ABC/ESPN gives NASCAR fans the snub at Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 11: A general view during pre-race ceremonies prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 11, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 11:  A general view during pre-race ceremonies prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 11, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC – OCTOBER 11: A general view during pre-race ceremonies prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 11, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

It may not have reached the level of the infamous “Heidi Game” of 1968, but Saturday night’s broadcast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway left millions of NASCAR fans in a lurch.  The race was scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. eastern time, but that didn’t happen.  Instead of seeing the prerace NASCAR Countdown show on ABC, fans tuned in to see a college football game between Baylor and TCU in the fourth quarter with 12 minutes left to play.

In the past when such live events bleed over, ESPN, whose parent company is ABC has several other channels to choose from and will direct fans via an alert crawl where to tune in to catch the race. That didn’t happen Saturday. As the game progressed, and it was a good one, NASCAR fans took to Twitter in an attempt to find coverage. Near panic set in, as the race’s scheduled green flag time approached.

With no further information from either network, Twitter lit up with fans and media Tweeting that the race would be on first ESPN News, than ESPN 3.  On ESPN News however, a preseason NBA game was in overtime; there was no alerts pertaining to NASCAR coverage.  Fans on Twitter began saying that ESPN3 was not showing the race and as the green flag fell still with no TV coverage, soon the hashtag #ABCHatesNASCARFans began trending on Twitter. MORE>>>

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.