NBC Sports Group today added reporter Rutledge Wood to its multiplatform coverage of NASCAR, Formula 1, IndyCar, Global Rallycross and Mecum Auctions. Among his contributions, Wood will present features on the storied raceways, unique towns and enthusiastic fans that make NASCAR an American treasure. The announcement was made today by Jeff Behnke, Vice President of NASCAR Production for NBC Sports and NBCSN.
“Rutledge brings a unique combination of knowledge and enthusiasm to his work that will help us shine a spotlight on the tracks and communities we visit throughout the year, and bring them to life,” said Behnke.
“It’s hard to put into words how unbelievably excited I am to be a part of NBC and their return to NASCAR,” said Wood. “Working in motorsports is a dream come true for me, as I have so much fun telling the stories of drivers, teams and their fans. Just like NASCAR, NBC Sports is a family, and it’s one that I am proud to be a part of.”
The appointment of Wood follows previous NBC Sports NASCAR on-air announcements for analysts Jeff Burton, Steve Letarte and Kyle Petty, race announcer Rick Allen, pre- and post-race host Krista Voda, and reporters Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, Mike Massaro and Dave Burns.
Wood’s first experience in NASCAR came during his first job in entertainment: traveling with the NASCAR circuit for Country Music Television’s mobile marketing activation. Soon after, he was hired by SPEED, where he has worked continuously for the past 10 seasons covering NASCAR. Wood most recently was a correspondent for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pre-race show, NASCAR RaceDay, on Fox Sports 1, and has also hosted or co-hosted several NASCAR events, including the annual NASCAR Awards Banquet. In addition, Wood has been the co-host of Top Gear on the History Channel, the American iteration of the BBC program of the same name, for the past four seasons.
On July 23, 2013, NASCAR and NBC Sports Group reached a comprehensive agreement that grants NBCUniversal exclusive rights to the final 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, final 19 NASCAR XFINITY Series events, select NASCAR Regional & Touring Series events and other live content, beginning in 2015.
With this partnership, NBC’s 20 Sprint Cup race schedule includes a designation as the exclusive home to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, when the elite national series races through its final 10 events of the season. The Chase culminates with the season-ending championship event, which returns to network television in 2015 for the first time since 2009. Of NBC Sports Group’s 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, seven will be carried on NBC annually, with 13 airing on NBCSN. Four of NBC Sports Group’s 19 NASCAR XFINITY Series races will air on NBC, with 15 airing on NBCSN.
NASCAR AMERICA premiered in February, following Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Daytona 500 victory and NBC Sports Group’s multi-platform coverage of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. The weekday 30-minute news and highlights program is dedicated to America’s fascination with speed and stock car racing, and features regular appearances by NBC Sports NASCAR experts, as well as a rotation of guest analysts.
NBC Sports PR