Quotes from President Obama Interview on ESPN2’s NASCAR Now

Quotes from President Obama Interview on ESPN2’s NASCAR Now
 
President Barack Obama was interviewed live during ESPN2’s NASCAR Now program originating from the White House in Washington, D.C., today. The President was honoring three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson as well as other current NASCAR drivers and some past champions of the sport in a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House. Following the ceremony, the President joined NASCAR Now host Nicole Manske and ESPN NASCAR analyst Brad Daugherty for the live interview.
 
Q – We just saw you honoring Jimmie Johnson and the 2008 Chase for the Championship contenders. Why was this something that NASCAR and the White House decided to do?
 
President Obama – NASCAR is a quintessential American sport. I think that its fan base is now worldwide, but when you think about its roots, when you think about all the people who have such an attachment to the drivers, and when you think about the fact that right now the U.S. auto industry is going through a tough time, we wanted to make sure we highlight the fact that this is a great sport, is a great brand for not just NASCAR itself but also for America, and we thought it was a great opportunity to celebrate some champions.
Q – Why is it important for the Big Three auto manufacturers to remain committed to NASCAR?
 
President Obama – I think that it’s about as good advertising as you can get. If somebody’s excited about NASCAR, that means they’re excited about cars. And we want to make sure that people know what great American cars are, and obviously it’s understandable at a time when GM has gone through some tough times, that they may need to cut back sponsorships briefly, but over the long term, if we look 5-10 years out, I think they’re going to come back stronger than ever, and I think their association with NASCAR makes a great difference. 
 
Q – We know you’re excellent at filling out your sports brackets. What about winning the Chase championship? Have you filled out that bracket?
 
President Obama – Well first of all I think it’s a little early. I think I’ve got to see a little more information before we make a final decision here. But obviously when you’ve got champions like Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, just a lot of folks who are capable of winning at any given time, so I’m not going to pretend like I can pick them, but maybe when we get right there down to the end, I’ll go ahead and take the punch. 
 
Q – You’re passionate about sports. Jimmie Johnson has won three consecutive championships – who in sports world can you compare this to?
 
President Obama – In terms of individual sports, you’ve got some folks like Tiger Woods, and Roger Federer in tennis, who have established dominance in their sport. Jimmie is somebody who obviously, and his whole team, knows what they’re doing and knows how to win. They’re going to have a lot more wins probably under their belt in the future. He looks like a pretty young guy. I saw him getting in and out of the 48 and I was thinking I would have strained something, broke something. He didn’t even tear his suit. That’s the least that would have happened to me – I would’ve had a big rip somewhere.
 
Q – You were talking earlier about the family atmosphere in NASCAR. Why do you think NASCAR has become such a strong fabric in the American sports culture?
 
President Obama – I think part of it is what you described – that families can go to the track and they can see these great races and enjoy a good family event that lasts for awhile and it’s affordable. But part of it is also the fact that I think racing teams themselves are a family and it’s a reminder that the guy behind the wheel is not the only person involved in this thing. That it takes a pit crew, it takes the engineers back at the shop, and all of that contributes to the sense of community that is part of what makes this country strong.
Q – It’s a long-standing tradition to have champions at the White House. The 2009 Cup champion – if you had to place a bet, who that would be?
 
President Obama – The key to making good predictions in sports is waiting until the last minute to make them. I’m two-for-two so far. I called the Steelers; I called the Tar Heels. I haven’t yet called the baseball season because I’m holding out hope that my White Sox might still have a chance. So you guys call me up right before the end of the race and I’ll let you know who I think is going to come out on top.
 
Q – When are we going to get you to a race?
 
President Obama – I would love to do it. I was supposed to do it during the campaign but we just ended up having to travel too much and we weren’t able to devote the amount of time that I wanted to. Hopefully sometime during my presidency I’m going to get out there.
 
Visit www.espnmediazone.com for ESPN’s latest releases, schedules and other news, plus photos, video and audio clips and more.
 
About NASCAR on ESPN:ESPN and ABC have comprehensive, multi-platform coverage featuring telecasts of the final 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup races, including the 10-race “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup” on ABC. Additionally, ESPN2 is the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season. All programming is produced totally in high definition. ESPN’s comprehensive, multimedia NASCAR coverage extends to ESPN.com, SportsCenter, ESPN the Magazine, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio and ESPN International, among other ESPN platforms. ESPN aired 262 NASCAR Cup Races over a 20-year period starting in 1981 and returned to NASCAR coverage in 2007. The network’s award-winning, live flag-to-flag coverage on ESPN has been honored with 19 Sports Emmy Awards, as well as many industry honors. It is widely credited for helping to popularize the sport nationwide. NASCAR races have appeared on ABC for decades, beginning with broadcasts on the award-winning Wide World of Sports program in the 1960s.

