Nearly 18 years of motorsports tradition ended this morning, when at 6:00 Eastern Time Fox pulled the plug on SPEED in the United States and started its new ESPN competitor, Fox Sports 1.

After a sad elegy from Mike Joy tracing the history of what started in 1995 as Speedvision, Curt Menefee appeared to welcome viewers to Fox Sports 1 before the network's first program, an on-tape college football preview, was aired. While much of the SPEED programming will appear on either Fox Sports 1 or Fox Sports 2 (which had no real introduction or transition other than a Fuel TV bug turning into a Fox Sports 2 one) it's still a very sad day for racing fans.

Meanwhile, Fox has already dismantled the former SPEED website; all links now redirect to Fox's motorsports blog.