Race Weekend Central

Ricky Craven to Remain with ESPN

On Monday morning, ESPN announced that Ricky Craven, who has served an analyst for the network in a variety of different roles for NASCAR coverage, will remain with the network beyond the end of the current TV deal, which expires at the end of the year.  Craven’s role with ESPN for 2015 and beyond will resemble his current role with the network.

Craven is very happy to be appreciated for his hard work at ESPN.

“I’m completing my seventh year with ESPN and I’ve been challenged and rewarded,” Craven said in a press release.  “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my experience and greatly appreciate the vote of confidence.”

ESPN hopes that the signing of Craven will assuage NASCAR fans’ fears that the network’s flagship show will abandon the sport at seasons’ end.

“Our news and information platforms will continue to provide NASCAR fans with coverage of the sport and insightful analysis going forward,” said Michael Shiffman, Senior Coordinating Producer for SportsCenter.  “Ricky Craven has proven to be a valuable voice and analyst and we are very happy that he is remaining part of the ESPN team into the future.”

Craven’s role in serving as a NASCAR analyst on SportsCenter will resemble Barry Melrose’s role as SportsCenter’s NHL analyst.  He will appear on SportsCenter and break down highlights of races.  In addition, he will also appear on the show when big news breaks in the Sprint Cup Series.  Craven’s appearances will be more limited than Melrose’s due to the fact that Sprint Cup races are only on weekends.

About the author

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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