Network is on the right track."

The CRN announcing team remains the same from last season, with one notable addition. Former Champ Car driver Scott Pruett, a two-time CART race winner that competed in the series from 1988-99, will make his debut in the broadcast booth this season, serving as a color analyst for 13 events.

"I am excited about the opportunity of working for CART and embarking on this new venture," said Pruett, whose best finish in the FedEx Series season points standings was a sixth in 1998. "I hope my years of racing experience bring a better understanding, from a racer's perspective, to the fans".

Allo welcomes a driver's perspective on the broadcasts.

"It's going to be very exciting for our team to have Scott join us on the broadcasts this year," said Allo. "He's a proven winner on the race track and the insight and expertise he can provide from having been in the cockpit will be unique and extremely entertaining for our fans."

Joining Pruett on the microphone will be Tom Michaels, who has worked with CRN since its inception in 1992. Michaels provides play-by-play for all 21 events in 2001.

Ned Wicker, who begins his 10th season on the network, also returns as a color commentator/pit reporter on the broadcasts. Veteran motorsports reporter Larry Henry and Jim Murphy, who begins his fifth year with CRN, also provide analysis and coverage from pit lane.

The CART Radio Network enters the 2001 season with affiliate stations on board in all of the network's identified "core markets." Included in that list are all North American race venues and several other key markets including Las Vegas, Phoenix and Miami.

In addition to providing flag-to-flag coverage of all 21 races on the FedEx Championship Series schedule, the CART Radio Network also continues to offer its affiliates support programming this season.

'CART Update', a 90-second report that features news, notes and interviews from the FedEx Championship Series, will air Monday-Friday on many CART Radio Network stations during the course of the season.

'CART Hotline' also returns for its second season on the network. Hosted by Henry, who's been covering open-wheel racing for over 25 years, 'Hotline' will span the entire season (36 weeks) and air every Thursday night from 8-9 p.m. eastern time on many CRN stations. On race weekends the show will be brought to the fans and broadcast live from a local restaurant or bar in the given race market. This will allow our race fans a unique opportunity to see the drivers in person as well as be part of the live audience. The show features in-depth interviews with the stars and personalities of Champ Car racing and it also gives fans the opportunity to ask questions of their racing heroes in person.

CART Radio Network race broadcasts can also be heard live at CART's official Internet web site, CART.com. Friday afternoon practice sessions and Saturday qualifying sessions, featuring the CRN announcing team, also will be aired live on CART.com.

Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the FedEx Championship Series. All FedEx Series races are broadcast domestically on ABC and ESPN television and CART's worldwide television coverage encompasses more than 200 countries and 1 billion viewers annually. Series champions Gil de Ferran, Jimmy Vasser, Michael Andretti and Alex Zanardi are among the drivers who battle for the FedEx Championship Series title on oval circuits as well as temporary and permanent road courses. CART also owns and operates its top two development series, the Dayton Indy Lights Championship and the Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at www.cart.com.

-CART-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Jimmy Vasser , Alex Zanardi , Scott Pruett