Special to Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
(July 20, 2011)
Allen Bestwick, a TV and radio voice well-known to race fans, will return to the broadcast booth as the anchor of ESPN's Sprint Cup coverage for 2011, the network announced in a news release Wednesday.
Bestwick replaces Marty Reid in the booth for all Cup races, practices and qualifying. Reid will continue as play-by-play announcer for Nationwide Series telecasts as well as ESPN's IndyCar events.
Former Cup champion Dale Jarrett and former crew chief Andy Petree remain as analysts in the booth for ESPN, which will telecast the final 17 Cup races of the season beginning with the race next week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Having been part of telecasts for the Motor Racing Network, TBS, TNT and NBC Sports before joining ESPN in 2007, Bestwick has worked as a pit reporter and host and has called some races for ESPN. In addition to his new duties in the booth, he will continue as the main host and moderator for the Monday roundtable discussion edition of NASCAR Now.
Replacing Bestwick as the host of ESPN's prerace NASCAR Countdown show will be Nicole Briscoe. She had been a fill-in host for the show the last two years. She will be joined by former Cup champion Rusty Wallace and team owner Brad Daugherty, who have been on the prerace show all season.
"We are blessed with a talented and versatile group of NASCAR commentators," said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president of production. "We believe this arrangement best plays to our individual and collective strengths."
CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 20: Allen Bestwick speaks during the Inaugural Induction Dinner at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 20, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Chris Keane/Getty Images for NASCAR)