USAC to SPEED Channel in 2003

SPEED Channel and the United States Auto Club (USAC) have reached a programming agreement that will bring USAC dirt and asphalt racing to SPEED beginning in 2003. "What an exciting combination -- USAC racing on the SPEED Channel," said USAC ...

SPEED Channel and the United States Auto Club (USAC) have reached a programming agreement that will bring USAC dirt and asphalt racing to SPEED beginning in 2003.

"What an exciting combination -- USAC racing on the SPEED Channel," said USAC President Rollie Helmling. "Starting in 2003, race fans across the country will be able to enjoy many nights of racing with some of the nation's finest drivers and best cars at America's premier oval tracks."

SPEED Channel's coverage will include 45 hours of programming beginning on March 20 at 9 p.m. ET. Coverage will be on a Live and Tape-Delayed basis.

"We are very grateful to SPEED Channel for allowing us the opportunity to showcase USAC Racing, both on dirt and asphalt, on what we feel is the best motor sports network in the country," said Steve Farmer, USAC Director of Sales and Marketing. "The SPEED Channel programs will allow us to present our product to a brand new audience and accommodates our existing USAC fans with more consistent time slots throughout the season. It also allows our series sponsors more viable time slots for advertising their individual products and services."

Said SPEED Channel President Jim Liberatore: "With its rich history and passionate fan base, we are excited about partnering with an organization of USAC's caliber. In making the decision to more than double SPEED's racing content, being able to add USAC events to the programming calendar is a great move in bringing quality as much as quantity to the network."

USAC Racing moves to SPEED Channel from ESPN/ESPN2, where it began regular programming in 1981.

"We are grateful for the more than 20 years we spent with ESPN and the production team at The Lingner Group," Farmer said. "Their role in exposing USAC and many other forms of motor sports to the television audience has always been very much appreciated. However, we believe that SPEED Channel's emphasis on racing and the increased promotion they offer to our series makes sense as we move forward."

About USAC: The United States Auto Club was founded in September 1955, and operates as a non-profit, democratic sanctioning body governed by a nine-member board of directors. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., USAC currently operates ten professional racing divisions including its "Premier" division, featuring Silver Crown Championship cars. In addition, competition includes sprint cars, midget cars and the new USAC Ford Focus Midget Car Series in Southern California and Indiana. USAC also sanctions select international divisions of the historic Pikes Peak Hill Climb, World Rally and the SAP Formula One Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

About SPEED Channel: SPEED Channel, the nation's fastest growing sports cable network, is the first and only 24-hour cable network devoted exclusively to motor sports and the human fascination for speed. In addition to extensive original NASCAR programming, SPEED Channel is home to many of the world's marquee racing events including CART, F1, Classic Cars, LeMans, the American LeMans Series, World Rally and car shows from around the globe. Currently seen in more than 54 million U.S homes and 4.5 million more in Canada, SPEED Channel was acquired by Fox Cable Networks Group in July 2001.

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