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Allen Bestwick to call ESPN Cup races

7/20/2011 - NASCAR

ESPN is moving Allen Bestwick into the booth as lead lap-by-lap announcer for its NASCAR coverage, which begins next weekend in Indianapolis.

Bestwick replaces Marty Reid for all Sprint Cup races, practices and qualifying. Reid will be the lap-by-lap announcer for Nationwide Series telecasts and ESPN's IndyCar coverage.

Bestwick will join holdovers Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree in the booth. Bestwick has worked both as a pit reporter and host since joining ESPN in 2007. He will continue to be the host and moderator of the Monday roundtable edition of "NASCAR Now," in which three motorsports experts debate the latest racing news in the one-hour show.

Nicole Briscoe will take over Bestwick's former role as host of ESPN's prerace "NASCAR Countdown" show. A fill-in host for the show the last two years, Briscoe will join holdovers Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty in the booth.

Briscoe, who has served as a host and reporter for "NASCAR Now" since joining ESPN in 2008, will continue to host the show on a limited basis.

"We are blessed with a talented and versatile group of NASCAR commentators," Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production, said in a statement. "We believe this arrangement best plays to our individual and collective strengths."

ESPN will broadcast the final 17 races of the Sprint Cup Series schedule, beginning with the Brickyard 400 from Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 31.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.