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President Obama To Be Interviewed Live on ESPN2’s NASCAR Now

President Obama To Be Interviewed Live on ESPN2’s NASCAR Now
President Barack Obama will be interviewed live during ESPN2’s NASCAR Now program originating from the White House in Washington, D.C., today. The one-hour program airs at 4:30 p.m. ET.
The President is honoring three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson as well as other current NASCAR drivers and some past champions of the sport in a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House. NASCAR Now, ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program, will cover the festivities live, marking the first time in ESPN’s 30-year history that a regularly-scheduled ESPN program will originate and air in its entirety from the White House.
Following the ceremony, the President will join NASCAR Now host Nicole Manske and ESPN NASCAR analyst Brad Daugherty for a live interview.
ESPN analysts Dale Jarrett and Rusty Wallace, both former NASCAR Sprint Cup champions, will be among the drivers participating in afternoon ceremonies that will include a tour of the White House and photo opportunities. NASCAR Now lead reporter Marty Smith will speak with Johnson, Jarrett and Wallace as well as many of the other drivers on hand.
Visit www.espnmediazone.com for ESPN’s latest releases, schedules and other news, plus photos, video and audio clips and more.
About NASCAR on ESPN:
ESPN and ABC have comprehensive, multi-platform coverage featuring telecasts of the final 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup races, including the 10-race “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup” on ABC. Additionally, ESPN2 is the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season. All programming is produced totally in high definition. ESPN’s comprehensive, multimedia NASCAR coverage extends to ESPN.com, SportsCenter, ESPN the Magazine, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio and ESPN International, among other ESPN platforms. ESPN aired 262 NASCAR Cup Races over a 20-year period starting in 1981 and returned to NASCAR coverage in 2007. The network’s award-winning, live flag-to-flag coverage on ESPN has been honored with 19 Sports Emmy Awards, as well as many industry honors. It is widely credited for helping to popularize the sport nationwide. NASCAR races have appeared on ABC for decades, beginning with broadcasts on the award-winning Wide World of Sports program in the 1960s.

NASCAR Stars Racing Under the Lights at Bristol on ESPN

NASCAR Stars Racing Under the Lights at Bristol on ESPN
 
One of the most popular and exciting races annually on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule is the night race at Bristol Motor Speedway, and ESPN will have live, flag-to-flag coverage in high definition as the stars and cars go for 500 laps on the half-mile track on Saturday, Aug. 22. The telecast is presented by Pennzoil and begins with NASCAR Countdown presented by Degree V12 at 6:30 p.m. ET. The race’s green flag is at 7:43 p.m.
 
In addition, coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying at Bristol will air Friday, Aug. 21, at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
 
The final 17 races of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule will air on the ESPN Networks, with the first six on ESPN and the final 11 on ABC, including all 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
 
Also at Bristol, ESPN2 continues its season-long coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series with a live, flag-to-flag telecast as the series races for 300 laps on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. The green flag is at 8:13 p.m. ESPN2 is the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season, with selected races on ESPN and ABC.
 
Dr. Jerry Punch will be lap-by-lap announcer for all of ESPN’s telecasts from Bristol, with analysis by 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Dale Jarrett and two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Andy Petree. Reporting from the pits will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch, with two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Tim Brewer in the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage.
 
Allen Bestwick will host NASCAR Countdown both nights with analysis by 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty, co-owner of a winning team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, in the ESPN pit studio.
 
Also this week, ESPN Classic will take NASCAR fans on a trip down memory lane with an episode of the ESPN Classic signature series SportsCentury. The one-hour program features legendary NASCAR star Tim Flock and airs Friday, Aug. 21, at 8 a.m.

Motorsports This Week on ESPN White House to Host ESPN2’s NASCAR Now on Wednesday

Motorsports This Week on ESPN
White House to Host ESPN2’s NASCAR Now on Wednesday
 
NASCAR Now, ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program, will originate from the White House in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday as President Barack Obama honors three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and other NASCAR stars of past and present. The one-hour program airs at 4:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Aug. 19, and will mark the first time in ESPN’s 30-year history that a regularly-scheduled ESPN program will originate and air in its entirety from the White House.
 
ESPN analysts Dale Jarrett and Rusty Wallace, both former NASCAR Sprint Cup champions, will be among the drivers participating in afternoon ceremonies that will include a tour of the White House and photo opportunities. In addition to other former champions, the group of drivers also will include many of the 12 who qualified for the 2008 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
 
Nicole Manske will host NASCAR Now from the White House, with analysis by Brad Daugherty. Jarrett, Wallace and NASCAR Now lead reporter Marty Smith also will participate in the telecast.