TNT's signature Wide Open television format will return for the sixth consecutive year during the network's exclusive coverage of the Coke Zero 400 at 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday. In addition to the TNT telecast, the Coke Zero 400 -- traditionally the network's highest-rated race from the NASCAR Summer Series -- will also be simulcast for the first time on truTV. Wide Open coverage debuted during the summer race at Daytona in 2007, providing continuous race coverage free of national commercial breaks. It offers more than 20 percent unobstructed race action than the standard telecast by using a letterbox widescreen format to allow for a continuous scroll of race information. National sponsors featured in this year's telecast include: AndroGel, Coke Zero, Dodge Ram, Geico, Goodyear, Sprint, Toyota, Twitter and Viagra.
HLN's Robin Meade will be on site to sing the national anthem and to conduct interviews with troops attending the race. HLN'sMorning Express with Robin Meade(6 a.m.-noon ET weekdays) features a regular "Salute to Troops" segment on the show, and will incorporate those interviews during the week following the race. In a further commitment to honoring our nation's service men and women, HLN will televise a Fourth of July special --Stories of Courage Hosted by Robin Meade, Inspirational Stories and Profiles of Military Heroes, at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET.
"TNT's Wide Open coverage, truTV's simulcast and the integration with HLN allows us to increase NASCAR's presence across the Turner portfolio and pay tribute to troops in a meaningful way," said Christina Miller, Turner Sports' senior vice president, strategy, programming and marketing. "There could not be a more fitting time than Daytona, the biggest race of the summer, and the Fourth of July holiday."
Coverage from Daytona will begin with theCountdown to Greenpre-race show -- hosted by Adam Alexander with analysts Larry McReynolds and Kyle Petty -- at 6:30 p.m. ET. Alexander will also provide play-by-play for the race with analysts Petty and Wally Dallenbach and reporters Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider, Matt Yocum and Chris Neville. Additionally, McReynolds will make frequent contributions during the race from his customized, unique broadcast unit that will house his own studio, as well as his base location where he'll provide analysis using a cut-away display car.
Additional Coke Zero 400 highlights:
-- NASCAR will celebrate the culmination of 'NASCAR Unites -- An American Salute,' during the Coke Zero 400. The industry will unite in saluting military members and their families at-track including a pre-race special salute to Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients Michael Fitzmaurice, Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army; Jack Jacobs, Captain, U.S. Army; Robert Patterson, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army; and James Taylor, Captain, U.S. Army. NASCAR drivers also will be doing their part on-track, with various Sprint Cup Series drivers adorning 'An American Salute' paint scheme on their race cars.
-- TNT'sCountdown to Greenwill include a musical performance by Train singing their new song "50 Ways to Say Goodbye."
-- TNT'sCountdown to Greenwill also include a special guest appearance by Tony Stewart.
--Countdown to Greenwill continue its weekly feature segment titled "NASCAR Generations" -- with Jimmie Johnson, Ned Jarrett and Bill Elliott, along with TNT analysts Petty and McReynolds -- including a discussion about legendary moments at Daytona.