ESPN Networks Brings Back IHRA Drag Racing After 18 Years
After an absence of 18 years, International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) drag racing action will return to ESPN’s networks in 2017.
The IHRA and ESPN have reached an agreement for two days of racing from events in the 2017 IHRA Summit Sportsman National Championship to stream live on ESPN3, ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network. IHRA racing last appeared on one of ESPN’s networks in 1999.
ESPN3 will stream as much as eight continuous hours from the track on both weekend days for 13 events, much of it live, that will include on-track action, interviews and reports from the pits, features and more. The first event will be on the weekend of Feb. 4-5 from Immokalee (Fla.) Regional Raceway, with streaming on ESPN3 beginning at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday and noon on Sunday.
“This is a landmark opportunity for the IHRA to further advance its plans for all stakeholders in the Sportsman Racing Division,” says Chris Lencheski, vice chairman and CEO of IRGSE, the parent company of the IHRA. “This agreement highlights our sportsman racers and positions us to move into 2018 with a tremendous partner for our professional racing series with significant momentum behind the IHRA, its teams, tracks and sponsors.”
ESPN3 is a destination that delivers thousands of exclusive sports events annually. It is accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices through WatchESPN. The network is currently available nationwide at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. It is also available at no cost to U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers, smartphones and tablets connected to on-campus educational and on-base military broadband and Wi-Fi networks.
“We’re always looking for ways to serve sports fans and are very pleased to be able to offer IHRA racing to our viewers through streaming on ESPN3,” says Dan Ochs, director, content strategy & acquisitions, ESPN. “IHRA and ESPN have a history dating back to the 90’s and it’s great to bring them back.”