NASCAR Cup Series: NBC announcer out after six seasons

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is not returning to the NBC broadcast booth this week as NASCAR Cup Series coverage switches over from Fox for the rest of the 2024 season.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR
Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR / David Tucker/News Journal / USA TODAY

The Busch Light Clash at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway, and the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season's first 16 points races, starting with the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway and concluding with this past Sunday afternoon's race at Sonoma Raceway, were broadcast live on either Fox or Fox Sports 1.

Now NBC is set to take over for the remainder of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, with 10 races on NBC and the other 10 on USA Network, the NBCUniversal-owned channel which effectively replaced NBC Sports Network on the broadcast schedule after NBC Sports Network shut down at the end of 2021.

NBC is set to cover four of the 10 remaining regular season races and the final six races of the four-round, 10-race playoffs, while USA Network is set to cover the other events.

The first of those 20 races is scheduled to take place this Sunday, June 16 at Iowa Speedway, a track that has never previously hosted a Cup Series race. USA Network is set to provide live coverage of the Iowa Corn 350 Powered by Ethanol beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Rick Allen, Steve Letarte, and Jeff Burton are all set to be back in the booth together for the 10th straight year, prior to Leigh Diffey replacing Allen as the lead announcer after the Summer Olympics in Paris.

But Dale Earnhardt Jr. will not be back for a seventh.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. moves from NBC to Amazon, Warner Brothers

Dale Jr. revealed earlier this season that his contract with NBC had expired at the end of the 2023 season and that he was in the process of figuring out what might come next. It then emerged that another network could make an effort to sign him for their Cup Series coverage, starting in 2025.

Amazon and TNT Sports are both a part of NASCAR's new media rights deal, which is slated to begin in 2025 and run through 2031.

Fox is set to open up the season with 14 races, including the two aforementioned exhibition events, followed by Amazon Prime Video with five, TNT (and the B/R Sports tier on the Max Streaming Service) with another five, and NBC with the final 14.

After it was formally announced that the 15-time NASCAR Cup Series Most Popular Driver would indeed not be back at NBC, which he joined in 2018 following his retirement from Cup Series competition in 2017, for their portion of the 2024 broadcast schedule, his move to both Amazon Prime Video and Warner Brothers Discovery Sports was confirmed for the 2025 season.

Also confirmed was that he would not be serving as an announcer in any capacity during the 2024 season.

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