Lindsay sprint car racer Harli White will be featured in a segment on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” that will debut at 9 a.m. Sunday and air throughout the day. When she was 12, White was badly burned in an accident at I-44 Riverside Speedway in southwest Oklahoma City, but she returned to racing after recovering and continues to race today as she approaches her 19th birthday.
The segment, “Forged Through Fire,” was produced by Miriam Greenfield last fall at Outlaw Motorsports Park in Muskogee.
In 2008, driving in the first mini-sprint car race, White’s car turned over and burst into flames as she was trapped inside. Another driver, Donnie Ray Crawford, left his car and ran across the track. Crawford reached into the flames and pulled the badly burned girl out. Reporter Tom Rinaldi tells the story of White’s remarkable recovery, her unrelenting determination to race again and her enduring bond with the man who saved her life — a young driver whose own life would end in tragedy.
Recalling the accident that nearly took her life, White said, “I basically gave up. I prayed to God, is this my time to go? And if it is, take me now.”
On her desire to return to racing Charlie White, her father, said: “I said, ‘There’s no possible way that you’re ever going to race again.’ She says, ‘Yes I can.’ She says, ‘I’ll get better. I’ll get my arm to moving and I’ll get my neck fixed, and I will get better, and I will race again,’”
Last summer, White became the first female to win an Oil Capital Racing Series championship.
ESPN TOPS EMMY NOMINATIONS
ESPN, Inc., led the way with 46 Sports Emmy Award nominations across its platforms (ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes, espnW.com and Grantland.com), followed by Fox with 18 and HBO 15. Bob Costas was nominated twice for outstanding sports personality, in play-by-play and studio host categories.
The top sports personality categories:
Studio Host: James Brown (CBS/Showtime), David Feherty (Golf Channel), Greg Gumbel (CBS), Dan Patrick (NBC, NBCSN, DirecTV), Costas (NBC).
Play-by-Play: Marv Albert (TNT), Mike Breen (ABC, ESPN), Joe Buck (Fox), Mike Emrick (NBC, NBCSN), Bob Costas (MLB Network).
Studio Analyst: Cris Collinsworth (Showtime), Al Leiter (MLB Network), Rick Neuheisel (Pac-12 Network), Harold Reynolds (MLB Network, Fox), Michael Strahan (Fox), Tom Verducci (TBS, MLB Network).
Event Analyst: Cris Collinsworth (NBC), Gary Danielson (CBS), Kirk Herbstreit (ESPN), Tim McCarver (Fox).
Sports Reporter: Pierre McGuire (NBC, NBCSN), Ken Rosenthal (Fox), Lisa Salters (ESPN), Michele Tafoya (NBC), Tom Verducci (MLB Network).
•ESPN’s record-setting coverage of the NCAA Wrestling Championships from Chesapeake Energy Arena — first-time live telecasts of all six sessions and individual cameras across all mats on ESPN3 — generated audiences across TV and digital platforms. The four telecasts on ESPNU and two on ESPN combined to reach 8.6 million people, a 39 percent increase over last year (8.6 million vs. 6.2 million). The 20-hours of television coverage averaged 253,000 viewers. The finals got a 0.4, down from 0.6 last year. Tulsa and Oklahoma City were the two highest-rated metered markets, respectively, for the semifinals and finals. Digital coverage on ESPN3 and WatchESPN generated 12.8 million minutes, a 1 percent increase over 2013.
•Wednesday night’s Miami Heat-Indiana Pacers showdown earned a 2.6 overnight rating as the second-highest rated NBA game this season on ESPN. It finished just behind the Heat-Thunder telecast on Jan. 29, which had a 2.7.
•Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo, an accomplished sports radio voice, joins MLB Network next week to host his first TV-based baseball talk show. “High Heat with Christopher Russo” will air at 11 a.m. Monday and then move to noon weekdays unless a game telecast airs at that time.
•TBS’ late-night series “Conan,” 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, will tape next week in Dallas in advance of the Final Four being hosted in Arlington. The shows will be taped at the historic Majestic Theater in Dallas. The “Cone Zone,” an Airstream trailer parked Monday through Thursday at Main Street Garden, will offer things for fans to do, including riding on a mechanical bull.