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NASCAR Daily News Headlines * December 16, 2009

Marty Reid Will Call ESPN Sprint Cup Races In 2010

Marty Reid, whose 28-year career with ESPN has touched all forms of motorsports the network has covered, will expand his role and join analysts Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree in the booth as lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN’s full season of NASCAR coverage in 2010. Reid will call the action for all 17 of ESPN’s NASCAR Sprint Cup races as well as many of the network’s NASCAR Nationwide Series telecasts. He was lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN’s IndyCar Series coverage and selected NASCAR Nationwide Series races in 2009.

Returning to a role he helped define for ESPN for more than 20 years, Dr. Jerry Punch will join ESPN’s team of pit reporters for 2010, working both Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races. Punch was lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN’s Sprint Cup coverage the past three years.

“This group gives us the most versatile and comprehensive team in motorsports, and strengthens us in the booth,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, studio and event production.

“We play to the strengths of our announcers, and Marty’s strength is calling the tactical aspects of the race while deferring to the analysts.

“And from the early days of our NASCAR coverage, Jerry helped evolve the significant role that reporting from the pits plays,” Williamson said. “He will bolster our already-strong stable of pit reporters.”

All other members of the NASCAR on ESPN race coverage team will return in 2010, including analysts Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty, Tim Brewer and Ray Evernham, NASCAR Countdown host Allen Bestwick and pit reporters Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch. Specific assignments and schedules will be announced later.

In addition to his expanded role with NASCAR, Reid will continue as the lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN’s five-race IndyCar Series schedule, including the Indianapolis 500.

ESPN’s 2010 NASCAR season begins with live, flag-to-flag coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series opener at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 13. The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race on ESPN’s schedule is at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 25.

Johnson Wins Third DOTY Award

Jimmie Johnson made more history Wednesday when he was named Driver of The Year Award for the third time in his career. Johnson, who won his fourth-straight Sprint Cup championship in 2009, joins Mario Andretti, Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Gordon as three-time winners of the prestigious DOTY award.

Johnson also won the award in 2006 and 2007. In its 43rd year, the DOTY is the oldest award of its kind. The award is voted upon by a panel of 20 auto-racing writers and broadcasters. Drivers from all major American racing series are eligible for the award.

Johnson said he was surprised to be honored with the award for 2009.

“It’s fantastic, cool,” he said, adding, “It will take some time to sink in.

"It’s an amazing accomplishment, I’m proud to be considered,” he added. “When you look at the all the people being considered, it’s not a popularity contest.”

The selection of Johnson was by a fairly wide margin. In a secret ballot, voters gave Johnson 13 votes. Kyle Busch received two votes, and Mark Martin received one vote. Four votes were not tabulated this year.

“While the panel has shown its independence, integrity and ability to look beyond the headlines, there was no contest this year,” Barry Schmoyer, president of the Driver of The Year Foundation said. “It’s a pleasure to honor Jimmie Johnson who is a champion in or out of his race car.”

Johnson will receive a trophy and a Tissot watch.(Racin' Today)

Milwaukee Off NASCAR Schedule

The operators of the Milwaukee Mile announced today that the scheduled 2010 Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series races will not be held at the track.

The track is operated by the Wisconsin State Fair Park Board, which has not been able to secure a promoter for the 2010 season. The truck race was scheduled for June 18, with the Nationwide Series race scheduled for June 19 at the historic 1-mile oval, which opened in 1903.

NASCAR is looking at replacing those races on the schedule.

"We have learned that the promoter cannot meet the terms of their agreement," NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said in a statement. "NASCAR was aware of this possibility and we have been working on alternate opportunities on the 2010 schedule for both series and will announce those soon."

NASCAR's sanction had been with a group that the fair board had a letter of intent with to promote the races, but that deal fell through in early November.

The track will remain open for car clubs and driving schools with the hopes of securing NASCAR races in 2011, the board's statement said.

The Milwaukee Mile is the second track that was on the Nationwide and Truck schedules that will not conduct races next year. Memphis Motorsports Park closed last month.(foxsports.com)

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