ESPN2 Garage to feature motorsports shows

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — ESPN is complementing its extensive coverage of NASCAR, IndyCar and NHRA racing in 2007 with ESPN2 Garage, a new block of programming dedicated to the automotive and motorsports world.

Debuting Jan. 6, the block will satisfy automotive, motorcycle and motorsports enthusiasts with 19 different shows that feature nearly every facet of the industry — from car auctions to custom-car programs to an animated series and reality shows.

The programming will be aired on ESPN2 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET on weekdays, from 10 a.m. to noon ET on Saturdays and from 10-11 a.m. ET on Sundays.

ESPN unveiled its ESPN2 Garage lineup Thursday at the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas.

"This array of programming — along with NASCAR returning home to ESPN in 2007 and our existing IndyCar and NHRA programming — makes ESPN2 the definitive motorsports destination for fans," said Frantz Cayo, director of motor sports programming for ESPN.

"We want to grow, entertain and inform motor sports enthusiasts with programs that will serve them as well as other sports fans."

ESPN2 Garage programming will cover topics ranging from car preparation (Matching Numbers, Garage Wars), automotive auctions (The Bidding Wars, RM Classic Car Auctions), how-to help (Import Racers, GearZ), racing programs (Race Wizard with Ray Evernham, Michael Waltrip Racing: A New Era), automotive entertainment/reality (P.I.P.E.S., King of the Street) and even an animated series about a family of motorsports fans entitled The Pits.

The first group of shows in ESPN2 Garage will debut in the first quarter of 2007, beginning January 6, with other groups to run in the second, third and fourth quarters of the year. ESPN2 is seen in 91.7 million homes.

ESPN2 Garage programs

Autotrader.com DRIVE in HD
(Times to be announced)

Former Motor Trend magazine editor C. Van Tune and others will take viewers behind the scenes at the top auto shows in the United States. Hosts will analyze the latest models, concept cars and other automotive industry innovations at shows in Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago and New York.

The Bidding Wars
(2nd quarter, Sunday, 10 a.m.)

Focuses on car auctions from the buyers, sellers and auction officials' points of view. These colorful characters are followed until the final two bidders on a car battle it out.

Chopper Nation
(1st quarter, Saturday, 10:30 a.m.)

For motorcycle enthusiasts, a series dedicated the world of choppers and v-twin cruiser motorcycles with profiles on custom builders, the top motorcycle rallies and more.

Funk Master Flex's Car Wars
(2nd quarter, Saturday, 10:30 a.m., Monday, 6 p.m.)

Amateur customizers prepare their cars for one of Funk Master Flex's car shows. Contestants put everything on the line (second mortgage, rent money, etc.) to win and deal with the stress and realities of competition. Flex, one of the nation's most well-known radio personalities, helps them along.

Funk Master Flex's Car Wars
(2nd quarter, Saturday, 10:30 a.m., Monday, 6 p.m.)

Six customizers compete as they prepare four 2007 Ford Expeditions for Flex's Car Show. The winner is chosen and featured at one of Flex's car shows.

Garage Wars
(4th quarter, Saturday, 10 a.m.)

A non-stop, deadline-driven show. In each episode, a real mechanic and a "crew" of four regular guys (the contestants) are pitted against a similar group. With three days and $10,000 to spend, each team has to design, find parts for, and then build their racer from the ground up.

(2nd quarter, Saturday, 10 a.m.)

Hosted by Stacey David (previously on Spike's popular and highly rated series TRUCKS!), Gearz is an entertaining how-to program that will focus on trucks, hot rods and other rides. Each episode will include David completing a high-end build and then taking it out on the road, off-road or in the mud for a true test drive.

Import Racers
(1st quarter, Monday, 5 p.m.)

A series dedicated to the turbocharged world of import tuner cars including sport compact drag racing and drifting. Import tuner racing/customizing is one of the fastest-growing and most popular forms of motorsports among the youth of America.

King of the Streets
(3rd quarter, Saturday, 10 a.m.)

A reality game show in which 13 amateur drag racers compete against each other for the title "King of the Streets." After each win, the contestant must decide whether to keep the winnings and go home or to keep on going to become King of the Street. Hosted by the fastest couple in the world, NHRA stars Melanie Troxel and Tommie Johnson Jr.

Matching Numbers
(4th quarter, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.)

A show that takes collectible cars that have been left to rot and rust and turns back the clock to their original beauty.

Metric Revolution Bike Competition
(2nd quarter, Saturday, 11 a.m.)

Competition focused on motorcyclists who love personalizing their bikes. The 22 contestants concentrate on metric bikes to create outrageous custom machines.

Michael Waltrip Racing: A New Era
(1st quarter, Sunday, 10 a.m.)

This series will follow the establishment of Michael Waltrip's Toyota team which will make its NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series debut in 2007. Sometimes ESPN NASCAR analyst Dale Jarrett will drive one of the cars in next year's racing season.

Mother's Car Show
(2nd and 3rd quarters, time TBD)

Showcases for cars, bikes, trucks, sport compacts, street rods and everything else with wheels and an engine. The Mother's crew will be everywhere from Ocala, Fla., to Omaha, Neb.

(2nd quarter, Sunday, 10:30 a.m.)

Challengers modify their tuner car to race in a "king of the hill" competition, with the eventual series winner taking home a cash prize. The tuner must achieve a predetermined horsepower and fuel efficiency rating — plus run on pump gas. Viewers will gain insight on how to boost their own car's performance and make it fuel efficient.

The Pits
(4th quarter, Saturday, 11 a.m., weekday TBD)

Animated series based on the lives of a family of motorsports fans and their adventures living on the road and following the racing circuit. Viewers can follow along with true motorsports fans and see the lengths they go to make their dreams come true.

Race Wizard with Ray Evernham
(3rd quarter, Sunday, 10 a.m.)

Four race fans. Four race questions. Answered by Ray Evernham, champion NASCAR crew chief and owner of Evernham Motorsports. Each show will bring racing's innovation and technology down to a level that anyone who drives a car can understand. Segments will unlock the secrets of racing and take viewers behind the scenes to see how it all happens.

RM Classic Car Auctions
(1st and 3rd quarters, Thursday and Friday, 5 p.m.)

Set at one of the biggest auction houses in the country, viewers will see the auction scene in Monterey, Calif., and show some of the most beautiful and exotic cars in the world being sold for astronomical prices.

(1st and 2nd quarter, Saturday, 11:30 a.m.)

Four colorful characters featured in motorsports radio show taped on-site at some of the top auto racing events around the country. Includes interviews with top drivers, crew chiefs, and auto racing experts talking all things motorsports.

Truck Stop
(1st quarter, Saturday 10 a.m., Tuesday and Wednesday, 5 p.m.)

A series dedicated to the world of trucks, from high performance to off-road 4x4 machines to Monster Trucks.