Monday, October 22, 2007
ESPN Snubs Bestwick For Memphis Busch Race
The ESPN assignments are out for this weekend, and one of them is very surprising.
While the normal NEXTEL Cup crew will handle the Atlanta race, the Busch Series is off at Memphis Motorsports Park for a stand-alone event. To the delight of fans, former Busch Series Champ Randy LaJoie will provide the color commentary. But, that is not the story that grabbed our attention.
Hosting the ESPN2 coverage and providing the play-by-play will be Marty Reid. Meanwhile, down on pit road one of his reporters will be Allen Bestwick. That is a stunner.
ESPN has stationed Bestwick on the Busch Series beat all season long. His duties have included play-by-play as well as hosting the Busch Series pre-race show for the telecasts where Dr. Jerry Punch handled the call of the race.
Several times this season, Bestwick has single-handedly hosted the pre-race show, provided the play-by-play, and then hosted the post-race activity on the Busch Series stand-alone races. He was ESPN's one man band for the Busch telecasts.
Why and how Marty Reid comes into play is unclear. Reid is the open-wheel and NHRA broadcaster who has only appeared in a vacation relief role on the NASCAR beat this season. Reid is certainly qualified for this challenge, but once again it appears that Bestwick has been left out in the cold when high-profile assignments for ESPN come around.
One other announcer note, Brent Musburger will be back for the Atlanta race on ABC since he has plenty of time to travel from his Saturday college football assignment.
Also, the fifth installment of the Chasing Glory series airs on Wednesday at 5:30PM on ESPN2. This quality series from NASCAR Images has followed the "Chasers" as they go through the ten final races of the season. It is worth putting on the DVR for later viewing.
Finally, if you missed the outstanding Ultimate NASCAR series on ESPN earlier this season, you have the chance to record two episodes. "The Explosion" episode airs this Thursday at 4AM Eastern Time, and "Greatest Drivers" airs on Friday at 5AM Eastern. This is a chance to see Dr. Jerry Punch doing what he does best...reporting and presenting feature material.
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