Motor Racing Network – “The Voice of NASCAR” – is set to start its 2012 stock car schedule the way it ended 2011: with exclusive radio coverage of the sport’s three top national series.

Champions were crowned in Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Trucks a mere three months ago at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  Now, the NASCAR portion of Speedweeks 2012 will commence some 300 miles north … at Daytona International Speedway.

Motor Racing Network’s 43rd year of broadcasting rolls into high gear with tonight's live coverage of the Budweiser Shootout non-points special event at 6 p.m. on WBKR.  It extends through a full week of special programming next week leading up to the 54th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26, also heard on WBKR.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is bidding to become the first driver to win back-to-back Daytona 500 poles since Ken Schrader put three in a row together from 1988-1990.

All told in 2012, MRN is broadcasting 86 live events from 33 different venues – spread across NASCAR’s three top national series.  WBKR is home to the Sprint Cup Series and 1490 WOMI hosts the Camping World Truck and Nationwide series.

WOMI will also carry the Gatorade Duel at Daytona qualifying races for the Daytona 500 on Thursday, Feb. 23.  Air time will be Noon.

Hall of Fame broadcaster Barney Hall and veteran announcer Joe Moore will anchor the majority of the NASCAR events, which will include the Sprint All-Star Race from Charlotte Motor Speedway in May and the season-ending Ford Championship Weekend from Homestead-Miami Speedway in November.

“Since 1970, we’ve been ‘The Voice of NASCAR’ and proudly head into our 43rd year providing innovative, compelling broadcast coverage of this great sport,” said MRN President and Executive Producer David Hyatt.  “Last year began with Trevor Bayne’s upset win at Daytona, and ended with the great championship battle between Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards.  It was a pretty good ride in between, too.  We can’t wait to see what 2012 will bring.”