NASCAR broadcast booth set for a surprise change?

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is currently without a contract to continue his stint with NASCAR on NBC later this season.

Dale Jr., NASCAR on NBC
Dale Jr., NASCAR on NBC / Logan Riely/GettyImages
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Dale Earnhardt Jr. recently confirmed on the Dale Jr. Download that his contract with NBC expired at the end of the 2023 season and he is currently working on a deal to return for their portion of the 2024 Cup Series broadcast schedule.

Earnhardt, who retired from Cup Series competition at the end of the 2017 season, joined the NASCAR on NBC team in 2018 and made his booth debut as a color commentator when the annual switch from Fox to NBC occurred.

He has spent the last six seasons in the booth and is looking to make it seven-plus, but nothing has been confirmed. In his own words, he currently does not have a broadcasting job, and even if that changes, it may not be with NBC. This development also affects his availability for the Indy 500, where he has been a part of NBC's coverage the last few years.

NASCAR on NBC broadcast schedule

NBC's portion of the 2024 broadcast schedule is not scheduled to begin until Sunday, June 16 when Iowa Speedway is set to host its first ever Cup Series race. However, that race is set to be shown on USA Network as opposed to NBC. The following Sunday's race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is set to be shown on USA Network as well.

NBC's first race of the 2024 season is scheduled to be the race at Nashville Superspeedway on Sunday, June 30. Of the 20 races during NBC's portion of the schedule, 10 are set to be shown live on NBC and 10 are set to be shown live on USA Network.

The broadcast booth is notably slated to remain the same for all races during NBC's portion of the schedule, whether they air on NBC or USA Network. USA Network took over from NBC Sports Network as the alternative NBCUniversal-owned network during NBC's schedule following NBC Sports Network's shutdown at the end of 2021.

Rick Allen is set to return for his 10th season as lead announcer, and Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte are set to be back for their 10th seasons as color commentators.

The 2024 season is scheduled to begin on Sunday, February 18 with the 66th annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Fox is set to provide live coverage beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET. Of the 16 points races on Fox's portion of the broadcast schedule, 10 are set to be on Fox and six are set to be on Fox Sports 1. This portion runs from the Daytona 500 through the race at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday, June 9.

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